Are You Literally Killing Yourself at Work?

May 12, 2015, Written by Sue Miley

BlogHEALTHHow do you know if you are healthy or not?

When I was in the corporate world, I was not healthy…..physically, emotionally or spiritually. But I didn’t know it.

I would wake up really early to get to work at our 7:30 am starting time. The first step in my day was coffee. Then, I took Sudafed to breathe. Around 10 am, I still started getting a headache….everyday. This is about the time I began eating Advil or Tylenol.

My stomach was constantly in knots. I won’t discuss details except to say that I never have stomach issues anymore unless I have an actual virus.

I was extremely dehydrated because I was taking decongestants and drinking coffee all day…no water.

I just adjusted to my symptoms. I never worked on my health, the core issue.

Factors that Contributed to My Lack of Health

Stress alone was a big part of it. I was really concerned about performance all of the time and I know that created stress. Emotionally, I thought I dealt with it well. I just bottled it up and kept it from impacting those around me.

That was great for my team, but that increased my physical symptoms. My jaw began to hurt daily. I felt like I was always running on adrenaline.

I didn’t want to complain because I thought this was a great life – a wonderful family and a challenging career. I didn’t say anything at home either. When I did, my husband just told me I needed to slow down. I needed to stop worrying about work stuff. So I stuffed the work stuff and just dealt with it.

I was unhealthy. And back then I didn’t have a relationship with Jesus to lean on. I didn’t have His worldview to help me to understand that the stuff I was worrying about and working so hard on didn’t really matter. I didn’t have Spiritual health to guide me.

And I didn’t even know it.

It could have been my age. I was in my late twenties and still thought I was invincible. It could have been my narrow education of anything that wasn’t business related.

Maybe if someone had told me I was killing myself, literally, I would have listened. But no one did. I actually received praise all of the time for killing myself.

Do you know when I realized how unhealthy I was?

When I stopped.

When I left the corporate world to take care of my family and pursue my education to become a Christian counselor, things began to change.

5 Things that Changed My Health

Here is what changed for me:

  1. I became a Christian. I now had God’s view of what is important and my priorities changed dramatically. I knew work was not the most important thing in my life. This provided me clarity to pursue different work.
  2. Once I was out of the corporate world, my stress immediately reduced. I mean if my stress was a 10 on a 10-point scale, it became a 3 overnight. The immediate relief from stress changed my physical health dramatically over that first year. My stomach became solid and my jaw started moving again. All of the sudden, these symptoms just disappeared.
  3. Changing how I ate was the next most significant event. Even before my recent eating changes with a health coach, I still made a significant shift when I was home to cook for myself. I stopped eating out so much and we didn’t have a nanny cooking rich sauces and casseroles. In general, I am a grilled meat and steamed vegetable kind of girl.
  4. Focusing on Scripture. Moving my life in the direction that God and the Holy Spirit were guiding me changed everything in my spiritual and emotional health. My top 3 traits of worry, guilt, and financial obsession changed significantly. Again, now they are maybe a 2-3 on a 10 point scale, when they used to be a 15 on a 10 point scale. (This is the one activity that keeps me grounded even today.)
  5. Exercising and sleeping well. These were a hold out. I really don’t like to exercise. And I didn’t realize I needed 7-8 hours of sleep per night. I thought I was good on 5-6 hours. That extra couple of hours makes a big difference.

I am a lot healthier at 50 than I was at 30. I am healthier physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The key for me now is how aware I am of health and healthy living. It didn’t come from reading or working with a health coach.

My awareness came from watching people around me.

  • My parents as they aged.
  • Seeing the impact of poor health on other family members.
  • Meeting with counseling clients with anxiety and depression.
  • Meeting with business clients who aren’t taking care of themselves, and don’t realize, like I didn’t, that they aren’t healthy.
  • Listening to the prayer requests at church, at least 95% of which are health-related.
  • Watching health care costs skyrocket.

When I became a Christian, I learned that I didn’t have to wait until I died to go to Heaven. I fully realized that eternity with Christ began now. I can live a more purposeful and meaningful life living for Christ daily. I can experience His unconditional love now.

I have also learned that living a healthier lifestyle physically and emotionally has benefits today. I hope it helps me to live longer and to maintain a high functioning life while I am in this world. But more importantly, each day can be better now because I feel better, worry less, and focus on God’s calling on my life.

I don’t want you to be like I was…..unhealthy and unaware.

If you are stressed, don’t feel well without caffeine, painkillers, and other chemically induced remedies, this is for you:

You aren’t healthy!

I’m telling you because I wish someone had told me!

Reader Interactions

Comments

  1. AvatarBrett says

    Magnificent article Sue! Your writing skills are clear and effective. The Holy Spirit I felt was all over your article. I was touched; thanks for sharing. I hope hundreds of people read and benefit from it:)

    With kind regards,
    Brett

  2. AvatarSue Miley says

    Hi Enda, You have to take care of your health. Without it, your business and family will suffer, just as you will. Set a reasonable schedule and pray that the Lord will provide a harvest for your labor. I have done the opposite before, and it didn’t help me to be more successful and it did effect my health. I will be praying for you!

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Sue Miley

Sue Miley MBA, MA, LPC helps small business owners build successful businesses on a foundation of Christian values. After 20 years in business, and 10 years as a Christian counselor, Sue uses a combination of faith, business and psychology to help clients in business and in life.