Want a Better Work-Life Balance? Quit Drinking!

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by Gavin Jones, President and CEO

Like every job, there’s pressure to deliver and to succeed, and working life in the recruitment industry is no different. Throughout my career I have worked closely with – and indeed managed – a great many people who have used and misused alcohol as a means to both celebrate and commiserate their successes and disappointments, managing the highs and lows. I know, because I did the same – but there is an alternative

Whether celebrating with colleagues in a bar or unwinding in peace back at home, alcohol is the go-to medication for many of us. This habitual use can easily form a dependency – much harder to overcome than a challenging week at work. Coping with stress by using a depressant with such frequency will only lead to reduced performance at work and dissatisfaction in your personal life.

I certainly don’t mean to preach to you; we’re all capable of making rational choices about what we want from life. I just want to share my experience with you. I’ve not consumed any alcohol in over three months – and I’ve never felt better. My worries about work, family – essentially normal life – have been reduced dramatically, and I feel more in control.

My life is much calmer without the negative residual effects of alcohol. I now spend more time with my wife and children. I sleep better, and I’m more alert, especially later in the day. Most importantly, I am not suffering from any anxiety. There is no doubt that the adverse effects of normal life were being accentuated and aggravated by alcohol intake.

In place of drinking, I am focusing on improving my physical and mental health. These three books helped immensely. I’m even completed my first triathlon, fundraising on behalf of MIND mental health charity.

 

‘Legacy’ by James Kerr

‘Alcohol Explained’ by William Porter

‘The Naked Mind’ by Annie Grace

 

I’ve already lost 21 lbs.! Running, cycling and swimming helps bump up the production of endorphins, the brain’s feel-good neurotransmitters. Maybe instead of another night of boozing, you might like to instead:Some ideas:

Practice mindfulness!
Book in for a group meditation session at the gym to relax your mind and assess your real priorities
Take a hike!
I’m lucky enough to live close to the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, but any place with natural beauty will make for an ideal walk
Try kickboxing!
A lesson or two will teach you a new discipline, and you can vent your frustrations on the punch bag

I can guarantee that reducing your alcohol intake (even gradually!) will have an amazing and instantaneous effect. Your stresses will be forgotten the next day – and there’s no hangover to cope with. Ultimately, your productivity at work will increase, and your low points will be vastly outweighed by your successes!