Mental health is a big part of learning about addiction and recovery. When you understand mental health needs, you have a new means of looking at how you want recovery to look. Work has evolved as a means of identity for many who believe success is the way to the top. Men often work longer hours now than ever and feel pressure to be successful to support their families. Working longer hours and working harder does not necessarily equate to making more money for many men, since many low paid jobs require manual labor and lower pay. However, college-educated men who work professional careers often believe they must sacrifice their health to attain success. Redefining what this means can greatly support men’s mental and physical health.
Happiness is difficult to define as it is influenced by many variables. People feel happy for different reasons across the board. In the United States, people who work harder do not necessarily feel happier overall with their lives. Half the time, workers do not take their paid time off or vacation time at all or even work on vacation. It seems the culture is now to be always available, always ‘on,’ and never completely ‘off,’ while away. Instead of working regular hours, many are putting in extreme hours to keep up with productivity required at their jobs. The key to avoiding burnout at work is to find a means of working less hours to find more time in the day for restful, peaceful activities.
The risk of defining success by how many hours are worked or how successful a person is that they prioritize productivity over everything else. People are more likely to abuse drugs or alcohol as a result of drug-related stress. Longer hours, no vacation time, and less space to breathe means more pressure on people than ever to perform. Placing self-worth or happiness at work will always end in disappointment as there is a never-ending list of attainable goals that need to be met. Putting work first means people typically suffer. Some tips to help redefine success:
- Bank vacation time and take longer weekends here and there
- Completely shut off work while away (when possible)
- Seek help for mental health or addiction issues
- Create self-care routine to take care of yourself
- Scale back hours worked or find work that provides opportunity for space to breathe and not just feel overwhelmed by your workload
Meditation and yoga are one practice to help navigate the challenges of stress at work but you can find many opportunities to relax and enjoy time away from work by getting away from the computer and out into nature. This means less time on social media and more time engaging with family and friends in person. Scheduling time to be together with them is important for your journey of healing in recovery from overwork and seeking support for lingering issues, including addiction or mental health challenges.
The Last Resort provides a safe, supportive environment for men in a retreat-like setting. Nature is an important component of recovery and healing. We strive to provide a place of enrichment that cultivates the inner as well as the outer journey of recovery. However you find your way to the Last Resort, we endeavor to provide a haven where you can journey through recovery feeling like your life and story have meaning and a purpose. Call us to find out more: 512-750-6750.