Ask a woman to help with a challenge, and what happens? She rolls up her sleeves, goes to work and finds a creative way to get it done. But what happens when that same woman has a personal challenge? Too many of us simply don't ask or search for help. Instead, we tell ourselves that other priorities come first.
When it comes to tackling a personal challenge like LBL head on, you may feel like you have valid excuses: "I don't have time," "I don't know what to do," or "I'll deal with it…later." But why are these excuses rarely used when the boss, your family, or a friend needs help? Imagine what would happen if we women stopped putting ourselves last. At work, I had personal goals that never seemed as important as the deadlines I needed to meet. To accomplish my personal goals, I got into the habit of using "The Rule of 5." I pick one important goal, and every day I write five small actions I can take to move the goal forward. I put each small action on a sticky-note, and place it on my wall above my desk. It's my way of completing things that are easy to overlook, but that will eventually lead to a greater desired goal. Plus, it feels so good to peel off each sticky-note throughout the day. A big goal can be overwhelming and even a bit scary. When I break it up into smaller action steps and do those steps consistently, eventually I accomplish it.
Recently it dawned on me that "The Rule of 5" can work on concerns like LBL. Instead of five actions a day, you can make it less consuming and do five actions a week, or even five actions a month. Consistency is what you're after. Imagine managing your LBL so well that you can go where you want to go, do what you want to do, and expand your ability to stay active and engaged. This process can help you to reduce or even eliminate LBL. It can also help you become so resourceful that you become unstoppable with leaks or without. I came up with a starter list of action steps. Feel free to use some of these to get you started. (Notice that some of these items take five minutes or less to complete.)
-Decide what you'd say to encourage a friend after an LBL moment. Then look in the mirror and say the same thing to yourself
-Do five minutes of Kegel exercise in the morning
-Do five minutes of "Mula Bandah" before going to bed
-Learn to do "The Knack" before you cough, laugh or sneeze
-Phone your doctor for an appointment to discuss LBL specific to your body
-Read "Who's on Your Team" to prepare for your doctor appointment
-Stash a "just in case" bag with panties, LBL-specific pads, and a pair of pants in the trunk of your car
-Listen to a short Woman-to-Woman podcast for inspiration
-Bring up the topic of LBL with your best girlfriend
-Keep your outlook bright by making a list of 20 things you love to do, and sprinkle them into your calendar
-Read "What You Eat Matters" and make a bladder friendly grocery list
-Comment on a personal story that inspires you to take action or offer support
-Download a free app to help you locate restrooms when you're away from home
-Start a Voiding Diary by printing a downloadable form
-Place extra LBL-Specific pads in your purse, computer bag, desk, and glove box of your car
-Ask your doctor to write you a prescription for a "Bathroom Card" so that any public place will allow you to use their private bathroom
-Improve your LBL by noticing your posture at 9 a.m., noon, and 5 p.m. today
-Read the latest LBL blog post for a shot of education, and inspiration
Make a habit of taking five steps daily, weekly, or monthly and you'll soon have so much knowledge about LBL that you'll become an expert at managing leaks. Increasing your knowledge lowers fear and puts you in the right mindset to say "YES" to enjoying all that life has to offer you.
WHAT ABOUT YOU? What's the first thing you'll put on your list of five?