DIY detox

Do it all, have it all! Ev­ery day we are bom­barded with mes­sages con­vinc­ing us that, with a lit­tle help from tech­nol­ogy, we can take on the world all by our lone­some. The cold, hard truth: It’s not the health­i­est way to live. In the name of well­ness (and

Best Health - - BALANCE - by SYD­NEY LONEY


glass spin plate in our mi­crowave oven sud­denly stopped spin­ning. I headed straight to Google, watched a four­minute YouTube video and – voila! – af­ter a quick trip to Home De­pot, it was go­ing in cir­cles again. Not long af­ter, I was hav­ing some friends over for din­ner and down­loaded The New York

Times cook­ing app just so that I could wow my guests with the silki­est, most In­sta­gram-wor­thy cherry cheese­cake ever to grace a din­ner-party dessert plate.

Speak­ing of go­ing in cir­cles, these days, it’s not enough to pack a nu­tri­tious, colour-co­or­di­nated kid’s lunch fea­tur­ing all four food groups or to per­fect the most awk­ward in­verted yoga pose ever; you then need to post the triumphant re­sults on Face­book to prove to the world that, yes in­deed, mis­sion ac­com­plished.

“Our gen­er­a­tion has got­ten stuck in a back­lash to our moth­ers’ re­jec­tion of the idea of the do­mes­tic god­dess,” says Ka­t­rina On­stad, au­thor of The Week­end Ef­fect: The Life-Chang­ing Ben­e­fits of Tak­ing Time Off and Chal­leng­ing the Cult of Over­work. (She seems to re­call that her mother owned an apron with “Screw House­work” scrawled on the front.) On­stad says that the pres­sure to be amaz­ing at ev­ery­thing – from nav­i­gat­ing ca­reers to rais­ing kids to mak­ing flaw­less flo­ral ar­range­ments – re­ally took hold with Martha Ste­wart and the cult of as­pi­ra­tional do­mes­tic­ity that she in­spired. And thanks to so­cial me­dia and the power of Google, it’s show­ing no signs of abat­ing. “The In­ter­net has am­pli­fied the mes­sage that you can’t just have it all; you can do it all,” says On­stad.

But all this per­fec­tion comes at a price. The Cana­dian Men­tal Health As­so­ci­a­tion re­ports that 58 per­cent of Cana­di­ans feel com­pletely over­whelmed by all their roles and obli­ga­tions, while Sta­tis­tics Canada says that women are more likely than men to re­port that most days are “quite a bit” or “ex­tremely” stress­ful. (And that’s prob­a­bly an un­der­state­ment at best.)

On­stad says that the stress re­sult­ing from that drive to do it all has huge im­pli­ca­tions, from in­creas­ing our risk of heart dis­ease to cre­at­ing a sense of so­cial iso­la­tion. “Burnout is real,” she says. And boy, are we burned out. That’s why it’s time to stop, re-eval­u­ate and rec­og­nize that, yes, we have a prob­lem. And it doesn’t have to be this way. In just five sim­ple steps, you can re-eval­u­ate your goals, scrap your lengthy to-do lists and get a grip on what mat­ters most to you.

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