Wednesday, 6 December 2017

Why Do We Need To Push Ourselves To The Limits?

Something I have noticed lately, is that people think you must be stressed to be living life to the full in both the professional and personal sides of your life.

Adult life is pretty much a blur of activity, isn’t it?  For me at least, I work during the day then squeeze everything else into my weeknights and weekends.  So in my free time I need to try and make space for exercising, socialising, visiting family, reading, writing, drawing, sewing and catching up with my TV, not to mention take care of myself by (attempting) healthy meals and 8 hours of sleep.  That is quite a lot, I don’t know how people with kids etc. do it!
Looking at personal lives here for a second, forgetting about work, why do we see doing nothing as wasting time?  Or as unproductive time?   Why must we be doing something every second of every day to be an achiever?  Some nights I come home from work absolutely exhausted and I need some time to just unwind and get myself together or it has a knock on impact on the next day.   If I don’t get my ‘me’ time I get more and more exhausted as the days go on, so why should we feel guilty for recharging our batteries?  For those of us with conditions such as anxiety, a night off from the world can literally help our health.

As for our working life, most of us juggle a lot during our shift and have to work hard to achieve it all.  From personal experience in previous jobs and from speaking to friends, I know that a lot of employers now expect you to work to the point of exhaustion or you’re accused of not working hard enough.  All too often people are underpaid and underappreciated but expected to do way more work than is reasonably possible, it is little wonder that anxiety is on the rise.   Are we lazy if we don’t work ourselves into a frenzy?  Or if we don’t do countless hours of overtime?  Or if we never get to the end of our ‘to do’ lists? I don’t think it is laziness.   We can only do what we are capable of, and if the work isn’t getting done then surely employers must realise that the workload is too high for staff?  And too much workload is going to produce distracted, stressed employees?

I don’t think we should be made to feel like we are missing out or being lazy for going through life at a pace we can cope at.  Stress and exhaustion can lead to serious problems down the line, one part of our self-care should be having some down time when we need it.  

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