A client of mine came into today to train and was extremely stressed out about a career move that could potentially make him a lot of money, but would require him to use even more of his time each day. He already works a 60 hour week and makes enough money now to support his family and save for his retirement. His current career already has caused sleep issues and a stomach digestion problem and now he is considering adding more onto his plate. He wants to make enough money to put towards his future, but at what cost? Is any of that going to be worth it in 10-15 years if you aren't healthy enough to enjoy the money you have worked so hard for?
Do you know the major health issues that stress causes? Stress weakens our immune systems, making us more suceptible to catching colds, flus, and other infections. It raises our blood pressure, increases our heart rate (possibly causing palpations), and creates anxiety and inflammation in our bodies. It upsets our stomachs, digestion, and can cause bowel issues. Stress can lead to backaches, headaches, and even sleep problems. It also makes us fatter! It raises our cortisol levels, which packs on fat around our mid-sections, giving us that muffin top or beer belly look that is so unattractive and unhealthy.
What we really need to do is sit back and assess what is truly important in our lives. Are we going to regret not spending more time with our family and less time at work? And if we don't take the time out to give ourselves some TLC, all of the hard work, long hours, and intense stress will not even matter if we aren't healthy enough to enjoy what we have worked so hard for.
Nothing combats stress like a workout, whether it is just a walk or an intense boot camp class. And taking a few minutes out of each day to take a "time out" and allow yourself to step away from your work is absolutely necessary for your physical and mental health. So go ahead and take that 15 minute nap, send your friend an email, or read your mindless romance novel. You deserve to give yourself that time each day and in turn, it will make you a better friend, parent, spouse, or partner.