In a shared tuk-tuk in Phnom Penh, I met two experienced international workers. Without intending to, our triad’s superficial conversation veered towards Hillary Clinton and the health consequences we face.

Our health: it turns out all of us are dealing with work related conditions – digestion issues, respiratory issues, physical and emotional stress, etc.

Hillary Clinton: People cannot stop talking about how her intense and demanding work (like yours!) seems to be taking a visible toll on her.  And then people talk about Bill Clinton who is living the happy vegan life and looking a bit too good?

For the record, I want Mrs. Clinton to be an effective Secretary of State and look and be well.

So what do you think is going on with Mrs. Clinton and with you? What happens to your body when you work internationally?

·  Your body is never the first priority;

·  Your body deals with real stress – travel, fatigue, change in climate, change in food, security incidents, etc;

·  Like most international workers, you use your work and international lifestyle as a justification for your poor health and less than optimal physical shape.

Do a quick assessment:

  • What price has your body paid for your work in the past? What price is your body paying now?
  • And what do you imagine it to be for the rest of your working life and beyond?

International work can never be a good excuse not to take care of yourself – your physical, mental, spiritual, emotional self.

Sure, at times we have to work in crisis mode: during a big emergency, or a deadline to meet.  But my experience is that the crisis ends but the bad behaviours we adopt during those “emergency” times are hard to move away from.

Since the body does not lie, it speaks through symptoms.

If the body is not listened to, the symptoms get worse until a real crisis has to be dealt with (health emergency, chronic flare-ups, burn-out, weight gain, chronic pain, etc).

So, I ask again:

·  What price will your body be paying for the work you do in 2012?

·  What are you allowing to happen to your body while you work internationally?

The most important question is:

What happens next for your body? 

The goal of this Flash Info is to provoke reflection about your health. Maybe it will allow you have a thought about what you wish was different.  Even better, make you want to do something to create positive directed change.

When you are ready to do that, reach out: