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Tipping the life-work balance.

Posted by: Marcelle

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Life gets crazy, doesn’t it?

It’s so easy to be overwhelmed by your goals – wanting to reach a state of perfection – that things start spinning in circles around your head. This happens to me sometimes (even though I know it’s crazy to expect so much) and momentum can be a hard thing to break. MORE

Then good habits are neglected and work continues to pile up; holidays are forgotten, empowerment sessions ignored, coaching lessons lost, meditation skipped, exercise deferred and good eating habits go down the drain.

It’s a worst-case scenario – but I’ll bet it’s happened to a lot of you at least once, if not more often.

Sometimes I think people are trying to become a new type of superhuman: Incredible Workaholics. These spin offs from humanity roam the offices in their pressed three-piece suits, taking power lunches and always appearing in a rush. They don’t need relaxation, they don’t need to watch their diets, they don’t need sleep, and they never suffer from mood swings or cravings or panic attacks. They’re superhuman.

But they’re also science fiction.

The body – my body, your body, everyone’s body – relies on stabilizers like sleep, proper nutrition, and relaxation to cope with the work it is given. Living your life at either extreme (lazy sloth or superhuman worker) is a dangerous habit.

The thing is, even when we don’t realize it, our body will try to cope with any trauma it encounters – and being overworked is traumatic for the body.

So how might your body (subconsciously) lash out? Recognize these symptoms?

  • Rapid weight gain or loss
  • Persistent cravings
  • Recurring sickness
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Low self-esteem

These are all symptoms of an out-of-control life. One way or another, your mind and body will try to reassert themselves (grab whatever limb or rope or hand that’s offered) and, if you aren’t careful, maybe cling to a self-destructive outlet like eating jars of peanut butter at 2 o’clock in the morning.

If you recognize these symptoms, don’t let yourself slip further. Here are some ways to stop the madness:

  • Socialize.Don’t have friends over to your place, because that’s just another mess to clean. Go out to their place, or the park, or a coffee shop. Catch up and laugh – it’s good medicine.
  • Become Accountable. Accountability partners are there to challenge us when they see us slipping away from our goals – but they’re also there to tell us when we’re on a dangerous path. If you keep in touch with someone to whom you feel accountable, then you should be able to trust their opinion when they suggest you slow down.
  • Join a group. There are support groups, empowerment groups, workshops, seminars, et cetera, all designed to improve your life. Being part of a group means you’ll take a break for a predetermined amount of time, means you’ll get to review where you are and where you’re going, and it also – most importantly – means you’ll have a chance for self-reflection, which is just so vital to your success.
  • Exercise. I don’t know how many times I bring up this point: exercise is good for you – mind, body and soul. Especially if you’re becoming discouraged with your situation, the hormones that exercise releases will improve your feelings of self-worth. We know it’s hard to get off the couch . . . try joining a class instead of working out at home. The group dynamic (as mentioned above) can be very encouraging.
  • Get some help. Get counselling, coaching, or deeper treatments. Something is making you run at full steam; maybe it’s time for an outside voice to pull you back. There are issues bundled tightly inside all of us and, just like your body, when overworked they can trigger responses that lead to possibly destructive behaviours.
  • Take a red pen to your calendar. You have responsibilities. Fair enough. But what fat can be trimmed from the meat of your calendar? Chances are you’re tackling too many projects at once. Try rearranging your goals and getting rid of obligations that currently drag you down.

Life gives me lots of reasons to panic, and that’s when I try to remember the reasons for calming down.
Say it with me: “I’m not superhuman. I can only do so much.” It’s OK to not get everything done at once, really.

Have you ever been caught in this wheel of productivity and lost track of nourishing yourself? We’d love to hear about your experiences. Please share your comments.


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Awakening Potentials is a close-knit team of natural health professionals and personal results experts who help individuals improve there health and achieve greater success. We've worked with many thousands of clients since 1979.

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