A Relaxing Holiday?

Thanksgiving weekend is a time for family and friends and more often than not, a time we overindulge.  A mini-vacation (I left for home last Tuesday night) to relax, eat and be merry.  There were definitely huge amounts of time to relax, a ton of food to eat and moments of merriment to be had.  In the back of my mind, though, I had work looming.  I knew there was a tight deadline for a proposal due the Friday after Thanksgiving week and that lingered in my consciousness for the duration of last week.  And as much as I wanted to relax, I couldn’t do so for extended periods of time.  I found myself bored of relaxing after an hour or two.  I felt like I had to do something and became anxious when I wasn’t.  So I turned to food, shopping and my favorite social networking site.  During the hours after I became bored of relaxing, I either stuffed my face, went to the mall or outlet shopping with family or actively searched for people to chat with online.

Thoughtful reflection and assessment of the past five days leads me to conclude that some people always need some mental stimulation.  It is possible to stress out over having nothing to do and relaxation is hard when there are unresolved issues on one’s mind.  But I made it a priority and even forced myself to take a break this weekend.  I made the mistake of bringing some work with me and as a result, I felt guilty for not making any progress on it.  However, by taking that break, I feel as though I have avoided potential burn out.  By forcing myself to take a break last week, now I feel recharged and I am confident that I will produce quality results with a deadline just days away.

One of our bloggers, Luke Manley, also discussed this in his blog a few months back.  This is definitely an important topic in our society – the ability and discipline to maintain the work-life balance and the ability to recognize when we each need to take a step back from all the stress and fully let go, albeit briefly.  The Mayo Clinic, a great resource for health topics, developed a practical article on the work-life balance, which you can access here.

Achieving balance is a dynamic process.  If you have any tips, suggestions or any questions on managing the stresses of work and life, please feel free to email me at ramonl@menshealthnetwork.net and let’s help each other!

Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES

View posts by Ramon P. Llamas, MPH, CHES
Ramon holds a Masters in Public Health degree with an emphasis on health promotion and health education from the University of Southern California Keck School of Medicine and a BS in biological sciences and biomedical engineering from the University of California, Irvine. He is a member of the Men's Health Caucus of the American Public Health Association. His background includes health promotion at the US DHHS in Washington, DC and Director of Programs for Men's Health Network.
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