Three weeks ago, my wife and I went to the doctors for our annual medical check-up, required by social services to be foster parents. I went first and was put through the normal tests and measures which finished with my blood pressure (BP). It turned out that my blood pressure was way too high and after 3 attempts it didn't change.
The doctor looked at me and asked if I had anything going on in my life that may be causing me stress and, of course, we have had CV-19 which has had an impact on us all for the past 16 months. I have also had some issues with my eldest daughter going through a tough time and, I know, that has also taken it's toll, but surely nothing I can't handle!
The results don't lie, my body is under stress!
I remember talking to senior business people years ago about stress and pressure and I'd ask them when they last had their BP checked as stress is a silent killer. Here I am at 165/102 thinking I'm alright and I'm clearly not.
The cause of high BP, physically speaking, is easy to understand, it's just fluid being constantly pumped through tubes so, for me, where is the resistance coming from? I exercise on a regular basis, my diet is fairly good, I drink too much beer, but apart from that, it's not obvious what causing this reading. Then the penny dropped - I hardly drink any water. I drink coffee throughout the day and have a couple of beers in the evening. I can't remember the last time I've had a pint of water, so the fluid being pumped around, my body, is too thick.
So I started to drink more water throughout the day and taking a bottle of water to bed. I am keeping an eye on my BP and measuring it every day and it's already down to a reasonable 132/87 - but could do with dropping a few more units!
If I hadn't had the check, who knows what would have happened. My wife's BP was too high as well, and so she is drinking more water and it is having the same affect. I am also doing some relaxation exercises and a couple of breathing exercises during the day, it all helps!
I knew I was under pressure but thought that, mentally, I was coping well with it. I have had a few outbursts, so that could have given me an indication things were starting to get on top of me, but generally I have felt ok. Good job I had to go for my medical.
When was the last time you had your blood pressure taken? Even if you are feeling on top of things it's worth the 2 minutes to check in with your body.
Have a great week, stay calm and drink water!