As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that creating a healthy balance and setting a reasonable pace gets you further in the long run.
Have you ever pushed yourself too hard? Have you ever driven too fast? I know I have. Whether it’s at work, exercise or even play, pushing too hard can lead to a breakdown.
When I was younger, I went through several cars over a period of a few years. Why? Because I was driving hard and fast, but I wasn’t maintaining my engines. Men have a tendency to this: we get so focused on something that we forget about our engines. But we need to take care of ourselves. The first step is recognizing when we’re on the wrong track.
Signs That You’re Heading for a Crash at Work
- You stay up late to complete projects, reducing the amount of healthy sleep needed to reenergize your body and mind.
- You spend less and less time with family and friends because you’re stressed out to get things done at work.
- You eat less healthy foods or skip meals completely.
- You become agitated easily and get angry with those who you love the most.
- You get burned out with what you’re doing and wish you could quit.
Signs That You’re Driving Too Hard at Exercise
- You set goals that are too extreme and push yourself to reach them regardless of your body’s physical signals.
- You ignore minor injuries and continue to exercise at full intensity.
- You exercise even when you lack sleep or have not allowed your body to rest as needed.
Signs That You’re Playing Too Hard
Even the simplest of activities can cause injury. I spend a lot of time writing and playing music. I’ve discovered that these activities can wreak havoc if I let them. Here are some bad signs:
- You have an extremely sore neck or back from sitting and working on screens for long periods of time. Sitting for long periods of time has been proven to shorten lifespan.
- You get so caught up with your projects that your basic responsibilities get overlooked. Missing bill payments or having no clean clothes to wear are signs.
- Your personal relationships take a backseat to your creative projects or other play that is keeping you occupied.
How Do We See the Warning Signs?
Here’s the problem. Often, men don’t even see the warning signs. We get so caught up in driving that we don’t notice the hairpin curve ahead. We’re having fun. We’re excited about our progress. We want to complete the project. We forget to check the engine light.
Our cars can’t check their own engine lights. We can’t always see our own engine lights. So here’s a great way to get a good reading on your own engine.
- Ask others: Ask your family members and your friends if they think you’re driving too hard.
- Listen to others: If someone shows concern about your well-being, listen. They may or may not know you well, but they may be seeing things from another perspective. They may see the warning signs before you do because of their own experiences.
- Schedule downtime: We can’t drive our cars nonstop. We have to give the engine a rest, or it will blow up. We have to do the same for ourselves. Create a schedule that includes purposeful time off. I make Sunday my day of rest. I spend time relaxing with friends and family.
There have been a couple of periods in my life when I’ve let driving too hard get the best of me. It led to physical illness, emotionally distraught, and relationship problems. As I’ve aged, I’ve learned that creating a healthy balance and setting a reasonable pace gets you further in the long run. A long breakdown will set you back.
Are you driving too hard? If you are, maybe it’s time to slow down a little before you crash.
Photo: Flickr/ Ben Nyberg