Body First

Erin Roberts
May 8, 2023
3 min read
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Why you need to take care of your body first before you do anything else in life.

“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” — Jim Rohn —

Ionce worked with a mindset coach who’s motto was: Body first. In our work together she stressed the importance of taking care of my body as a priority. Of listening to my body and giving it what it needed before I did anything else. If it’s dehydrated, give it water. If it’s hungry, give it nourishing food. If it’s tired, let it rest. If it wants to move, then let it move.

The idea behind “Body first” is that your mind can’t be at its best if your body doesn’t have what it needs. We need to take care of our bodies. They are our home in this human life. And the healthier we are, the more fully we can engage with life.

I contemplated this as I moved through my workout this morning. Yes, exercise does great things for my body and that’s important. But it does so much more for my mind.

Waking up and getting out of bed this morning got me outside to get exposed to some of the sun’s rays, even if it’s a little bit cloudy today. Getting my body moving first thing energized me and set me up for a great day. Working out with the same crew of dedicated early birds gives me a bit of connection because even if we’re in our own worlds, we’re there together.

I don’t take the fact that I have a routine at all lightly. I am grateful for it every day. Because I know what it’s like not to be able to do the same thing every day. To wake up on a different continent than yesterday.

I used to spend a lot of time in the sky, flying from meeting to meeting. I used to survive on very little sleep. I used to work long, long hours in high stress environments. And I used to tell myself so many lies about what that did to my mind and body.

I knew that all these things were bad for me but I told myself it was the cost of doing business. I told myself that making change in the world required me to sacrifice my own health and well-being. So many lies.

Then two years ago I said no more. No more will I sacrifice my health for my work. My body comes first. No apologies.

If my body wants to move around in the afternoon and that means that I join calls from the forest or while meandering through fields, then that’s what I’ll do. And I encourage others to do the same.

The other day I was on a call with a colleague and she said something about how she was going to do the “proper thing” and sit at her desk. I challenged that and I challenged her. I said: “What’s proper about that? Why do we tell ourselves that we need to sacrifice our bodies to be good at our jobs?”

Because the exact opposite is true.

The truth is that I’m better at my job when I am fit and strong. I am nicer to work with when I work out in the morning. I make bigger change in the world when I’m hydrated, nourished and spending time outside every day.

We need to turn our conditioning on its head when it comes to our work as changemakers and what it means to be “professional”. We need to encourage each other to to take of our bodies first. Because the more we do that, the better we’ll be at every single thing we do.

So I urge you to move around a little more today. Get outside. Step away from your desk and take time for lunch. Maybe even have some fun during your work day. Who knows where it might lead?

Originally published on Medium here: