Research shows that people who work under a lot of stress are two times as likely to develop coronary heart disease.
Chronic stress also leads to insomnia, high blood pressure, migraine headaches, arthritis, respiratory disorders and even cancer.
While many people thrive and revel in working under a certain amount of pressure, no one is immune to the ramifications of too much constant pressure. It eventually reaches a plateau.
Despite both physical and mental exhaustion, the danger begins when we drive ourselves beyond our limits.
Instead of being able to relax during non-working hours when we should be spending our free time relaxing, many engage in continuous internal chatter in our minds about work problems and issues. This can lead to serious burnout, mental or physical breakdowns or more.
In many cases, we are so wrapped up in the day-to-day issues of work that stress just creeps up on us and we may not even be aware of how harsh it is.
Irritability, impatience, and edginess are early warning signs. If you find yourself being easily offended, lacking concentration, or obsessing over details, do everything in your will to take a time out.
Stress will always win the battle if you want to stay in the ring and fight it. The real solution is to get your life in balance. When the balance is right, you will come out the victor.
Here are some powerful rituals to help disconnect from work and tend to a happier life during free time.
- Start eating well again. Take your time. Relax. Enjoy your food by chewing it, not almost shoveling it whole. Get off the sugar, salt and processed foods. Eat natural. Plan your menu with the vegetables and fruits (over 50% of your small plate full) first, grains and entrees second.
- Walk or run it off. This gives you time to yourself to begin debriefing work related matters for the necessary transition into the life you are actually meant to enjoy. By walking in ten minute slots for three times a day, it cuts your risk of heart disease by 40 percent.
- Incorporate some other type of movement. Stretch, dance, t’ai chi, yoga, or something else that suits you. Combine both aerobic and weight-bearing activities in your rituals.
- Soak in a warm bath. During this alone time, include breathing exercises, meditation and relaxation.
- Read a book chapter or two to give your mind some escape.
- Listen to music.
- Create a restful environment in your bedroom, with a comfortable bed allowing no room for distractions or clutter.