One of the greatest deprecations to health due to a hectic lifestyle comes in the form of negligence. Typically when a person gets so busy with all the “most important” things in life they often forget to make time for the activities that might not be so urgent but that still have a huge impact on quality of life. One of those important activities is exercise.
The percentage of overweight and sedentary individuals has been on the constant rise for many years, in no small part thanks to a busy, work-packed life. Exercise is one of the largest factors in maintaining good health throughout the years and anything that threatens to remove that piece of the puzzle puts the rest of the game in jeopardy.
Even if someone stays strong and manages to make room in their life for exercise, there are usually other factors of maintenance that are neglected.
When life gets to be too much to handle, good nutrition tends to be the first thing to go. Many people are too busy to sleep or breathe, let alone sit down and prepare a decent home-cooked meal. Fast food and TV dinners three times a day quickly become the substitute, and it goes without saying just how hard it can be to get consistently healthy fare on a fast food diet.
Mental and emotional health too suffers when there isn’t enough room on the plate for self-care. When asked what hobbies and activities they do for fun, many professionals will shrug their shoulders and say “none.”
While this might not appear destructive on the surface, it can actually have severe consequences to mental and emotional stability. Relaxation and fun are just as important to good health as vitamins and sleep are.
Hobbies And Recreation
Numerous studies have demonstrated the therapeutic and regenerative effect that hobbies and recreation can have on both physical and mental health. Many people who suffer from anger management issues, anxiety, and other emotional disturbances could probably trace the cause back to a drought of fun and relaxation. Whether you’re a neurosurgeon or a garbage man, everybody needs to take a little bit of time to unwind and enjoy themselves.
A lack of fun and relaxation leads to the fourth detriment to health caused by an overly chaotic life, and that is chronic stress.
There are countless studies that expound the plethora of negative health consequences that stress produces, from heart attacks to weight problems and from depression to temporary personality disorders.
There seems to be no aspect of life that is free from the necrotic touch of chronic stress. Many marriages have ended because of financial reasons, quite possibly due to the constant stress fostered by deep financial issues. It is very difficult to maintain the passion of love alive when stress consumes every waking thought.
Means Without An End
The fifth and final detriment to health caused by a hectic lifestyle is that it can quite possibly change the course of your entire life. It is not uncommon to hear of cases where an individual began working towards a career goal with the idea of using that career to achieve some long sought-after dream. After years of life-draining work however, the dream is forgotten and replaced by the career itself.
It isn’t that the individual gave up on achieving the dream, but rather that after focusing their entire mind, life, and soul around the means to the end, the means eventually became an end in itself, crowding out the original dream entirely.
It is natural consequence that when a person obsesses and stresses over something for long enough, that thought or idea begins to absorb the entire mind, becoming the central focus of life.
The effect is basically that one trains her mind so much to think about the means, the career, the finances or whatever, that eventually that idea becomes the only thing that the mind is capable of comprehending, and maybe even the only thing that the mind capable of desiring.
Where once a healthy zest for life once dwelled, there now resides a trojan horse of empty time trials and productivity goals, with no real end point in sight.
This is the ultimate trap of the hectic lifestyle, where one gets so used to living in a constant rush of cortisol and adrenaline that he forgets how to enjoy the company of his friends and family, or loses interest in the hobbies and dreams that once gave her hope and longing for the future. Instead of enjoying life, one merely tries to beat it.
Existence becomes a meaningless chain of milestones that lead nowhere.
For that reason alone it is imperative to take some time to stop, disconnect, sniff the roses, and maybe even the moldy bananas beside the sink, just for the sake of remembering that life still exists outside the workplace, because if life wasn’t made up of the little moments of love, joy, laughter, and struggle, then what would be left?
Having goals and milestones is great, as long as they don’t make you lose sight of the fulfillment you hoped to gain from them. In like manner, having a crazy week or two here and there is just fine, as long as it doesn’t become the norm.