Work Life Balance-Are You Doing Too Much?
How many of you work out, do weights, walk, run, gym? Have you ever overdone it injuring yourself and needed to rest for a very long time? Wondering if you hadn't pushed yourself so hard, taken a rest day now and then maybe you wouldn't have hurt yourself and had rest enforced on you to heal and recover? Yes? I believe this happens in our working lives as well. It’s possible to link how we exercise to how we live our lives, constantly pushing harder and harder. The quality of your workout, going for heavier weights or longer runs for the sake of it, or aiming for better than the person next to you. Yet making the most of your rest time,not pushing yourself beyond your limits allows longer and better, effective training. Link this to your long days at work, juggling work and home, sleepless nights with the kids, no time for a social life, all work and no play…. Overworking, with high levels of stress will soon take its toll. This got me thinking about how we approach our working lives, working harder, for longer, taking on more and more. With poor quality rest and recuperation until we crash and burn. Signs maybe physical:- panic attacks, headaches, digestive problems, as well as feeling tired all the time. There are a myriad of physical symptoms that may indicate you are stressed. Being stressed may well show itself in how you behave. Maybe you find it hard to make decisions, you are avoiding situations that are worrying you, feeling irritable more often than not, eating too much or too little, smoking or drinking alcohol more than usual. You might also feel:- irritable, aggressive, impatient, over-burdened, anxious, nervous or afraid, unable to enjoy yourself- "Daily experience loses its colour. Life is no longer enjoyable." So what can you do about this? How might you actually achieve a healthy work/life balance as well as physical fitness. Its possible to think how to manage the stress in our lives, in the same way physical workouts can be managed. How, if we work too hard or without thought, we may contribute to our feelings of stress in our personal and working lives. Physical training at high intensity 80-100% of capacity all the time leads to poor recovery, especially when there is no appreciable rest time. How true is that of your working life? Are you running at 80-100% ALL the time. Do you find it hard to say no, are you feeling indispensable, are you the one who has to work at full pelt every day? Do you rarely rest and take time out? If yes to all this then you are likely to be excessively stressed and if not burnout then certainly heading this way. Physical training at this level is hard to sustain for any length of time, quality suffers, workouts become shorter before exhaustion sets in. It is possible to see your working life in a similar way. To much hard work, and never stopping, will see you exhausted, producing poorer results at work. Of course always training at a too low intensity will consistently see poorly toned muscles/lack of energy/tiredness, weight gain and low self esteem. So does under performing at work cause very similar stress symptoms? I would say yes it does. A balance needs to be found, some will find their lives are stressful because their working lives are dull, boring, there is little pleasure in it and feels unfulfilling. Do you worrying about work in your time off? Have a think about the sustained anxiety you may have about work. Are you worrying about it when you aren't there? Answering emails, doing paperwork in your own time? What this maybe doing to your heart rate and stress levels! During physical exercise regular rest time/ days allows us to train for longer and more effectively. In the same way you aim for rest in your training, try some rest and relaxation in your daily life. You will find the joy, satisfaction, energy and love for life will return. Without that, you will burn out. We are more engaged when our tanks are full. It is the quality of our rest time that energizes and inspires our working lives. As it does for our workouts. The importance is to find a balance. Training at a moderate level is the ideal, with occasional high intensity This has enough, efficient, recovery times to enable a person to train safely. This is where we need to be aiming our daily lives. Times of high intensity, once in awhile, however always returning to a more normal sensible level. Every working phase should have recovery time, as with exercise the best advise is listen to your mind and body, and honour your limits. "We need time to rest and replenish in order to adapt and improve." Can you start to put your gym/training/running practice into your working personal life? Do You need help to get your life back on track? Call me today.