Don’t neglect your physical health.
I tell my clients that push themselves too hard that they must take care of their bodies. Most people might think this is the purview of physicians and physiotherapists, but I was trained to work in an interdisciplinary fashion, learning from other professionals as our paths cross, and that’s what I’m doing.
For example, I tell my clients that they shouldn’t carry more than 10 seconds worth of pee in their bladders because doing so over the longer-term can lead to a leaky bladder. My clients that are prone to burnout tell me they regularly stay at their desks as long as possible so they can get more work done. They say they have seen getting up to pee as an annoyance they believed they could ignore.
Burnout and physical neglect go hand-in-hand
There’s a direct correlation between people that are prone to burnout – meaning that they push themselves too hard – and personal physical neglect. When the body gives the signal that it’s time to pee, people that are not prone to burnout get up and pee because they listen to their bodies. But people that are prone to burnout have ignored their bodies needs for so long, they don’t pay attention to their body’s signals when the time comes to get up and pee.
The body says, “I need to pee.”
They respond, “I’m going to ignore you for 20 more minutes.”
The body said, “I need to pee,” again, and the request is ignored again.
This dance, literally, can go on for hours.
Pay more attention
One client I worked with said she peed for 62 seconds when I asked her to time herself. She had told me she needed to use the bathroom because she had “the pee quivers.” I asked her to time how long it took her to pee using her phone as she left my office. I was concerned when she said she had the pee quivers. The term, which was new to me, suggested that her body was sending her messages of distress that she had been ignoring.
This woman had never been taught to care for herself. Her neglect showed up in something as simple of her not paying attention to her body’s signals that she needed to pee. If the term “pee quivers” feels familiar to you, pull out your phone and time how long it takes you to pee. Then take corrective action.
Take corrective action
What if you feel the urge to pee at night? Should you get up to pee? One physiotherapist I spoke with about this told me you must get up and pee. She said, “Don’t hold your urine in or you’ll stretch out your bladder… you’ll have to contend with urinary incontinence.”
Already have a leaky bladder? You don’t have to put up with it. See a pelvic floor physiotherapist. They can teach you what you can do to recover regardless of whether you are male or female.
— Dr. Patricia Turner, Registered Psychologist, Calgary, Alberta