We are a nation of workers.
I can remember how hard my father worked. And how he taught me the value of a good, hard day’s work.
“It’ll make a man out of you,” he’d say.
Mission accomplished, dad.
I like to work because I like what I do. But I find myself working longer than I sometimes want sometimes.
And longer than Karen would want me to, too.
So I strive for balance. I have hobbies, I exercise, and I make time for vacation.
Even if a “staycation” is all I can afford.
Because working like a dog is a badge of honor I can respect, sure. But your body has a tendency to push back if you overdo it.
And a recent study showed exactly what the tipping point is.
55 hours in a week.
People who work more than that are 40% more likely to develop an irregular heartbeat.
Now, you may think that if you’re working so much and you’re tired, you’ll tend to stop doing the things that actually protect your heart.
Watching what you eat. Getting enough sleep. Spending time moving your body.
And this is true.
But what’s also true is even when the researchers accounted for all that, they still found that the amount of time you spend on the job is a major factor towards a ticker in rebellion.
So you have to find some balance if you possibly can.
Connecting to people is a good start. That doesn’t have to mean joining a club or venturing too far outside your comfort zone.
The next time you’re in the grocery store, actually have a conversation with the checkout person, or the person in line behind you.
A smile from a stranger can really brighten your day.
Another way to find balance… learn the value of “no.”
If you’re continually busy, even in your “free time,” it’s time to start saying “no” once in a while.
And don’t forget that you can’t separate your physical health from your emotions. T
ake a deep breath. Start a journal. Write a loved one a letter. Or spend a moment each day in reflection or prayer.
If you’re working like a dog, maybe you should start acting like one from time to time.
Ellie always likes to have a task. But she definitely finds time for herself.
Especially when the sunbeam is coming through the window just right…
For her, that spells nap time.
But for me, it’s a gentle reminder to take it easy sometimes.
She’s quite a messenger. One that’s obviously good for my heart.
Editor, Patriot Health Alliance