Are you a workaholic?
Nonstop thinking about your job. Never-ending work e-mails and phone calls, at all times of the day and night. Repeatedly prioritizing work over family, friends, and personal pleasures. Workaholics are people who are out of balance with life. And that imbalance is unhealthy – many workaholics are at risk for stress-related high blood pressure, heart disease, overweight, and type 2 diabetes.
A workaholic’s biggest health threats: Stress and self-neglect. In one British study of small business owners, those who worked the longest hours were the most likely to cancel doctors’ appointments or to wait and “store up” illnesses so that they wouldn’t have to take as much time off to see the doctor. And thanks to fatigue and over-scheduling, one in five never exercised. If you feel chained to your desk, you’re probably not eating well, either.
You’re also missing out on the joys of life – and the experiences and relationships that can sustain our health and happiness in the years ahead. In one study of 1,000 women, researchers found that those who were married to workaholic men were more likely to divorce and had fewer happy feelings about their relationship.
Can you stop being a workaholic? Yes you can. It takes just one thing: Convincing yourself to do it. Half the battle is in your mind. As with any habit or addiction, once you truly commit to pull back and regain the balance you once had, changing is a simple, step-by-step process, with measurable benchmarks and outcomes.
Here are some tips to changing your workaholic ways.
Set a quitting time- and stick to it. That means telling all the people you work with that between certain hours, you are not going to be available, and enforcing that by not answering the phone or responding to emails.
Make healthy eating and exercise a priority. Put them on your calendar and keep these “health appointments” with yourself as religiously as if they were meetings with important clients.
Fill your free time in ways you enjoy. If you cut back on work only to sit in front of the television, you will go back to working. Instead, commit to social activities, family time, cooking, or a home project. Fill you time in a way that is more fun than work, and you will help end your work addiction.
De-stress before, during, and after work. A few minutes of stretching, deep breathing, or yoga helps release tension and keep priorities straight. Tend to your mental health a little better, and you’ll quickly see the world in a new way.
Turn off the electronics. The combination of wireless communications technology and worldwide corporations mean that you can instantly plus into work at any time, at any place. Fight this urge! When you are not working, turn off your cell phone, your laptop, your blackberry device, and any other electronics that link you to your work world.
Hopefully you find some of these tips useful and you can start today to live a healthy and more balanced life!
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