Case Example: Roger
Roger is 61 years old and owns an Italian restaurant he built lovingly from a tiny place seating 10 people, to todayís business of fine dining which seats 60. He works 14-hour days, except for Sundays when the restaurant is closed. Then he goes in to do paperwork for several hours. His kids are grown and working elsewhere, his wife has made her own life with women friends. She travels several times a year, saying itís unlikely Roger notices sheís away. (Marriages seldom blossom with Rogerís kind of work hours.) Roger feels his family doesnít appreciate all his hard work.
Roger has high blood pressure, high cholesterol, he is 60 pounds overweight, he has gout, arthritis, chronic bowel problems and he has insomnia. Not exactly the picture of health. Except for a sister heís close to, who works with him, he has no real pals. He says his patrons are his friends. Heís very jovial and chatty around his customers. With staff, heís pushy and critical. Heís frequently angry and demanding. He throws temper tantrums in the kitchen. Not surprisingly, thereís a steady turn-over of employees. Roger has been approached by a chain wanting to buy him out. His profits are high, financially he no longer needs to work. His wife keeps hoping heíll sell out, retire and maybe they can travel together, visit the grand kids. Roger wonít hear of it, heís a workaholic, proud to be a success. Heís a time bomb, waiting to happen. Outside of the restaurant, he has no life. His health is rapidly deteriorating.
Do you know anyone like Roger, do you recognize his traits?
When his doctor told Roger he had to learn stress management, get into an exercise routine and stop eating his own rich restaurant food, Roger rebelled. He told the doctor off. My father was overweight and he lived to be 83. Maybe so, but his father was a mild mannered shoe salesman who relaxed by playing the violin for hours. Quite a difference to Roger.
With Roger, before he has a heart attack or a stoke, he needs to make some changes in his attitude and habits. Because he loves to be busy, itís important for him to make changes that will suit his high energy levels. If not sell the restaurant, he could hire a manager and cut back considerably on his hours. He could join a fitness centre or use an exer-cycle three times a week, start to travel with his wife. Roger could learn relaxation techniques and maybe try Tai chi. Perhaps he could focus on writing a small cookbook, featuring his restaurantís best menus or compile a book of the wonderful stories patrons have told him over the years. There are many options for him to choose from, to de-stress his life, while keeping busy - before he damages his health further.