The frenetic lifestyle that many people live today is very harmful. Rushing here and there, being constantly on call, balancing multiple layers of responsibility may give you a sense of accomplishment – even make you feel important, but it takes a huge toll on every aspect of life.
When you constantly push yourself to take on more and more challenges, it is easy to lose sight of why you wanted to be successful in the first place. For many, the reason was to be able to spend less time working and enjoy life more. A frenetic, high-pressure lifestyle creates exactly the opposite.
There is a very dark side to constantly pushing yourself to produce more and more. Unfortunately, it creeps up on you and becomes a serious case of self-negligence.
When you are busy and driven every minute of every day and well into the evening, it is easy to neglect important things in life that keep you healthy, happy, and create quality of life. A continual stream of urgent tasks that must be completed will overshadow the not-so-urgent, but important activities that make life worth living.
It is not just physical well-being that is neglected – mental and emotional well-being also suffer when there is no time for self-care.
Areas of Neglect
When your daily schedule is crammed to overflowing one of the first areas of neglect is your diet. Eating regular, nutritious meals become a thing of the past. You are not only too busy to sleep or even take a deep breath now and then, there is no time to prepare decent meals
Convenience foods, frozen dinners, take out and fast foods become the norm. It is a steady diet of additive filled, sugar and fat-filled dishes, loaded with empty calories that provide minimal nutrition and damage the body. It is impossible to sustain any level of good health on such a diet.
When you burn the candle at both ends, there is a good chance you will pay the price of poor health. Inadequate rest carries both short- and long-term consequences.
Short-term lack of sleep can affect moods, cognitive ability, memory, judgment and increase the risk of accidents and injury.
Long-term, chronic sleep deprivation can set you on the path to serious health problems such cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and even early death.
In addition to endangering your own health, you may also be endangering others because of the toll it takes on your perception and judgement. In the work place it results in inefficiency, decreased productivity, and dangerous mistakes that can cause accidents. And, of course, driving while exhausted can be deadly.
Far too many people are overweight in the United States and obesity is on the rise. Many are calling it an epidemic of the 21st Century. This is primarily the result of poor diet and lack of exercise, which are the result of busy, hectic, work-focused lifestyles.
Regular exercise is a critical factor in maintaining good health. That will never change. When it is a missing piece, sustainable good health is nearly impossible. Even if you take the time to eat well – if you live a completely sedentary life, you are putting your health in jeopardy.
Lack of exercise is as deadly as smoking. Physical inactivity has been declared the culprit in the rising death rates from coronary disease, type 2 diabetes, plus breast and colon cancer.
You should never be too busy to exercise!
Busy people forget to have fun (re-create themselves). If you ask a very busy professional what s/he does for fun, the answer may be anything from a blank stare to a quick, “Who has time for fun?”
This may not seem serious at first glance; but, never having time for fun and relaxation can have serious negative impact on mental and emotional stability. They are just as important to good health as nutrition, exercise, and sleep.
Hobbies, play, relaxation techniques, and simple fun activities have therapeutic and regenerative effects on both physical and mental health.
Studies show that people with anger management issues or who struggle with anxiety and/or depression can often trace the cause back to a lack of joy in life that is found in fun and relaxing activities with friends and family.
Regardless of your profession – doctor, chef, mechanic, professional athlete, or garbage man – you need time to unwind and enjoy yourself
Without fun and relaxation as a significant part of your lifestyle, you are setting yourself up for problems related to chronic stress.
Stress is a killer! It leads to obesity, heart attacks, high blood pressure, chronic headaches, depression, and temporary personality disorders, etc. It can also destroy relationships, break up families, and decrease the desire to continue living. There is no aspect of life that is free from the necrotic touch of chronic stress.
Dreams No Longer Matter
Another serious danger of a frenetic lifestyle is that you can eventually reach a point where dreams no longer matter, which can alter the course of your life.
Life-long dreams – the catalyst to your ambition – the ideals that pulled you into the future may dim and eventually disappear completely from your consciousness.
After years of life-draining work, the dream can be forgotten and replaced by the time-consuming, demanding career that takes everything you have to give.
No one intentionally gives up on achieving their dreams, but the intense focus of a person’s mind, life, and soul around the means to the end eventually becomes the end in itself, leaving no room for the original dreams to exist.
When a person places all his time, talent, and energy on something long enough, that “something” begins to absorb the entire mind and becomes the central focus of his life. It is the only thing that his mind is capable of comprehending – and possibly the only that he is capable of wanting.
He loses his healthy zest for life, and he has nothing but obligations, responsibilities, and productivity goals – with no end point in sight. Life is about the work and nothing more.
Living in a constant rush of cortisol and adrenaline, a person loses the ability to enjoy friends, family, hobbies and life – hopes and dreams for the future no longer exist.
Instead of enjoying life, one merely tries to beat it.
Don’t Let Life Lose Its Meaning
Living every day filled with hectic, intense activity and constant stress creates an existence of a meaningless chain of milestones that lead nowhere.
You must take the time to stop! Disconnect! Breathe!
You must remember that life exists outside of work. Without the little moments of love, joy, laughter, and even struggles, life is meaningless.
Setting goals and milestones can be great as long as you don’t forget why you set them. There were reasons – don’t lose sight of those.
On the other hand, everyone has crazy days or weeks now and then – that is part of life in the world today. But notice, I said “now and then” not all the time. SLOW DOWN and LIVE!