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You don't have to be an entrepreneur for life to stretch you too thin

man stress tiredOne of our patients shares a joke from the world of entrepreneurship:

When you work for yourself, you can work half days – you get to decide which 12 hours that will be.

It’s not easy making a living outside of a regular 9-5 job. In fact, a CIBC survey in the news recently found that two-thirds of business owners have worked longer hours since starting their own businesses, with 61 per cent saying their stress levels are much higher compared to when they had a regular job.

So, what does this have to do with your spinal health? Well, first off, if those long hours have you sitting at a desk, it will naturally take a toll on your spine. And all that stress may cause related muscle tension and headaches.

The need for balance

But it’s much more than this. As we always say here at our Kanata Chiropractic clinic, all aspects of your health – your spine, your nutrition, your exercise, your sleep patterns, your emotional and spiritual wellbeing – must be considered as a whole. If one area of your health is suffering, it can negatively impact the others.

With this in mind, consider some of the other findings of this CIBC survey:

About four in 10 respondents said they have taken little or no vacation time in 2019, and 60 per cent said they struggle to get time off from work when needed.

And 54 per cent said they have given up most hobbies and extracurricular activities since starting their businesses.

So much for work-life balance.

This trend toward career paths that stretch us thin is becoming more and more common. Even people who do hold that 9-5 job are increasingly looking for a side hustle to make more money or to pursue a passion. In fact, a separate survey by software company Sage in September found that one in three Canadians now manage a side business in addition to their day job.

What should come first?

Which is all well and good – if you can keep all those balls in the air without dropping one.

That CBC story linked to above also featured Kael Campbell, an entrepreneur who struggled to have a personal and family life. He found himself often being at the office till eight p.m. and taking after-hour work calls on top of that. His health began to suffer.

With the arrival of his son, he realized he had to draw the line and make some changes.

“I’ve got my family as No. 1, then my health, then the business is more of a distant third,” he said of his life now.

It’s good advice for any of us – whether or not you are an entrepreneur.

In fact, we would argue that your health has to come before anything else, including your family – if you don’t take care of yourself first, you can’t very well take care of them, can you?

There is only one of you

We hear stories and see it with our patients all the time: Parents and caregivers who run themselves ragged, between work, family, and community commitments. Then they burnout, fall ill, even suffer a heart attack.

Taking the time to slow down, calm down, decompress and de-stress, to exercise right and eat better – these are all critical self-maintenance steps to ensure you remain healthy in mind, body, and spirit. It’s the best way to ensure you can always step up and show up, for your family, and for all of your other commitments.

Jobs and opportunities come and go. But there will only ever be one of you.

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