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All work and no play is no way to spend the summer

Posted 8 years ago on · Permalink

Dr. Michael Rahman, BSc, ND
Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine
Pinewood Natural Health Centre

Learn why it is important to live a balanced lifestyle

Are you a stress-aholic, over-achiever or overworked people -pleaser who spends endless hours at work and not quite enough time socializing, exercising and eating right? If so, you might already be experiencing some type of physical, mental or relationship issue in your life that is actually a manifestation of this imbalance.

Signs that it is time to take time out “to smell the flowers” include:

  • Extreme changes in weight due to lack of eating or eating unhealthy foods on the run
  • Looking older and acting older than you are and appearing fatigued
  • Dependence on stimulants like coffee or cigarettes to meet work goals
  • Dependence on pills or alcohol to calm oneself down
  • Anxiety attacks about what will happen next
  • Feeling foggy and confused
  • Irritability and mood swings that affect all of your relationships

Most “dis-ease” in our life is a mirror of some kind of injustice, over-compensation or uneasiness that we allow as part of our intent to make money. For instance, the man who spends twelve hours a day at the office is less likely to have a happier relationship with his wife and kids than the man who spends only seven hours and then goes home and eats a healthy home-cooked meal with his family. The assistant who spends all day rescuing people from bad situations may suffer from a lack of time for her own self-care and miss crucial dental checkups and mammograms. The person who is always behind on deadlines might be sick from eating fast food all day and never getting any fresh air or exercise. Furthermore, the result of persistent mental and physical exhaustion is falling further and further behind until job loss is the result.

One of the deadliest things you can do for your cardiovascular health is sit in an office chair all day. A recent study has shown that just four hours of sitting in front of a screen all day provokes a fifty percent increased risk of death from any cause and a 125 percent increased risk of suffering from a heart attack.1

There are practical steps that you can take to reduce the amount of work-related stress in your life so that the general quality of your life is improved.

  1. Make a pie chart with a 24-hour clock on it. Figure out how many hours you spend with family, with friends, sleeping, at work, taking care of yourself and just experiencing the joy of living. If you are working all day with 45 minutes for meals every day then it is definitely time to reconsider whether or not lowering your life quality to make more money is worth it.
  2. Make a list of priorities and then redo that pie chart so that the pieces of the life pie you are living are equal. For example, what changes would you have to make in your schedule order to make more time for self-care or just relaxing with family or friends?
  3. Review your priorities and organize them as tasks in a schedule. Ultimately, you are the person who decides what is most important in life. Managing your time will also help you be more relaxed and productive when you are actually at work.
  4. Changes in lifestyle do not come easy for anyone but they are much easier to initiate in the summer months when the weather is nicer, most workloads are lighter and our loved ones have more available time to spend with us. Do not ignore the opportunity that the summer months offer to pace yourself and focus on health and your overall general happiness.

Dr. Michael Rahman is a Doctor of Naturopathic Health at Pinewood Natural Health in Pickering.