Stress blog

Even superheroes have limits

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. January 19, 2011

Need more help?

If the stress in your life is more than you can cope with, get help right away.

  • National Suicide Prevention Lifeline
    1-800-273-TALK (8255)
  • Go to the nearest hospital or emergency room
  • Call your physician, health provider or clergy
  • National Alliance on Mental Illness
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

It's very easy to look at other people and have a sense of envy. You know the type — people who seem to have it all, are popular, financially secure and professionally revered. But at the end of the day, they're still human and they have limits like everyone else. This was brought home to me recently by a chance encounter.

At a wonderful social gathering, there were several individuals I knew casually. One gentleman was a "rock star" in our profession, an acknowledged speaker, a revered scientist whose opinion was sought after by corporations and security agencies. He always keeps a suitcase packed and has a James Bond lifestyle.

He shared with our gathering that his professional year is so intense in terms of proposals and writings that by October he is completely exhausted. He's learned that if he doesn't take off time in November and December he won't have the energy to keep going.

Another important lesson here — you must recognize your limits. You only have so much energy and so much focus. If you allow yourself to become worn down, you won't be able to use your gifts and skills to serve those who depend on you.

So as you head into this new year, remember you have an opportunity to take care of yourself. Don't let it fall by the wayside, because if your health deteriorates nothing else really matters.


Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

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Jan. 19, 2011