DROPPING THE MIC

I just returned from a trip to Lake James in Nebo, North Carolina to celebrate a friend’s milestone birthday. Outside there were mountains, a cool and clear lake, trails to hike, and not a restaurant or store within 30 miles. Inside there were great friends, fantastic food, riotous laughter, and three nights of very deep and restorative sleep. There were no cell phones, television, or computers – just nature, good company and plenty of activity, rest, and relaxation. It was life affirming. The trip reminded me of a recent article entitled “Redefining Success in the Post-pandemic World,” written by Arianna Huffington and appearing on LinkedIn over the holiday.

 

In summary, the article reports that millions of workers worldwide will switch jobs post-pandemic. Reasons given for the “The Great Resignation” (AKA “The Great Awakening”) include burnout, a reprioritization of work/life balance, and the inarguable fact that most work can happen from anywhere. When so many parts of our lives were cut off from the outside world, people questioned their definitions of success.

Many concluded that money and status didn’t necessarily equate to peace of mind. In returning to work (or simply thinking about it), many found that they couldn’t regain their pre-pandemic feeling of normal. The hedonic treadmill theory, which posits that people return to their baseline happiness level despite experiencing major positive or negative events, just wasn’t holding water. Now past the stuck-at-home bread baking and home remodeling phases of the pandemic, people are turning their attention to the quality of their work lives and often changing careers entirely.

Gallup rates career as one of the five modifiable areas of wellbeing. And while most people would rank physical wellbeing as the most important, career wellbeing is more pervasive. Since we spend most of our waking hours working if career wellbeing is low the other four areas of wellbeing tank. Work stress leads to coping mechanisms that unwittingly result in poor health habits such as skimping on sleep, blowing off workouts, eating convenience foods, and bringing that cranky mood to your most cherished relationships.

Most wellness programs look at biometric screening numbers such as blood pressure, BMI, cholesterol, and blood sugar to make sure that they are within normal levels. If they are outside the normal range, recommendations include following up with a primary care physician for a prescription to “fix” the problem. I have, since my first day in the wellness world, maintained that stress is the root cause or most certainly a catalyst for chronic disease.

While abnormal lab values certainly need to be addressed, what if, as employers, you could create a work environment where colleagues felt safe and valued? Stress and the accompanying coping mechanisms would quite certainly improve.

I worked for an organization where I felt safe and valued for the better part of my wellness career. I am handing over the reins to capable and energetic colleagues who understand root causes and will do their best to consult with like-minded and forward-thinking employers. In this era of “The Great Awakening,” I am joining the ranks of the awakened and dropping the Mic.

 

Thank you for your readership!

– Dr. Pat

Patricia M. Fuller has dedicated the last 20+ years to designing and delivering wellness programs. Her events earn consistently excellent ratings for her holistic approach and her real world application.

Prior to concentrating in wellness, Pat taught accounting and auditing as an adjunct professor at the University of Tampa. She earned her CPA designation in 1992 as a senior associate for Coopers & Lybrand. She has a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Utah.

Pat has a PhD in holistic nutrition. In 2010, she was board certified by the Holistic Nutrition Credentialing Board. Her areas of research include stress management and eating habits. She is a Certified Wellcoach and a member of the Institute of Coaching. She is an annual attendee to The Harvard Medical School Conference, Coaching In Leadership & Healthcare.

Have a Question? Email it to Dr. Pat: pfuller@bks-partners.com

 

This newsletter is for informational purposes only and is not intended as medical advice. For further information, please consult a medical professional.

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