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Five Ways to Avoid the Health Risks of Being Too Busy

*This is a guest post. The opinions expressed are that of the author and do not necessarily reflect my own. 

A life of complete calm and organization is a myth. For most, the daily chaos of life becomes routine and manageable. But when does busy become too busy? And when does too busy start affecting your overall health? To help you assess if you are overextending yourself, the health experts at Envolve, an integrated healthcare solutions company, have put together five health risks of being too busy and what you can do to avoid succumbing to the side-effects. 

Stay Social

You wouldn’t think that being lonely would impact your physical health. But it does. When you overextend yourself you end up missing out or being too tired for those Friday night plans. Social connection is just as important to your health as exercise. When you’re lonely your stress hormones increase, compromising your immune system and increasing your risk for depression and anxiety. Be sure to make time in your schedule to catch up with friends. Try to squeeze in a lunch meet-up or a late-night touch base – even if it is just on your back patio. Or sub the usual text message conversation with an actual phone call. Maintaining relationships is important to warding off feelings of loneliness.

Food for Focus

If you don’t have time to eat, you’re too busy. A balanced diet and consumption of healthy foods throughout the day helps you feel full and make better nutrition choices. Eating promotes a stable immune system and provides the nourishment you need to help with focus and attention. Not eating lowers your energy level and affects your mood, negatively impacting your productivity. If you’re booked solid for a day, try and pack a lunch and healthy snacks the night before. This will help you avoid grabbing fast food or eating from the vending machine. If your cooking skills aren’t up to par or you hate meal prep, consider a home delivery food service of healthy meals to keep you on track.

Study Stressors

Constant stress is bad for your health, both physically and mentally. When you are stressed your body produces a flood of adrenaline and cortisol. These hormones make your blood pressure go up, your heart beat faster, and your muscles tighten causing a feeling of pressure. Excessive stress can turn into anxiety with symptoms ranging from moodiness to headaches and nausea to interrupted sleep patterns. If any of these symptoms sound like something you experience on a daily basis, take time to step back and analyze what’s causing this. It’s hard to focus when you have too many things on your mind. Time management and appropriate scheduling are instrumental in maintaining a feasible workload.

Reprioritize Restoration

Frequently, when your schedule begins to get overloaded with the things you think you must do verses the things you want to do, the first things to go tend to be self-care related. Instead of making time for the gym, you take another meeting, or instead of meal prep, you spend time answering emails. By removing the activities that help keep you healthy, you can experience side effects like weight gain, reduced stamina, increased levels of stress, and poor decision making. Instead of having built up natural energy from a revitalizing activity or exercise, you may reach for more caffeine – which can also elevate blood pressure. Make time for personal growth and maintenance. Block dedicated time on your calendar and stick to your commitments. Doing so helps you make time for the activities that make you happy and keep you healthy.

Support Sleep

You might think being busy would tire you out making it easier to fall and stay asleep. But the opposite is true. When your schedule is overloaded and you start having difficulty completing tasks efficiently, or at all, your mind becomes exhausted. When your mind is constantly reeling and your sleep patterns are inconsistent, or non-existent, your overall health starts to take a hit. When you sleep, your body is resetting in many ways including, resting your brain, muscle repair through the release of growth hormones, and lowered heart rate and blood pressure giving your heart a needed break. Taking stock of the situations and tasks that contribute to the bulk of your stress will help you reprioritize and redistribute your to-do list to not only better manage your day, but allow you to reduce stressors and work in some relaxation before night time.

About the author: 

Envolve, Inc.® is a family of health solutions, working together to make healthcare simpler, more effective and more accessible for everyone. As an agent for change in healthcare, Envolve is committed to transforming the health of the community, one person at a time. For more information, please visit our website www.envolvehealth.com.

About Kimberly

Kimberly Vetrano resides in the suburbs of New York City with her family and "mini zoo" consisting of five cats, a dog and a Goldfish. Kimberly is a teacher's assistant for a Kindergarten class. When she is not working or blogging, Kimberly enjoys taking photos of nature and hanging out with family and friends.