If Getting Sick Is The Only Way To Stop Working, You Need To Slow Down

When you're a hard worker and care about your job, it's easy to get a little out of control. Suddenly, you're sick and you feel like the world is going to end without you. Your illness is a signal from your body that you need to slow down.

Picture: imageegami/Shutterstock

Paula Davis-Laack, writing for Psychology Today, explains:

Our bodies and our brains aren't designed to work without breaks. Performance psychologist Jim Loehr explains that sustained high performance requires short breaks every 90-120 minutes. Many busy professionals feel out of control when it comes to their schedules, and businesses would be well served to make wellness a priority and give their employees opportunities for more control over their work. You might not have much control over how your boss manages or the policies that are in place at work, but you can focus on your response to the situation. Don't be afraid to have the difficult conversations, be they with yourself, your boss, or your health care provider.

If you're not taking these breaks, you're overworking yourself and ought to follow Paula's advice. Implementing change can seem like a tough task, but you'll have an easier time by start by using reasonable break times instead of pushing them aside. Take the lunch break you're entitled to. After 90-120 minutes, go get a glass of water and don't do anything while you drink it. Relax and avoid thinking too much for a little while. After all, avoiding breaks hurts your productivity.

Do You Have to Get Sick to Slow Down? [Psychology Today]


Comments

    That may be true but to most people getting sick is no excuse it just means take tablets and keep on going.

    Last edited 22/02/13 2:41 am

      Been there, done that, have the pills to prove it.

      Another side of this is when you do finally take a break, your body assumes it can stop and just collapses. I had three successive annual leaves ('take it or lose it') totally ruined as my body just collapsed from exhaustion.

      Trust me, while it can be important, work is not worth more than your health or your family.

        Same here, it's so hard to get leave approved cos there's always some project or other getting in the way. In the end you are like a junky, your body is riddled with infection but you have no immune response so you are exhausted, as soon as you stop running the symptoms can start and then you feel sick

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