We all work hard enough to build our business and achieve our goals but is working too hard really worth it? They say “work SMARTER, not HARDER”.
Breaks from work are really important for both your physical and mental health especially when it comes to growing your own business.
But let me ask you a few things:
- Are you a person who likes to work non-stop (aka workaholic)?
- Are you someone who declines to take a break?
- Feeling fatigued or you feel guilty when they start binge-watching Netflix or YouTube?
Now let me tell you the real truth. There is no harm in taking a break. Woah! Surprised you there, didn’t I?
People say, “oh you’ll never get there if you don’t try hard enough to get where you want.” That is true but either way, working way too hard will have the same effect as not working at all! I always try to be busy (and it’s not a good thing).
One time, I texted a friend once in a while and asked him if I was a workaholic and he replied with a definite “yes”. Look, I’m only a university student and a blogger. I don’t have kids to take care of or a part-time job or even a huge business.
What does it matter whether or not you don’t have these things? There are different ways that you’re actually working and all I can say is, it’s really not good to work 247 for any situation. It’s bad for your mental health and you’ll end up mentally drained.
So here are 7 signs that you’re working way too much. And in the end, I will mention some ways on how you can, you know, chill out.
Note: This post includes sensitive topics like depression.
Research suggests that 75% of Australian’s surveyed admitted that stresses in their lives affected their physical health, while only 64% said it affected their mental health.
As well as more than half of Americans say that they fight with friends and loved ones because of stress, and more than 70% say they experience real physical and emotional symptoms from it.
If you’re stressing a lot, then serious issues can develop such as cardiovascular disease or even depression.
When I was studying for my exams, I was stressing out so much that I ended up having a mental breakdown. It was not good and my friends didn’t know how to deal with me. All I was left was a brain filled with negative emotions alongside binge eating.
Now when you know that you’re putting your fingers through your hair, rubbing your forehead or feeling negative energy surrounding you, then you’re likely putting pressure on yourself. So does sighing a lot in defence.
Headaches or Migraines
These are well-known areas when you’re working too much. The research found that 10 per cent of respondents had headaches multiple times a week as of February 2017 and up to seven million tension-type headache sufferers (36% for men and 42% for women) in Australia.
I suffered from a bad headache when I was just in year 9. It was also during the time of my clinical depression and because I kept getting overwhelmed with the amount of homework and stress in my life, I had to go to the doctors for it.
When you feel a headache coming, take a break! Like stress, it can become a serious issue like migraine, high blood pressure and anxiety.
Fatigue & Tiredness
Sleep is really important but if you’re lacking sleep due to the amount of work you do, then you’re in a bad state. The symptoms are lack of alertness, slower reactions to situations and bad decision making.
Research shows that 54 per cent of people getting six or fewer hours of sleep-wake up tired 4 or more days a week, as well as the rate of lost productivity for all health-related reasons, was much higher for workers with fatigue: 66 per cent, compared with 26 per cent for workers without fatigue.
My lack of sleep ties down between going to bed at midnight (1-2 am) to waking up at 8-10 am. This is bad because I have terrible insomnia due to the amount of work and studying I do every night. Also, please don’t be like me and study way later at 10 pm or go on Pinterest at 11 pm.
Losing motivation is common in people but when they continuously do it, it becomes a huge problem.
If you feel exhausted or just bored of the same thing you’re doing, take a realisation. The research found out that 25 per cent of respondents agreed that they felt run down or drained of physical and emotional energy. And in 2017 about 37 per cent of adults in the U.S. stated their stress level had increased over the past year.
When I get burnt out during my blogging stage, I always let myself know that it’s OK to take a 2 week or 1-month break from my blog. After the results of taking a break from blogging, I came back with a fresh mind and a new batch of content.
Like I said, being burnt out is pretty normal in humans. That’s why when we’re burnt out, try something different. But if you keep doing it, then you’re overdoing yourself and can result in the worst of you.
Many workaholics know that they feel guilty when they’re on their breaks. It becomes a paranoia to them (which I can relate to).
They think that they should go back to work but in reality, they are in the FoF zone (Fear of Failure). The FoF zone could mean that you’re afraid of getting fired from a job or losing readers to your blog, not getting enough income etc.
Like I said in my introduction, my friends think I work too much and I was grumpy and irritated at the time.
That is true. When I took a break for the first time in forever, I felt guilty in my system for just leaving my blog as it is. Now, whenever I take a break, I like to think of it as a reward or a self-care project for myself.
These signs can all lead to depression whether it’s guilt, stress or headaches. When you overwork, it could lead you to feel so low to the risk of suffering from this mental illness like suicide to cutting yourself etc.
Studies from Gallup Poll showed that 5.6 per cent of full-time workers also said they were depressed as well as several studies have shown that even minor depression is related to poorer work performance.
We’re humans. We’re social creatures. I myself, work as a blogger alone (physically) but there are plenty of ways I can communicate with other bloggers and influencers online. You may be working in an office cubical alone overnight and that’s not healthy.
This could lead you to depression, sleeplessness and even early-onset dementia. In 2016, the national survey showed that 60 per cent felt lonely, while 82.5 per cent thought loneliness was becoming more of an issue.
When I started my online school and blog in 2016, I was happy. All I thought was “with work on my hands, I don’t need to socialise.” Oh, boy was I wrong.
I was working so hard and ignoring the people to who I was close. I felt so lonely and depressed. Even though I was socially awkward with social anxiety, I can’t ignore people forever.
If you’re suffering from any of these “workaholic” signs, then here are some suggestions on what you can do to take the workload off you.
- Take a break
- Stretch or Exercise
- Listen to your favourite music
- Meditate or Yoga
- Read your favourite book
- Warm showers
- Bubble baths
- Socialise. Talk or hang out with someone (friend, family, employees etc).
- Binge-watch YouTube or Netflix
Try out the suggestions I listed whenever you feel like you NEED to have a break.