November 22, 2017

Did you switch off and de-stress this summer?




Did you take time off this summer?

I mean really take time off?

Did you switch off and de-stress? 

No access to work emails, social media etc.?

Did you take a complete mental and physical break from work?

Or did you take a few peaks at your emails?

Did you spend a little time each day just touching base or checking in, just to see how things were going?


I’m amazed how many people, spend a least part of their holiday working. I spoke to a businesswoman earlier in the week that had spent 3 days of her 14-day break catching up on work stuff. Another person I spoke to said they always check their emails for 30 minutes each morning when on holiday. Another told me the always log on to their work email on the Sunday evening before they go back to work to “sort out and prioritise their emails”.

This is a common problem that many experience, the ever-creeping increase in the time we spend switched on to work.In Germany the government is so worried about the effect of not allowing time to de-stress on the nations health that they have commissioned research to look into the effects of the 24/7 culture on mental wellbeing. And some of the big German corporates are even putting policies in place to force employees to switch off from work and de-stress. Daimler for example, has installed software that automatically deletes work email sent out of hours. It seems extreme, but if the culture has become so warped that employees feel compelled to check and respond to emails out of hours then extreme steps have to be taken to change the behaviour.

I know when I’m coaching my clients one of the common behaviours we have to address is the need to be ‘super women’ and ‘be available to everyone all the time’. Working on re-establishing acceptable boundaries, implementing them and re-prioritising you, as Number 1 in order to be able to de-stress properly is all part of achieving better balance, reducing stress and restoring wellbeing.


So what happens if we all carry on with this 24/7 365 day switched on culture?

Well, we will see an even greater increase in mental ill health, an even higher incidence of cancer and more people living with chronic health problems from a younger age. Sorry to be bearers of bad news but we only have ourselves to blame.

This is because is this 24/7 switched on life leads to the types of stress related illnesses that can and will crush your health and wellbeing.

You see stress is accumulative, and it’s that constant build up, the never quite switching off properly that causes such damage to the body. When our body is in this 24/7 mode it’s like the stress button constantly switched on. The problem is that whilst this is happening the body is in crisis ‘fight or flight’ mode, which means essential repair and renew programmes cannot be run. We need to run renew and repair to ensure good health, good hormone levels and a strong immune system. We can only run these programmes when we have switched off properly and our body has de-stressed.

And if we behave in this ‘switched on 24/7 mode year after year it is inevitably that we will find ourselves with health problems like difficulty sleeping, hormone imbalances, digestive problems, high blood pressure, weight gain, anxiety, depression and all of these can lead to cancer, heart disease or stroke.


So how do we change?

Well it’s encouraging that big corporates are starting to implement changes. Don’t kid yourself that they really, really care though. They are doing it because if they don’t, the risk of huge lawsuits for stress related illness is gigantic. It potentially will cost them billions. And for small businesses and self-employed people the risk of losing a key worker due to stress related ill health is huge too. It could even wipe out your business.

So today I urge you to rethink your work life balance. To reflect on your habits and think twice before you check emails late at night or on weekends or holidays.

And if you’d like help with redressing the balance please book a complimentary 20-minute call with me. On this free call I will help you to identify THE  essential habit that will help you achieve better life balance and potentially save your life! Plus, if you are self-employed or a small business, it could save your business too!

Please note: Your home is at risk if you do not keep up repayments on a mortgage or other loan secured on it and your health is at risk if you do not find out more about the essential habit that will save your life!


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