This summer, I noticed a ton of “your job is trying to kill you” articles popping up in my Google Reader. Great. Like I need something else to worry about. And then a couple weeks ago, work started to get busy at work. Really busy. Like, if there was ever a time to worry that my job was a murderous SOB, this would be it. But now that I know all the ways that my job is trying to kill me, I’ve been able to come up with some solid self-defense moves. Here’s how everything is playing out.
It’s sneaking up behind me through my chair.
Turns out, sitting around all day = slowly dying. My chair could easily overpower me because I tend to forget to step away from my desk as often as I should. The walks I take each day with my coworkers help a little bit (more on that later), as do lunchtime workouts. With the way things are going lately, I might actually unfurl my yoga mat in an empty office and put on a short yoga podcast so I can get my blood flowing without even having to leave. Until then, though, I’m really focusing on getting out of my chair whenever I get the chance (I tend to pop up every time I have something to say, which is often) and getting more exercise in my off hours and on weekends.
It’s forcing me into a killing machine twice a day.
My commute is only about 12 minutes each way, but if I don’t time it right, I can get stuck in about 30 minutes of nasty traffic as I travel the mile from the highway to my house at the end of the day. And apparently, our commutes are killing us. I have been trying to make the time I spend in my car enjoyable by utilizing the free year of satellite radio I got with my new car and tuning into talk radio stations. While hearing Katy Perry on every Top 20 station makes me kind of crazy, tuning into talk radio (or plugging in my phone and putting on a podcast) as I drive to and from work actually makes me feel smarter and more aware of what’s going on in the world. Like, now I’m aware that my job has a criminal record and is coming for me next.
It’s making me afraid of the dark.
Lack of Vitamin D? Cold-blooded killer. Unfortunately, my desk is in a pretty dim part of the office; I’m typically not aware of the weather until lunch time. But my coworkers and I take two walks outside each day and we usually stand outside chatting for a bit after our walk. While we could have these conversation indoors, we take it outside, where we can get back some of the Vitamin D our office is so quick to steal.
It’s trying to poison me during lunches with coworkers.
Like I said, my coworkers and I walk to lunch every day…and said lunch happens to be at a fast food restaurant. I really don’t want to miss these lunches, but I also don’t want to eat fast food every day. My solution? Going along but skipping the meal and then eating my packed lunch at my desk after we return. Unfortunately, over the summer, I started to let myself get too hungry before we’d go and I’d end up just ordering fast food far more often than I wanted to; strategic snacking has helped nip that in the bud. It also doesn’t work if I don’t actually pack a lunch to eat at my desk, so I’ve been making sure to pack one each day. Knowing things were going to get intense at work, last week I bought a bunch of staples like soup and frozen veggie burgers so I’d always have something I could take with me. This has helped avoid days like one a few weeks ago, when I didn’t pack a lunch and didn’t even have time to have lunch with my coworkers. I ended up grabbing a cup of microwavable ravioli and a Pop Tart from the gas station near my office…and everyone knows Pop Tarts are practically laced with arsenic.
It’s a midnight assassin, making me sleep with one eye open.
Stressful jobs can make it difficult to sleep; when I was up at 5:15 on Friday morning because I couldn’t stop dreaming about work, I knew things were getting to me. The later I work, the harder it is for me to shut my brain off at bedtime (plus, the light from my phone/iPad/laptop interferes with sleep patterns) so I’ve been trying to spend as much time away from the screen as I can. Listening to audiobooks before bed has been fulfilling my need for non-backlit-entertainment, and a short yoga routine has been helping to clear my head before bed. Still, a lot of nights I feel like I’m sleeping with one eye open, given how sleepy I feel in the morning. Until things calm down a bit, the best I can really do is try to be healthy in all the other areas of my life.
What are your self-defense moves when your job is trying to kill you?