This week we celebrate Labor Day, a time to give thanks for our occupations and for all those that work so hard at their jobs. Ironically enough, many of us celebrate it by taking the day off, closing our stores and businesses, taking that last long weekend of the summer. Even though it might seem slightly strange to commemorate our labor force by taking the day off, there is good reason for days like Labor Day. Research shows that taking time off to rest and have fun is very beneficial to our bodies and minds.
Overworking and Substance Abuse
In the world of substance abuse, many people who get involved with drugs or alcohol say the stress in their lives is what led them to start with their addiction. Many times, overworked laborers will go to the bar after work to unwind. Sometimes this casual drinking leads to drinking more and more to feel better or drinking during the day to get by.
Prescription painkiller addiction can start with an injury or sickness due to overworking that needs to be treated by a doctor. But after a while it is easy for a person to take additional pills to help them feel even better and more easily deal with stress, and that leads to addiction. In many different instances, a person’s profession, that which we celebrate every Labor Day, is actually causing the stress that makes them feel they can’t function without drugs or alcohol.
Besides the number of people that use drugs or alcohol to deal with their work stress, there are other side effects of working too much. People that work too much can become sick, depressed, withdrawn, anxious, and suffer from backaches, headaches, and fatigue. When we look at all these things combined, we can see why we all look forward to days off.
Dealing with Workplace Stress
It is a good idea for those that work hard every day to schedule some down time into each week. Whether it is spending time with family or friends, time alone, or taking time for a favorite hobby, our bodies and minds need the time away from the pressures of work. Besides taking time off of work, there are things we can do to keep a healthy body and mind in this fast-paced world. We can take moments here and there throughout the day to do something healthy for our body or mind. We might not be able to take the whole day off, but eating a healthy lunch alone in a park can do wonders for a person. We can work on communicating and interacting in a positive way with co-workers. Exercising, getting more sleep, and taking time to renew ourselves spiritually can also help get us through the pressures of work. By focusing on healthy things to deal with stress, there won’t be time to get involved with drugs or alcohol in order to cope.