Would you believe that the U.S. Congress has never attempted to introduce a nationwide federal smoking ban in the workplace? It’s somewhat crazy, but it’s 100% true. The people who hold power in the U.S. (kind of presuming that power lies in institutions such as Congress) prefer to leave it to individual states to decide if they want a ban or not – whether they consider smoking in the workplace constitutes an unnecessary health risk to employees – or not. Let’s just think about that, for a moment.
Excuse me, but is it not 2018? Did I just imagine the passing of the millennium? Have not the actual U.S. tobacco companies been forced to pay millions and millions of dollars to settle medical claims made against them in recent years? And in federal courts too? Get this – the most recent statewide smoking ban was ratified a mere 6 years ago. Just 6 years? Anyway, well done to North Dakota for that one. Believe it or not, the likes of Kentucky, Alaska, Alabama, and others have still to introduce outright workplace smoking bans.
My point? Don’t wait for any government to introduce legal measures to make the workplace healthier, safer, and more productive for your company and your employees. Take action yourself, as long as everything is done voluntarily. However, do it right, and everybody will want to be a volunteer. Guaranteed.
My name is Andy, I’m a digital marketing entrepreneur, with an agency that employs around a dozen first-rate people, and I totally understand that the wellness of my employees is directly related to the wellness of my business. Furthermore, and a little bit of a curveball for you, I’m a recovering alcoholic and drug addict, now clean and sober for the last 9 years, and nothing is more important to me than my own mental and physical health. I know if I don’t have those, I’ll be no good to anyone.
The activity-based wellness program that continually runs in our place of work is on a voluntary basis (there’s no pressure for employees to join in for the free yoga classes, for example), and it’s backed up by available materials on personal wellness strategies, such as quitting smoking, and quitting drinking, to name but two.
Did you know that by stopping your consumption of alcohol you will enjoy a whole host of wellness benefits, such as lowering your weight, your stress levels, your cholesterol, even your chances of Type II diabetes, and boosting your energy, your concentration, and if your workplace can’t get any happier, boosting your mood, too.
Here’s how it all works, and how exactly it will benefit your wellness:
Alcohol is jam-packed with empty, and pretty useless calories (if fact, the only thing those calories are good for is adding weight where you don’t want it). Would you believe that people who stop drinking have seen, on average, a 2% reduction in their weight? Simply because they’re not adding calories they don’t need and can’t use.
We all get stressed, mostly because of the way our world is constructed and how we choose to live in it. Some of us choose to self-medicate by using substances such as alcohol and drugs that relax us (and some of us take this way too far…). As the old joke goes, alcohol is only a solution if you’re a chemist. In reality, alcohol doesn’t stop stress, just the symptoms of it – temporarily.
By removing that quick fix, you are actually giving yourself the opportunity to resolve the stress in a far more natural way. Within weeks, you will notice that your sleep pattern has improved, and a better rested and relaxed person copes and deals with stress far easier.
Those extra calories you’re taking on from alcohol will soon begin the effect your blood vessels, making them produce “bad” cholesterol, which is actually low-density lipoprotein (or LDL). High LDL levels are a known contributor to heart disease, hypertension (high blood pressure), and strokes. By stopping the consumption of alcohol, people have seen 5% reductions in their LDL levels within the very first month. The longer you abstain, the better they’ll get.
Type II Diabetes
The empty calories and sugars in alcohol will turn to glucose in your body, which forces you to produce insulin to control it. The more your body is forced to release more insulin than is healthy, your chances of developing Type II diabetes increase. And, whatever you do, don’t replace the alcohol with something that also contain those high sugar levels.
People who quit drinking will realize a 16% drop in their glucose levels within that all-important first month. In fact, within the first 24 hours, your glucose level will normalize.
Now, that’s what lowers naturally and healthily by stopping your alcohol consumption – here’s what you’ll boost (apart from the financial content of your wallet or purse – unless, of course, you’re Mark Zuckerberg or Bill Gates, who carry their spare change around in an armored truck):
Ever had a really good and restful night’s sleep after a spot of binge drinking? Nope, it’ll never happen. Sleep after high alcohol consumption is the worst kind of sleep. Because alcohol is a diuretic, you sweat more, so you drink more, so you need to urinate more during the night or get up for a glass of water because you’re dehydrated.
If you don’t allow your body to rest, it’s forced to carry on its normal activities – by drinking, you’re stopping it from shutting down as it should. Cut out the alcohol consumption, and your sleep naturally improves – deeper, and more restful (and without the late-night pee stops). You’ll wake fresher and with far more energy.
It won’t just be your body that benefits from quitting alcohol – your mind will improve to, particularly your concentration and clarity of thought. Dehydration directly affects your levels of concentration, as well as clouding your judgment and impairing brain function in general. Additionally, alcohol will lessen your ability to retain information, and abstinence will certainly improve your memory.
And it’s not just how your brain works, but you feel too, emotionally. Stopping your consumption of alcohol will mean more of those “happy chemicals,” such as serotonin and endorphins are released more often during your waking hours. It’s a fact that happier people get more done, are motivated to enjoy healthy exercise, and are just far more productive in all aspects of their lives.
Just Do It…
Nike hit the nail on the head, didn’t they? Just. Do. It. As near a perfect slogan as you can get. By stopping your consumption of alcohol, you’ll begin to realize these 7 tangible wellness improvements described above, relating to excess weight, stress levels, cholesterol, Type II diabetes, energy, concentration, and mood. All-in-all, you’ll just feel 100% better for doing it – physically, mentally, and emotionally.
What wellness improvements have you been aware from reducing or simply eliminating your alcohol intake? Please share with a comment below. And maybe you’ll be wondering like the people of North Dakota why it didn’t happen sooner. Happy abstinence, one and all.