“When I look back on all these worries, I remember the story of the old man who said on his deathbed that he had had a lot of trouble in his life, most of which had never happened.”
– Winston Churchill
It seems the world just continues to move faster and faster. We have our news available in a split second, we can call anyone from anywhere with our mobile phones (and even see them on the other end), we can now see our tv shows on demand, and obtain a college degree at our leisure from the comfort of our own desk chairs.
However, with all the convenience comes higher stress levels and more anxiety. Is it because we now expect on the spot responses from those we text or email? Are we now working our jobs around the clock because we take our computers and phones to bed and can do work till midnight? It seems that deadlines are so much faster and harder to meet because no one wants to be last to the table and everyone wants the information yesterday. I grew up in the 80s and still remember mailing letters to my friends through snail mail and waiting a week or two for a response. It might be because I was a child, but people slowed down in the summer and enjoyed it. My parents spent their weekends with us at the pool or at our swim meets and soccer games. We ate dinner together most nights and my parents tucked us kids into bed.
Now it seems everyone works ALL the time. We are on our phones constantly and if we aren’t on the phone, we are behind the computer. Its no wonder we are stressed out. No one seems to take time off to just do nothing. With all the bad news out there–the terrorism, the animal and child abuse, the fires, earthquakes, drought, famine, and even the election–that is a A LOT of negativity to take in day in and day out. It was all there before, but it wasn’t coming at us every second of every day with the internet and 24 hour news channels. Its no wonder we have a nation that suffers depression, stress, and anxiety.
So how do we alleviate this stress? I wish I knew the answer. I have many friends in my network who have gone into health and wellness positions because there is a huge market for people needing alternative ways to relieve symptoms. Yoga centers are thriving as are cross fit centers, chiropractors and juice bars. Are they fads? Only time will tell. However, the trend is there. We are looking for ways to de-stress that doesn’t cost thousands of dollars or come in a pill form.
I wish we would slow down, enjoy dinners outside on the patio with our families, make time to have brunch with friends, and realize the work we do will be there in the morning. As long as you’re not fighting a real fire somewhere (God bless our firefighters taking on the wildfires in CA lately), your family and life outside of work needs to be just as important.
On our deathbeds, do we want to remember the stressful parts of our lives or the great, fun, laughter we had with our family and friends? I want to look back and remember I lived my life the way I wanted with family and friends and a job I loved. I want to love my job enough where I reflect back and know it was good stress and not bad.