Is Your Job a Danger to Your Health?
As you trudge off to work today, ask yourself a simple question, “Is My Job Going to be the Death of Me?”
While it is quite uncommon for a worker to keel over on the job, those instances when such tragedy happens lead some to question if the daily rigors of one’s employment hastened the death. For many of us, the eight-hour work day can quickly turn into more hours whether it means being stuck at the office late, taking work home with you or even not being able to ditch those cell phones and laptops on the weekends or on vacation. Should you be working at a company that just recently started its business, the work rigors can be even greater as the company looks to get its feet off the ground.
Making matters even more difficult these days, is that it remains an employer’s market. Thus, many workers are afraid to say no at work to taking on extra projects and working past the 40-hour norm, fearing it could lead to an early departure from their jobs.
Know How to Balance Work and Your Well-Being.
As someone who has worked for a handful of companies in 23 years, I can honestly say that I always approach the work day with the idea that I am going to give 100 percent. The way I was raised is that if someone is going to pay you to do something, you sure better give them your best effort.With that being said, I also try my best not to take my job home with me at the end of the day. For one thing, I oftentimes have freelance work awaiting me following the after-work commute. Secondly, I like many others, need some time to catch my breath and wind down from a busy day. I know many people who are simply workaholics and don’t know when to stop; family, friends and even their doctor are telling them to put the brakes on. If this is you, can you apply the brakes when necessary?
If you’re not sure, try some of these tips and see if they help:
- Go to the ‘off’ mode – While today’s world almost mandates that millions of us be attached to one gizmo or another, there is a simple way around that – turn the electronic item to the ‘off’ mode. Unless you’re working in a business where you truly need to be on call and your services will impact others’ lives, the work can wait until the morning.
- Set a date with yourself or significant other for some ‘me’ time – Whether you’re in a relationship or single, set some time after work for yourself so that you can look forward to getting away from things. Not only does it give you something to look forward to during your work day, but it gives you some down time and an opportunity to recharge your battery.
- Get a pet – This may sound like a silly one, but having a pet provides great relaxation. When I get home at the end of the work day, I know that my 6-year-old cat is waiting there for me on the couch. He’s been alone for some 10 hours or so during the day while I’m at work and just looking for attention. No sooner do I lie down and my buddy is settled on my stomach or right next to me and ready to give me some attention too. They say pets are good for your health and I’m a firm believer in that sentiment.
- Plan a vacation – Various studies show that fewer American workers are setting ahead times to go on vacation than they used to. While less disposable money in hand has much to do with that, people also plan and take fewer vacations because they don’t want to be away from work for too long. In every job I’ve had over the years, I make sure that I get the most out of my vacations. We all need to recharge our batteries from time to time, so circle a period of time on the calendar and get away.
- Get some fresh air – I’ve known some workers over the years that are glued to their desks during the day short of bathroom stops and a short lunch break. Besides the physical implications such a routine has, there are also mental ones. Your brain needs a little time during the work day to slow down and recharge itself. If you’re continually at your desk you are more apt to lose focus as your mind drifts. Get out – even if it is just for a few minutes and stretch your legs.
Apart from all the above, physical fitness and getting together with co-workers are two great ways to relieve the stress. We all have to work in order to keep a roof over our heads, enjoy the finer things in life (for me, that translates into going to way too many professional hockey and football games), and put some money away for retirement.
With that said, be sure to not let work consume you. I give 100 percent every time I work, be it for my full-time employer or freelance work on the side. I also make sure, however, that I provide myself with some ‘me’ time so that my bosses get the best from me each and every day.