The Breaking Point
By Jennifer Morrow
You’re constantly on edge at work… you feel tired and unmotivated only 10 minutes into your workout… you’re going to scream if your child says “Mommy” one more time.
Did you realize that these are actually warning signals from your body that your breaking point is near? Trusty Wikipedia defines a breaking point as “stress at which a person breaks down or a situation becomes crucial.” Seems serious, huh? But, many of us simply push past these sorts of mental and physical warning signs.
On-the-job stress is especially high these days with downsizing and the recession. “People are putting in long hours, taking work home and giving up much-needed vacation time,” says Bryan E. Robinson, Ph.D., author of Chained to the Desk. “Many of us are so busy we don’t even eat lunch anymore.” Some argue that stress is all in a day’s work, but that daily pressure may be harming your health.
“Chronic stress has seriously damaging effects,” says Naomi Swanson, Ph.D., a researcher with the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health. “If your job stresses you out, your natural defenses are constantly on high alert.” Stress hormones, like cortisol, flood your body, and the buildup may have a wear-and-tear effect.
Work stress can be just as bad on your mental and physical well-being as smoking and not exercising.
Speaking of exercising, a growing number of male and female athletes are actually working out too much. Overtraining can cause overuse injuries and chronic fatigue. Not only does your body need time to recover, but you will have a better chance of reaching your desired physical goals. “It is no secret among athletes that in order to improve performance you’ve got to work hard,” says Mark Jenkins, MD. “However, hard training breaks you down and makes you weaker. It is rest that makes you stronger. Physiologic improvement in sports only occurs during the rest period following hard training.”
Without diminishing the mental stress of the workplace or the physical stress of athletic training, busy Moms may have it the worst of all. It doesn’t matter if you’re a career mom trying to balance work and family or a stay-at-home mom trying to run the household and manage the many children’s activities. “It can become so easy to fall into the mommy guilt trap where you start to neglect yourself. Many moms feel guilty if they take time for themselves and end up taking care of everyone else around them, pushing their own needs aside. This ultimately will leave you feeling burnt out, stressed out, unhappy and sometimes resentful,” says Life Coach Aurelia Williams of RealLifeCoaching.net.
“Everybody has a breaking point,” says Dr. Robinson. “The goal is to realize you’ve hit yours long before the physical symptoms of stress set in.” So listen to your body and commit yourself to taking breaks when those signals go off.
Taking breaks can go a long way in helping your body recover from any activity. A great tip is to schedule recovery days into your weekly routine. Healthy Lounge in Downtown Greenville is a convenient and affordable place to do just that. Rapid Recharge with hi-tech massage, an Oxygen session or a healthy drink or snack. Your body will thank you!
For more information, visit www.healthylounge.com or e-mail Jennifer at firstname.lastname@example.org
you can also connect though Twitter @healthylounge