Can you be addicted to work? There’s a difference between enjoying work and being a workaholic. This extra layer of enthusiasm can negatively impact your mental health and personal life. In this discussion, we will explore some common signs of work addiction, along with tips to restore your work/life balance.
Your Work Life Drastically Outweighs Your Personal Life
This is the most prominent sign you’re a workaholic. When is the last time you spent a day with friends? Do your family members complain that they never get to see you? Have you eliminated your hobbies for the sake of working? If so, you may be addicted to work.
Of course, we respect the fact that some people have to work this much. You may be the primary breadwinner for your household, or perhaps you’re working hard to reach a financial goal. There is a difference between working as a necessity and working as a habit. In either instance though, it’s important to look out for your mental health.
You Use Work to Avoid Your Personal Life
Do you purposefully work late because you don’t want to go home? Some people use work commitments as a reason to avoid their personal lives. If this is the case, you may want to figure out what element in your personal life you are trying to avoid. For instance, if you and your spouse are having difficulties, you may consider marriage counseling to resolve ongoing conflicts. If clutter in your home makes you feel stressed, dedicate a weekend to going through your belongings. Find a way to enjoy life outside of work just as much as you enjoy the office.
You Remain Attached to Work, Even When You’re off
Work stops the moment your shift is over. If you spend most of your off time checking emails, answering work calls, or preparing for the next day’s work, you’re not giving your mind a chance to relax. This could affect your sleep schedule, your stress levels, and other elements of your mental health. Set boundaries between your work life and personal life. If you’re required to remain available for work, make sure you’re only contacted during emergency situations. You deserve some time to yourself, free of workplace stress.
You Agree to Extra Shifts without Thinking
If you always say yes to extra shifts, you may be a workaholic. Work takes precedence over all other areas of your life, including time with your loved ones. This habit is fairly easy to break though. If you are offered a chance for extra work hours, wait a moment before accepting. You may even say no to the first few opportunities so you break the cycle of constantly working. You might be surprised by how much you like being off!
You Feel out of Place on Your Days off
Feel like you have nothing to do when you’re not working? That’s because you’ve devoted your entire life to your profession. It’s important to have hobbies and passions outside of work. Find a new book series to read, or join a club with like-minded people. You could connect with old friends or watch a movie series you love. Whatever you do, just make sure it has nothing to do with work.
How to Restore Your Work/Life Balance
Here are some quick tips to restore your work/life balance:
- Take a mental health day. Most workplaces now offer personal days for their employees. These will not count against your attendance.
- Prioritize your schedule. If you are stretched for time, eliminate non-critical commitments. You need time to reset, regroup and re-balance your life.
- Talk to people outside of work. If all your friends are coworkers, you’ll inevitably talk about work when you’re off. Try spending more time with people outside of your profession to give your mind some diversity.
- Go on vacation. If you have vacation time available, take it! Go somewhere far away from work, and don’t answer any work-related communication. This is time for you and your family – period.
- Establish a sleep routine. This will reduce stress and help you find peace in all areas of your life.
Urban Balance provides mental health services for working professionals, stay-at-home-parents, college students, families, and every lifestyle in between. We offer weekend and evening therapy appointments to accommodate all schedules. If you’d like to see a therapist near you, contact us at (888) 726-7170.