Forget About Burnout, Have a Kale Chip and Take a Nap

Last week, I threw some metaphorical lipstick on the pig of overwork culture, and this struck a chord with many of you…

My inbox was inundated with responses ranging from “Hell yeah!” to wistful sighs and quiet admissions of “You’re describing my life”. Many of you aren’t sure what to do about this, particularly those in the throes of late middle age, already deeply entrenched in the daily grind.

The whirlpool of life’s obligations – mortgages, school fees, ageing parents, economic uncertainties – can make it feel like we’re barely keeping our heads above water. If you’re at a point where muscling through to retirement seems the only feasible route, that’s okay. Each of us must navigate our unique maze.

But remember, alongside hoping for the best, it’s crucial to gear up for unexpected roadblocks.

Understand your body

This gearing up begins with an understanding of your health, an area that deserves as much attention as your financial plans.

This is not just about those annual check-ups but delving deeper. It’s about understanding your unique body – the rhythm of your metabolism, your genetic map, and what your blood tests could indicate about your future health.

Even though no one talks about this, men face a heightened risk of heart attacks in their 50s (not 70s as most people think), as longevity specialist Dr. Peter Attia notes.

For women, hormonal changes around menopause present a different battleground. Especially women carrying the APOE4 gene variant linked to Alzheimer’s disease, could consider Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT) before menopause onset as a potential buffer against future cognitive decline.

Kale Chips and Nap Pods: The Magic Pills We’ve All Been Waiting For

As commendable as corporate wellness initiatives may be, they are not the elixir for longevity. While they offer momentary respite, they cannot fully offset the fallout of chronic stress.

Organic meals, mindfulness sessions, futuristic nap pods and team-building activities are welcome perks, but they’re akin to a fresh coat of paint on a crumbling wall when faced with a culture of overwork and burnout.

Chronic stress, the silent pilferer, can sabotage your metabolic health and accelerate epigenetic ageing, raising the risk for ailments like dementia and heart disease. While wellness initiatives offer temporary relief, they can’t reverse the health spiral.

If you’re risking life balance for the bank balance, have you accounted for the potential health deficit? 

Have you considered that you might be placing all your eggs in the retirement basket, without having any guarantees that you will get to enjoy that retirement?

Take a Proactive Approach

Understand your genetics, delve into your bloodwork, know your gut microbiome, using a continuous glucose monitor to understand your metabolic health and the best foods for your health and vitality, track your health using a wearable – become the captain of your health ship!

These steps, taken today, can help shape a future that isn’t merely longer but qualitatively healthier.

In the end, your health remains your prerogative.

Are you merely trying to stay afloat, or are you consciously steering the ship towards a vibrant, healthier future?