I admit it...I can sometimes be a workaholic - antsy if there's nothing to do, easily bored, rarely take breaks.
Then I learned the cost of being that way - constant stress, shallow breathing, loss of focus, health issues.
What I learned from my body, mind, and spirit from these lessons is this: the American culture of "very busy" is damaging to the entire body system.
When the mind and body are goingdon'tstopgottarushhurryhurry, the body creates stress hormones in the body, which cause any number of undesirable effects. Ironically, the body's attempts to cope add another layer of stress...a vicious cycle indeed.
I have known parents whose children are always on the go as well, rushing from school to a sports activity to practice to tryouts to homework. These children are being taught workaholism, rather than healthy balance.
Here's what I've learned. Take breaks! Set a firm schedule for yourself which includes frequent breaks.
For five minutes each hour, stand up and stretch, look out your window, and let your gaze and your mind wander. Drink some water. Take a deep breath, then refocus on work.
For 15 minutes every three hours, do the same, but add some physical movement. Even a fast-paced trot around the house or office, or some TaiChi or Yoga, can make a huge difference in your stress levels.
Take a lunch break! You do yourself NO favors by mindlessly chowing down on something at your desk. Away from your office, eat a healthy meal, preferably of fresh, live foods. Eat mindfully, savoring the textures and flavors. Eat gratefully, appreciating that you have access to this healthy and delicious food.
It's not just important to schedule breaks during your day, but also on a bigger scale. Take at least one day off from your work, truly off, not thinking and planning, but being present in the REST of your life. Schedule, take and enjoy vacations...unplug from the workload and technology.
Do you find yourself responding to this advice with, "Who has time for that?" Then you especially need to follow it! By honoring your body, mind, and spirit in these ways, you'll find you get far more done and feel better doing it.
Avoid the long-term effects of stress on the body. Take a break!
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