When to Stick with that Miserable Job, Relationship and Workout

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It’s always wise to know your limits. And occasionally that means knowing when to say sayonara to your job, your significant other and your workout routine. A topic we covered in the May Bathroom Minutes feature, “I Think I Can’t.” But quitting isn’t always the answer. Sometimes it’s worth sticking out even the most painfully boring jobs, painfully difficult relationships and painfully painful workouts. Of course, in the darkest moments, it’s not easy to see the light. And so, we enlisted a career coach, a couples therapist and a personal trainer to help you figure out when to keep on keepin’ on, even when you want to do anything but.

Work. “Companies go through ups and downs,” explains Darnell Gurney, a.k.a. The Career Guy. “It’s easy to get up and leave when something goes wrong, but sometimes that means more opportunity for you. Say your boss gets laid off—maybe you can take that job. Another thing that helps a lot of people get through a tough work situation is indulging in their passions outside of the office. If you like sports, join a league and spend your day at work thinking about the home run you’re going to hit later that night. In the end, though, treat your career like a business; don’t shoot yourself in the foot by leaving a job when you don’t have a better opportunity already lined up. Go in, get your work done and think of your current gig as a building block for what’s to come.”

Relationships. “First things first, 80 percent of unhappy couples—couples that fight a lot, couples that deal with infidelity, couples with substance abuse issues—become happy couples simply by staying together for a few more years,” says Dr. Kathy McMahon, CEO of Couples Therapy, Inc. “So if you’re having problems with your partner—they love spending money, you love to save money; you want to have sex when you’re feeling disconnected, your partner only wants to have sex when they’re feeling emotionally close—you need to realize that those are chronic problems that DO NOT go away. In fact, 69 percent of the problems in every marriage never go away. Which means if you divorce and then remarry, chances are you’re just trading one set of problems for another. If the both of you can accept that no one is perfect, stick it out. The odds are in your favor.”

Health/Diet/Gym. “There’s never a reason not to move forward with your training and your body,” says personal trainer Roderick Spearman. “If you aren’t seeing results, you need to remember that your health is a lifestyle. If you’re working 40 hours a week, and you want to look like a bodybuilder, you need to significantly construct your life around that goal. You can’t go out drinking with your friends every night or sit in an office chair for eight hours a day and expect to see results. That said, there are signs of overtraining and plateauing. Say you used to be able to do 20 pullups, but now you can only do 15. When that happens, I always recommend diversifying your workouts and your diet. If you spend a ton of time on the treadmill, go for a swim. If you eat a bunch of red meat, try some fish. You’re still working on your health, but in a totally different way.”