In our constantly connected world, switching off from the working day can be difficult. We often tirelessly plough on with meeting deadlines and signing up for new projects, without a second thought for the effect it might have on our health. Sometimes we don’t even realise we are getting in too deep, before it’s too late.
Some stress can be beneficial but too much, and you could be causing yourself serious mental and physical damage. If you’re mindful of the signs and symptoms of too much stress, you’re much more likely to catch it before it becomes detrimental to your life. This scientific article discusses some of the causes and impacts of - and suggestions to cope with - stress at work.
Here are a few more signs and symptoms to look out for:
#1 - You’re not sleeping
Sleep is vital to everyday functioning. Without adequate sleep we become irritable, more prone to illness and more likely to make mistakes. If you are struggling to sleep, it may be time to look at the stressors you have in both your work and home life. If home is where you feel happiest, perhaps your work life needs some attention.
#2 – You snap at friends, family and/or colleagues
Like I mentioned above, often you don’t realise you are stressed until others see the signs. Have your friends, family or colleagues pulled you up on your temperament lately? Or perhaps you’ve noticed you’ve been awfully short with your best friend or partner. If this is you, take a look at your work life balance. Is it balanced?
#3 - You dread going into the office
This is a sure sign that work is affecting your health. If you dread something on a daily basis, it results in high anxiety and makes your adrenal glands work overtime. If you get the ‘pit of the stomach’ feeling when your boss or colleague enters the room, it’s time to take action. Talk to a friend, colleague or your boss about your worries, they may be able to help. If you’re past the talking stage, think carefully about your next step; no job is worth your health.
#4 - Working too long hours
When was the last time you had a night out? Or a day off? Or even a lunch break? Have you been pushing family and friend engagements off to catch up on overdue work? It’s great to be conscientious in the workplace, it’s often how you will get ahead, but everyone needs a work life balance. Working long hours and taking minimal breaks on a regular basis will only lead to burnout. You will be less efficient, less creative and both your work and your loved ones will suffer. Try these tips to battle the burnout before it’s too late.
#5 - Eating bad food
If you find yourself shoving a donut into your mouth whilst sat at your desk at 3pm, having forgotten to take lunch and missing breakfast, you know that work is beginning to affect your health. Food is our fuel. You wouldn’t expect a car to run on fresh air or old rubbish (although perhaps this will be a future invention!), so why expect your body to run on substandard fuel? To function well we need nutrients and taking 10 minutes out of your day to get a healthy salad is all it takes. Your body is a temple, treat it like one.
#6 - You’re always ill
Have you been taking a lot of time off sick lately? Are you always going into the office with a pack of Lemsip and a box of tissues? If this is you, it’s likely you’re putting yourself under too much pressure. Stress at work can cause all kinds of illness, both physical and psychological. If you find you’re frequently getting ill or you’re feeling tearful, you’re lacking drive and passion, or all of the above, it might be time to take some time out and see your doctor. Often, all it takes to get back on track is a bit of R&R and rebalancing your lifestyle, to ensure you get enough sleep, nutritious food and spend time doing the things you love.
#7 - You’re hitting the pub (or just the bottle) way too often
Many of us believe hitting the pub after work is a great way to relax. It might feel good at the time but sadly, it can become very detrimental to your long term health. Drinking too much affects your quality of sleep, makes you anxious and affects your stress levels. So, if you need to release some of those stressed out nerves, don’t hit the bottle, hit the gym.
Final Thoughts: Is work affecting your health?
Work stress can be more detrimental to our physical and mental health than many of us think; take this stress quiz to find out if you need to take your foot off the gas. Remember, look after yourself and your friends and your family; don’t let work take over your world.
Sourced Image: Medication