November 29, 2023

10 Health Benefits I Experienced While “Microdosing Retirement”

I’ve been unemployed for about 6 months now, and in that time I’ve seen some pretty dramatic improvements to my general health. I don’t think I understood the level of burnout I was powering through on a daily basis until a month or two ago when I started this post.

Here are some of the ways I’ve noticed my health improve since I became unemployed, or as I like to say, “since I started microdosing retirement”.

Improved Eyesight

When I was working in my last role my eyes were glued to a computer screen 24/7. I actually made a point of getting a new prescription for my glasses a month or two into the role because I noticed my eyesight rapidly worsening.

After one month of funemployment, my new prescription wasn’t appropriate for me anymore!

My vision, especially long-distance vision, started to improve after I stopped staring at a computer screen all day. It was absolutely incredible to see the improvement.

Don’t underestimate the impact that the repetitive strain of looking at a computer screen all day has. Take breaks, limit your screen time, and make sure you take care of your eyes.

Painless Fingers / Forearms

One month into funemployment I noticed my fingers started to hurt immensely.

They were constantly sore and sounded like a bag of marbles when I would crack them. Doing simple tasks like typing on a computer suddenly became somewhat painful, especially for my thumbs.

This was really surprising to me because I had been constantly doing a lot of the things that now brought me pain on a daily basis. However, after two months I noticed this pain started to subside.

I realized that while I WAS working I was taking ibuprofen, applying Voltaren, and powering through the pain I had in my hands/forearms, but now I wasn’t doing any of these things and didn’t have any pain.

Do not underestimate the impact that typing, scrolling on your phone, and other computer / phone-related tasks have on your hands.

Slowed Heart Rate

The four main vital signs routinely monitored by medical professionals include body temperature, pulse rate, respiration rate, and blood pressure.

I constantly monitor my heart rate and have stats going back about 5 years now. My resting heart rate over the past 5 years has gone from around 64 all the way up to the mid-90s.

Now that I’m unemployed my heart rate has dropped back down to the mid-70s, and as I get back into better shape it continues to drop.

Elimination of Excessive Sweating

On a day-to-day basis, I was noticing that I had massive underarm sweat stains on my shirts after just one or two Zoom calls. I honestly thought it was just because I’ve slowly gained weight over the past couple of years and I was immensely out of shape.

In fact, this was pure stress sweat. Almost immediately after I was let go from my last role I noticed that I wasn’t sweating like I used to.

Decreased Alcohol Consumption

For the past two years or so it hasn’t been uncommon for me to have one or two drinks after a day of work. If it was an especially stressful day, maybe more.

I’ve never been a big drinker, but the past two years have been especially stressful, and this has pushed me to drink more and more.

Since being let go, I’ve noticed that I rarely consume alcohol anymore, unless I’m going out with friends, or doing something social.

Decreased Prescription Drug Consumption – Lorazapam / Ambien / Adderall

In medicine, they have a saying “Treat the cause, not the symptom”. In my case, the cause of my prescription drug consumption was…. well…. work. The symptoms were increased anxiety, inability to sleep, and a constant need to produce work despite burnout.

Since being let go I’ve totally eliminated my use of Adderall, and have seriously cut down my use of Ambien and Lorazapam, and only take them on rare occasions.

Decreased Weight

I was let go at the beginning of the summer and even though it was a shitty situation it probably couldn’t have come at a better time. I prospectively had the entire summer to run, work out, and get a little healthier.

Since I was let go I’ve lost about 20 pounds, and have eliminated the weight I gained while traveling during my last role.

My weight gain over the past couple of years has contributed to many of the other health issues I’ve experienced.

Humans were not meant to sit on the couch 8+ hours a day looking at a computer screen.

Improved Immune System

During the six months I was at my last role I got incredibly sick on three separate Occasions.

I rang in the new year with the flu, I celebrated my birthday several weeks later with a trip to urgent care only to find out that I had pneumonia, and just when I thought the steroids/antibiotics used to treat that were kicking in I got COVID! WeeeeeEEEeeeEEeeE.

Finally, I ended up traveling to California for an offsite and was staying at a Hilton that experienced an outage and didn’t have working water, electricity, or amenities.

The hotel brought in portopotties to accommodate the fact that everyone’s bathrooms had full toilets. Yours truly was lucky enough to be staying on the TOP floor of this steaming shit castle.

I arrived home after that hellish trip only to begin violently vomiting (which I NEVER do), and shitting myself to death.

I was so sick that I simply lay on the floor of my shower for three days with my computer outside the glass so I could watch something while curled up in a ball waiting for my next expulsion.

I don’t know what it was that I picked up. Perhaps the stomach flu. Regardless, thank god for Immodium and Pepto Bismol.

Over the course of the past 6 months, I have luckily not gotten sick once. I think a lot of this has to do with the decrease in stress from work.

Eliminated Digestive Issues

Without getting too descriptive, let’s just say I was having intestinal distress almost constantly my two last months in my former role. Some of it was stress and some of it was the steroids/antibiotics.

Since being let go I’ve been able to decrease my general stress and anxiety levels, and this has worked miracles in improving my digestive issues.

Improved Relationships

While I was working I sacrificed my personal time with friends and family to work. As a fully remote employee, I could go several weeks without significantly interacting with another human being.

That’s insanely unhealthy, and why I personally welcome going back to an office, if one day that’s a thing again.

Since being let go, however, I’ve been able to see friends and family on a routine basis. I’ve rekindled old friendships and built new ones. Being unemployed has significantly improved my happiness in this respect.

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