HOW DO I STOP BEING A WORKAHOLIC?

DEAR DALI MAMA:

I am a workaholic and every area of my life is suffering because of it (my health, my relationships, etc.), but I can’t seem to stop this vicious cycle. How do I stop this?

–Corporate Drone (United States)

DEAR C.D.:

Congratulations on thinking about how to halt this cycle and make a change. That is the first and most important step towards a new kind of life.

Often, people are workaholics (or alcoholics or drug or sex addicts or hoarders or addicted to video games or movies or any number of things) because they’re trying to fill the void they feel inside themselves when there is any space in their lives—whether that’s a spare moment to really feel their emotions or whether it’s an empty space in their home. Think about if this is the case with you.

What thoughts and emotions start to come up in you when you’re not working? These are the thoughts and emotions it’s important to say hello to and feel and process so you can find another way of living—a life full of the things that truly satisfy you—friendships and love, good health, and time to nurture yourself through rest and relaxation and healthy habits such as exercise.

Also take time to say hello to the fears that goad you into continuing your workaholic lifestyle even when you know it is affecting you negatively. Are you afraid you’ll lose your job if you don’t work all the time? Are you afraid of having the time to really explore who you are and your own unique passions without the barrier to yourself formed by your busy work schedule?

I suggest meeting with a counselor regularly to help you grapple with these complicated issues. Start, too, by making even a short appointment with yourself every day of quality quiet time with yourself when you sit with yourself—no tv, no smartphone, no work. Just you and your spirit. Communicating with your higher self will give you some valuable guidance as well.

I congratulate you on having the courage to address these issues and create the life you want. May you have good health, love, and all the rest that comes with making time for yourself.

Much love.

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