Work-balance has become a premium commodity, partially due to technology’s uber-connectedness facilitating a workday that just never ends, and partially due to the lingering effects of a Great Recession where (most) everyone is just grateful to have a job (even if it does require 60+ hours a week).
While tech innovations were supposed to make our lives easier, and changing employee demographics were expected to refocus the American workplace on non-work-related aspects of life (community, family, and health), the average U.S. full-time employee is clocking just under 50 hours a week (approximately six days a week) and reporting decreasing quality of life standards as they progress through their economically-slumped career.
For those of us that got our professional start mid-Recession (looking at you, fellow Millennials), it can be increasingly difficult to not just “take what we can get” work-wise, as ending up unemployed, homeless, and defaulted on our student loans isn’t ever that far from reality.
If you’re like me, juggling the work-stuff with the personal stuff often comes at the expense of well-being.
I have a very on-again/off-again, love-hate relationship with my smartphone.
As a marketing professional that spends 6+ hours a day on social media, I can’t exactly ditch the device and still pay my bills.
As an avid outdoorswoman (yes, that is a word) that really, really enjoys breaks from the 9-to-5 screentime, I pretty much continually fantasize about throwing my always-there mobile device off the peak of a Colorado 14er, watching as it shatters into a thousand inoperable pieces on the rocks below.
I’ve done digital detoxes (LOVE!!!), commit to frequent screen breaks, and stick to a pretty rigid schedule of when I’m staring into that little Wi-Fi powered box and when I’m not. Overall, I’d say I have a pretty healthy relationship with technology, especially since my job depends on spending a LOT of time online. It takes commitment, and structure, but (most of the time) it works.
Social media – an empowering platform or unnecessary evil? Depends on who you ask.
As a marketing consultant and millennial blogger, I spend a lot of time on social media. Posting, streaming, tweeting, and snapping my life, along with the curated content of my client’s, is broadcasted 24/7. The internet never sleeps, and given that my bread and butter is reliant on social media, I found it tempting to justify being “plugged in” around the clock.
Turns out, I’m not the only super “social” professional out there; recent studies show that Americans check their phones an average of 46 times a day and spend over two hours a day logged into a social media platform (some studies reported upwards of five hours a day). Constantly being plugged into social apps has been repeatedly linked with dangerous physical and mental health effects, including anxiety, depression, fatigue, headaches, insomnia, neck pain, poor posture, and vision problems. Continue Reading…
Runners are an interesting bunch – up at odd hours, pounding the pavement, eliciting post-holiday sneers as they glide alongside oncoming traffic feeling more than a twinge of guilt about that last slice of Grandma’s pound cake.
A relatively new physiological development (if you’d “gone for a run” in the 1960’s, people would have stopped and asked “What’s chasing you?”), running – and runners – still maintain a fair level of mysticism in regards to their daily exercise practice.
There are currently many over popularized myths surrounding the act of running, with the primary misconception focused on the idea that running requires some special talent or genetic gifting to be a success (who comes up with this stuff?).
What do you think of when you hear the term “mental health”?
Do you have visions of barbaric psychiatric hospitals from America’s past?
Do you become uncomfortable, afraid someone will either start discussing something you don’t want to talk about, or fearful you’ll say something insensitive and stupid in response?
Do you avoid discussing mental health because it’s a topic that we’ve learned to avoid at all costs, in order to dodge unfortunate discrimination and social isolation?
Nearly 44 million American adults–1 in 5 Americans—are affected by a mental health condition in any given year; yet, as a society, we refuse to talk about it.
Guest Post by Kelsey Morgan
When your alarm blares early in the morning hours, do you roll over with a smile on your face, ready to confront the day? Or do you snooze the sound over and over again until you have no choice but to get up, or else be late for work?
For those capable of getting up and ready early in the morning, the pre-dawn workout might not be such a big deal. But for the rest of us, the thought only makes us want to snuggle deeper down into our blankets and hide away from everything — sun and all.
There seems to be this pervasive opinion in the realm of health, though, that states working out in the mornings is better than in the evenings. How true is this statement, though? Does the time of day really matter to your metabolism? To the calories you intake? Last time I checked, neither of those things could tell time. Continue Reading…
Heraclitus, a Greek philosopher that lived a century before Plato, is credited with saying, “The only thing that is constant is change.”
Most of us have experienced tumultuous transition times during our lives.
Sometimes it’s for something exciting, like a new job, a new relationship, or even a new hobby.
Other times, the changes aren’t that awesome, such as the loss of a loved one, organizational downsizing, and moving into a crappy rental.
“Good” or “bad” changes, stress almost always accompanies major life transitions.
Are you nodding your head “Yes” right now? Have you recently experienced big changes in your life? Continue Reading…
Like many young professionals, I wear a lot of hats – business owner, college professor, graduate student, caregiver, etc.
And like many millennials, I’m really into eating healthy and staying fit.
It’s hard to “do all the things” while maintaining a healthy diet (and did we mention “budget-friendly”?).
While I may not have time to prepare home cooked meals every night, nor maintain a half acre garden of organic produce, I do have several options available to make eating right a whole lot easier.
So if you’re tired of feeling overwhelmed with work/school/everything else, and are interested in improving your diet in a way that doesn’t wreck your busy schedule, here are three options out there to help you meet your health goals:
As you may remember from last month, I’d shared my mobile device dependence experience in Unplugging: My First Digital Detox post.
Over the course of three days, I’d gone tech-free (including my phone) and journaled the concerns and emotions ditching my devices brought up.
It wasn’t easy, but it was much needed.
I was so pleased with the health benefits going three days without devices provided that I’ve made this whole “digital detox thing” a regular event.
It’s been a wonderful way to reconnect with the non-tech world, along with myself, recharge and refocus in a way that leaves me towards optimal experiences with my community, family, and work. Continue Reading…
I’ve been taking pictures since Polaroids were a thing.
The whole “Smile! Flash! Shake!” was a pivotal part of my childhood, as I’d set up neighborhood “photo booths” charging kids a quarter for a “Glamour Shot” (in my defense, I had an impressive collection of Disney Princess inspired boas). Eventually, my early photographic style evolved into one that could be classified as more “photojournalistic”; however, that’s not how my neighbors saw it when I climbed over their fence and “documented” their family BBQ from the bushes.
In high school, I had the opportunity to take a few photography classes, but we amateur photographers were still processing film, as the digital option were priced well above my “after school job” budget. Taking photos got real expensive, real quick, so I had to limit the hobby to special occasions, shooting film only a few times a year. Continue Reading…