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Health Insights with Alastair Lynch

As you may be aware, we are now offering health insurance through Astute Simplicity Health, underwritten by St.LukesHealth. We are proud to be associated with St.LukesHealth, a non-profit organisation that has been providing private health insurance to Australians since 1952, and the fund’s brand ambassador – Brisbane Lions AFL Triple Premiership Player, Alastair Lynch.

Each quarter we will catch up with Alastair for his insights into your health and how to live a balanced, healthy and practical lifestyle. This quarter Alastair talks about how he worked through his stress and anxiety battling Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) while playing for the Brisbane Lions.

One of the by-products of suffering from my mystery illness (CFS) was a growing level of stress which continued to increase due to the feeling of a lack of control, clarity of a cure, protocol of treatment or even a known endpoint to the unexplained situation I found myself in.

When I’d wake every day and things weren’t back to the way they once were, my mental state would continue to deteriorate and in turn compound my physical illness.

An important turning point for me was to get away from thinking about the way things used to be and the desperation to be back to 100% health overnight.

First communication was vital – to help identify what was causing the stress and importantly identifying what ‘I’ could do to help myself progress out of this situation. This wasn’t always easy to do.

If you find you don’t have someone that you can chat to about what you are going through and feeling, it is important that you make a call to your GP or one of the well-publicised help services such as Beyond Blue or Lifeline.

Next was focusing on what I could control – it had become very draining focusing on what I couldn’t. Whilst still seeking professional support, I found great benefit in changing my focus from the long term goals to the short term tasks that were achievable.

For me, it was to talk to those close to me and give my body everything it needed to fix itself. I received professional guidance as to what that was and worked on easy, controllable tasks that I could tick off.

Finally was realising it may not be a smooth ride back. Sometimes it felt like two steps forward and 1 back – or even sometimes three back! While sometimes deflating, I tried to remember that it was an opportunity to learn more about myself and the situation I found myself in.

For me, not only with my health but so many other parts of my life, I find the same lessons ring true – identify what is causing the stress, talk about it, take control of what I can control and do my best to not worry about what I can’t.

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