Why Health Should Be Your Biggest Priority by Julissa Higgins

Living in a country that is based on consumerism means that the majority of society values hard work and plenty of spending. To some extent, these things should be followed. Hard work is important, but at what point does too much ambition and hard work turn into an unhealthy quality? Well, the answer is simple: when it’s not healthy anymore.

Yes, it is that easy. When there’s no time to sleep for 3 days straight because of a demanding amount of work, when you cannot enjoy a meal without rushing, when stress is your biggest, and most loyal, enemy – that’s when it’s time to slow down a bit. Of course, there are ways of helping the matter sometimes. If you’re not getting any sleep because you procrastinate, complete your work early. But what about the times it’s not in our control? That’s when you have to draw the line and know what to prioritize.

Life is about balance, and work is no different. If you’re working as hard as you can but have no time to rest, then make time for health. That is, after all, the most important thing each of us have. All work and no rest means that burning out becomes a lot easier. All work and no rest means that sick days are a lot more likely. All work and no rest means that quality of life likely decreases. And here’s why it’s simple: We’re all in this world to have a good time.

It’s not always easy to break the cycle of working unbearably hard, but it starts with knowing what you really want from life. Living every day like it’s the last, working hard and playing hard – there’s nothing too complicated in that. Knowing that you deserve rest is essential to creating a work-life balance.

But too much hard work does not only have short-term consequences. According to stress.org, “40% of workers reported their job was very or extremely stressful.” Stress and heart disease almost go hand-in-hand. Too much stress is a major contributor to coronary heart disease. In fact, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the United States.

But this, of course, is not very surprising; it is a well-known fact. But why then, do people know this and do nothing about it? More often than not, they feel like they don’t have a choice. Most may feel like they can’t function in a society if they are not working as hard as they possibly can. The opposite may be true, but too many people are scared to find out.

Of course, there is nothing wrong with being a hard worker. In fact, it’s an admirable quality. But when hard work is making you border on insanity, it turns from admirable to pitiful.

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