Saturday, August 25, 2012

All work and no play *will* make you crazy...

When I heard people who were healthy enough to work, but not healthy enough to to anything else then complain that they couldn't do anything else, I thought they were being ungrateful. I thought that I would give anything to be even that healthy, and if I got there, I certainly wouldn't be complaining! But I get it now... it's not that these people are ungrateful. They're expressing a very real, very dangerous situation, where the mind is not given the time it needs to disengage and rest.

If our minds don't have enough downtime during the week... If it's just: work-sleep-work-sleep-work-sleep-(etc)-weekend, then, as a result, our minds see nothing but work for five days straight. There's no unwind time, there's no reducing stress, there's no "walking away" from it for five days. And a two-day weekend is not enough time to unwind from five straight days of work. This is no way for any human to live. This shouldn't be true of people with invisible illnesses, this shouldn't be true for the platinum miners in Africa. It's not healthy.

There are studies out there ranging from farm, factory and mine workers, where the work day is so long that all they do is work. And the results of running a schedule like this are always shown to be brutal. Just because we can, doesn't mean we should. The mind need rest and relaxation interspersed between work, or our ability to function suffers. For example, from All Work and no Play can be Deadly (Jul. 11, 2002), Sandy Smith says, "Feel like you're being worked to death? You might not be far from the truth, according to a new study, which found that long work hours and little sleep or relaxation time is a recipe for disaster."

So, blessings upon blessings, my employer is willing to work with me and let me go to a part-time schedule. I need to get more reliable technology, so I can be in full contact with them should they need me, but I will be able to do things like work from home and cut back my hours to less than 40/wk. That will allow me to have the down-time I need to be fully-functional at work. I won't have to worry about the quality of my work suffering as a result!

And my apologies to those whom I didn't believe before now. I get it now, and you're right: it's not healthy to try to just work and sleep during the work week. That's unacceptable. You absolutely need more than that.


  1. just stumbled across here, and also read your post on migraines. never knew that much about it although I suffer from it and depression
    thanks. really like your blog and your writing.