Prioritise your health over work, Physician urges Nigerians

By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko

A family physician, Dr Folajimi Senjobi, has urged Nigerians to prioritise their health over work in the interest of their wellbeing.

Senjobi, of University College Hospital (UCH), Ibadan, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Ibadan on Tuesday, said prioritising one’s health over work had become imperative for long-term success, happiness and fulfillment.

He emphasised that by recognising the importance of self-care, setting boundaries and seeking support when needed, individuals could achieve a healthier balance between their professions and personal lives.

Senjobi, who is the Publicity Secretary of Society of Family Physicians of Nigeria (SOFPON) Oyo State chapter, said that practising self-care and prioritising activities outside the work routine were essential components of a healthy lifestyle.

According to him, recognising the value of self-care activities, such as exercise, adequate sleep, relaxation and hobbies as well as spending time with loved ones are also paramount.

“These activities not only recharge and rejuvenate but also enhance productivity and creativity in the long run.

“Organisations that prioritise employees’ wellbeing tend to have higher levels of job satisfaction, lower turn-over rates and increased productivity.

“A supportive workplace culture that values work-life balance can contribute to the overall employees’ happiness and health,” he said.

Senjobi also said that establishing clear boundaries between work and personal life was crucial for maintaining balance.

This, he said, might involve setting limits on working hours, disconnecting from work-related communication during personal time and prioritising activities that promote relaxation and rejuvenation.

The medical expert stressed the need for workers to always recognise warning signs of burnout, such as chronic fatigue, irritability, decreased motivation and physical symptoms like headaches or muscle tension.

He warned that ignoring these signs could lead to more significant health issues and hinder long-term success.

“If work-related stress or health issues become overwhelming, it is essential to seek support from colleagues, friends, family members and professional sources, such as therapists or counselors.

“Asking for help is a sign of strength, not weakness, this can lead to effective coping strategies and solutions.

“Periodically reassessing priorities and goals can also help in ensuring that personal health and wellbeing remain in the forefront.

“This may involve adjusting workloads, pursuing new opportunities that align with values and interests as well as making lifestyle changes,” he said. (NAN)