It is extremely rare to find someone who enjoys work 100% of the time. Even those of us who love what we do for a living may, at times, not feel like clocking in. The idea of having to get up, leave the house and trek to the office – in all weathers – can feel tiresome.
What if you don’t just get the Monday morning blues, you dislike every morning; and the dread about the next week starts on Sunday (or even Saturday) ruining the weekend as well. This could be a sign that work is affecting your mental health.
Work is such a big part of our daily routine, and the average person spends approximately 90,000 hours in the workplace during their lifetime. If it is causing you stress and anxiety, impacting other areas of your life, or making you physically ill – it could be that the job itself is toxic.
Some jobs are incredibly stressful and require a lot of hours, however, if a job starts to negatively affect your emotional and physical health it is important to look at why and take steps to remedy the situation. Not all mental health issues relating to work are because of a toxic work environment, sometimes it can be down to the individual’s reaction to intense pressure or responsibility.
Burnout is a condition that leaves sufferers feeling bodily and emotionally exhausted. It is usually caused by long periods of extreme pressure, vast responsibility, or excessive stress. Any of which can leave individuals depleted and overwhelmed physically and mentally. With rest, a possible leave of absence from work, and a change in perspective, this condition is treatable.
However, if the job is toxic no amount of rest, nor treatment for burnout, will help the situation in the long term. Workplace gossip, politics, bullying, high or excessive demands, poor management, and unfair or unethical working conditions can all have a serious impact on the psyche.
1. You don’t want to get up in the morning. You hate going into the office.
2. You don’t have any work/life balance. You feel that you must respond to work emails, phone calls, and texts immediately, even in the evenings or at weekends.
3. You constantly feel like there is too much to do. Your to-do list is never-ending, you frequently feel overwhelmed by the day’s tasks, and you never seem to get anything finished.
4. You don’t feel able to take breaks during the workday. You stress about taking holidays knowing it will increase your workload before and after, and you will probably be disturbed during any time off.
5. You feel undermined, bullied, or discriminated against by co-workers, or your boss. There is verbal or sexual harassment in the workplace.
6. You don’t feel valued, or that your job is secure.
Probably the most telling sign that your job is toxic is that it changes you in ways you don’t like. You become bitter and cynical, withdrawing from friends and family, unable to enjoy time off, and constantly worried about work. In the long-term, this stress can have a serious impact on your mental health.
No job is perfect. Your co-workers gossip, and there is always one not pulling their weight. Your boss is grumpy, and you almost never get the credit due to you. There may be some days you really wish you were on holiday, and times you feel like screaming. However, if every day feels like torture, and your mental health is being compromised, then it might be time to look elsewhere for work.
Stress and anxiety about work can wreck your sleep. Worrying about the next day can cause you to spend the night tossing and turning, unable to get a good night’s rest, leaving you irritable and tetchy the next day. Constantly oversleeping can be a sign of depression.
Stress can also have an impact on eating habits. It will affect people differently with some comfort eating, overeating, or binge-eating; and others losing their appetite completely.
It is hard to feel positive at work, you are always stressed, on edge, overwhelmed and you feel both emotionally and physically exhausted. You feel unable to enjoy being at work, having a laugh with colleagues or socialising with them outside of working hours.
During the working week, you feel increasingly more tired and dejected, by Saturday you are exhausted and can’t enjoy your time off. Then on Sunday, you start to dread going back into the office. The idea of Monday morning leaves you feeling hopeless. You become stressed and irritable, withdraw into yourself, and not able to engage with family members or friends.
Long-term stress can also cause physical symptoms. Unexplained headaches and stomach aches, or panic attacks and breathing problems linked to anxiety. It can create a weakened or lowered immune system leaving you more susceptible to viruses such as colds and the flu, which can take longer to recover from than usual.
Even when you are not physically ill, you may be choosing to stay home as often as possible. The idea of going into the office feels unmanageable. You are using sick days, personal days or, where feasible, finding reasons to work from home.
You find you are drinking more frequently or in higher quantities. It could be an increase in the use of drugs or prescription medication, or an activity like gambling, gaming, or online shopping. Individuals will self-medicate using substances or processes to try and make themselves feel better.
Unfortunately, what seems like a good choice to start with can rapidly turn into a habit that only creates more issues; doesn’t really solve the underlying causes; and can in some people lead to a serious problem with dependency and addiction.
Drugs, alcohol, and addictive or compulsive behaviours only exacerbate mental health conditions such as anxiety, depression, or stress; and worsen the physical health of a person – so long-term it’s a disaster waiting to happen.
If some, or all, of these signs, resonate with you, think carefully about your future in this role. Can any changes be made to make your job more manageable? Or is it simply a case of a toxic work environment? It could be time for a career change. Talk over your options with a trusted friend or confidant.
Have you experienced a toxic work environment? Are you experiencing burnout? Has your job affected your mental health? Are you finding yourself self-medicating with alcohol or drugs?
Here at our luxury residential rehab centre in Ibiza, we can help. We treat clients with a variety of mental health conditions, including burnout, addiction, alcoholism, depression, and anxiety.
For information on our admissions please contact firstname.lastname@example.org