Stress blog

Don't forget the 'life' in work-life balance

By Edward T. Creagan, M.D. February 19, 2010

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
    www.nami.org
    1-800-950-NAMI (6264)

The explosion in technology has completely transformed our world. We've become a "digital village" and we can connect to almost anyone day or night, rain or shine.

Once upon a time, when we left the office, the factory or the firm at the end of the day, we left our work behind. Our homes didn't contain computers, high-speed Internet connections or fax machines. Being home meant being disengaged from the demands of the work world. We had leisure time to connect with our family and friends. We had the luxury of time to relax, read and reflect.

The walls of our homes no longer protect us, however. Because we're always "connected," we never really leave work behind. We're now impaled by "weisure" — being on the clock even on our leisure time. Even a paralyzing snow storm, such as the East Coast recently encountered, doesn't close the virtual office. So much for enjoying a "snow day" from work or school.

The expectation that we be available 24/7 can be soul-crushing. We all know the statistics about how overwork can negatively affect our physical and mental health.

So what can we do? The answer is really very simple: We're individuals who can make choices and, at some point, we have to say "enough is enough." We have to carve out time to simply chill and recharge our batteries. Only then can we go back into the arena with energy, focus and commitment.

With

Edward T. Creagan, M.D.

Follow on Twitter: @EdwardCreagan

Join the discussion at #Stress.

55 Comments Posted

Feb. 19, 2010