Signs, Symptoms, and Solutions: Overwork and Poor Work-Life Balance

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These days, the topic of a healthy work-life balance is becoming a hot one. Despite the opportunity to work from home becoming a more viable option for so many people these days, along with the ability to set their own schedules, many employees are still feeling overworked.

It’s not always easy or possible to take those important breaks from work, especially when our home becomes our office, and it’s easy for work and life to blur when you’re meeting those crucial deadlines from the comfort of your couch. While working from home certainly has its perks, the temptation to check work emails, messages, etc. becomes far too easy — meaning you never truly unwind after a long day.

With all of that in mind, working towards the goal of achieving a better work-life balance can help overcome those negative symptoms like stress, exhaustion, and frustration.

Be Aware of Burnout (and How to Fix It)

It’s obvious, but working too much often leads to burnout. However, a lot of people fail to recognize the signs and symptoms of burnout — which can make it harder to catch before serious complications arise. If you really struggle to maintain a healthy balance between work and your personal life, it’s important to recognize when you’re starting to experience the negative effects of an unbalanced workload.

As Bostitch Office explains, “[burnout] can take a toll in an unseen way mentally or can be shown through your physical feelings or emotional actions.” They go on to list several signs to look out for:

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Anger (both in and out of work)
  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Limited appetite
  • Warped concentration
  • Physical issues (such as shortness of breath, intestinal pain, chest pain, headaches and dizziness)
  • Illness

It’s important to remember that your body, mind, and overall health are your most valuable resources when it comes to excelling at work; that’s why it’s essential that take time for yourself and your needs. Success certainly contributes to your self-esteem, happiness, and sense of pride, but if your body is paying the price, is it really worth it?

Stop Checking Your Email Late at Night

It’s no secret that we all spend significantly more time in front of screens these days. However, if you’re working far too often, it only further increases your screen time, which can be problematic to your health for a number of reasons.

The blue light emitted from electronics such as your phone, laptop, or tablet have been shown to mess with our sleep patterns. As you might already know, this can be problematic as sleep is a very important factor in maintaining our health and productivity. Without enough sleep, your body and mind can really suffer.

As some experts further explain, “now that screens have brought blue light into the night, our bodies are getting confused. Some evidence suggests that too much blue light can actually disrupt our circadian rhythm or our internal clock. That’s why experts advise turning off phones and laptops for a bit before bed — otherwise, we may find ourselves tossing and turning all night.”

At the end of the day

When you’re constantly checking for work updates or replying to emails late into the night, not only are you overworking yourself, but you could be seriously affecting your sleep. When you’re able to maintain a better work-life balance, you’re not only reducing stress, but you’re giving your body more opportunities to get some much-needed rest.

At the end of the day, finding the perfect balance between work and life is often easier said than done. It’s important to always be aware of what your body is telling you and to listen to it, no matter how many emails are sitting in your inbox. Whether you decide to take small steps such as stretching every few hours throughout the workday, actively trying to be more mindful, or finally allowing yourself some much-needed vacation time, your happiness and health should always be a top priority.

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