It is rare for you to love your job all the time. There are always going to be some things about work that you do not like. Then there are the bad days or it is a stressful, high-pressure environment. This is normal. What is not normal is when your job sucks the life out of you and negatively affects your mental health.
Do you wake up each morning dreading the work day ahead? Or do you often have to fight to stop yourself from ringing in sick? This is a sign your job is toxic. Jobs can be toxic for a variety of reasons. They can be physically difficult, boring or incredibly stressful. It can be your boss or colleagues that make life intolerable with their demands and misplaced harsh criticism. Or demanding customers in retail stores who take out their frustrations on you trying to help them.
But how you feel could be burnout. Burnout is when you do not spend enough downtime from work and its stresses and it totally wears you out. You can recover from burnout with rest and a different outlook or approach and go back to work. When your job is hurting your mental health, it can get to the point where it is impossible to tolerate that particular work environment any longer. It will cause you to be miserable. No matter how much rest or time away from that workplace you have, it is unlikely you will be happy there when you return. So this is the time to call it quits and start looking for something new.
Take a job. Any job …
There is a lot of pressure on us today to take a job. Any job. Regardless of whether we have any affinity or desire to work in that area. And while a job is good, it is like a double-edged sword — working to support yourself versus working in a job that makes you miserable and stressed daily. So you may want to start weighing up the pros and cons of your current job. But try not to let everything overwhelm you to the point you leave without another source of income in place.
The main reason you work is to make money to support you and your family. And the ideal is to work in a job you enjoy. Added to that can be the social benefits of spending time with people you like every day. But when all you are doing is going to work for the money and you like nothing about your job, it can start to affect your mental health.
Work should not make you feel negative, down or sick every day. But so many people remain in workplaces that make them feel that way. And it is not always the fault of the workplace. It can often be that you just do not fit in or that things have changed so much that you no longer belong in that workplace. No matter how good a workplace may be, if you are not the right fit then it can harm your mental health.
If this is your reality, then it is time to look for a new way to earn money. Easier said than done — I know. But there is no point in staying.
Signs your job is toxic
You may already be dismissing negative thoughts about work. But the longer you work in the environment, the more difficult it is to dismiss those thoughts. No one loves their job all the time but it should not make you feel sick or damage your mental health.
But over time the way you feel may change. Do you crawl into bed on Sunday nights dreading what the week will bring? Does thinking about work make you feel depressed? Do you feel anxiety grip you the moment you walk into work and only feel relief when you leave for the day? Just know you are not alone. Many people feel this way about their job.
Here are some signs your job may be hurting your mental health.
1. When you dread Sunday nights
When Fridays are the best day of the week and you dread Sunday night before a Monday work morning, then your job could be harming your mental health. You can forget about work from Friday night to Sunday, but as Monday fast approaches the dread of another working day can become overwhelming. This can stop you from enjoying the day off and spill over and affect those around you.
Dreading Monday morning over the weekend is not healthy. It can cause stress and depression only compounded during the working week.
2. Going to work is too hard
Is going to work is too hard? Do you wake up in the morning and drag yourself out of bed? Does the idea of going to the workplace make you feel anxious? How often do you take sick days when going to work is too hard? Choosing to stay home instead of going to work is not a good sign. You may even have all intentions of going and get dressed and have breakfast. But when it comes to walking out the door it seems impossible. This is not normal.
All these are huge signs that something is wrong and your job is taking a toll on your mental health.
3. Sleep eludes you
Are you having trouble sleeping? Do you toss and turn with thoughts racing through your head about your workplace? Does sleep elude? Or do you keep waking up throughout the night? And you wake in the morning feeling tireder than when you went to bed the night before. Every morning you get out of bed with a feeling of unease about what the day will bring. If this is you, then it is no way to live. It will only make you miserable and can potentially affect your physical and mental health, and your relationships. It could be time to start putting strategies in place to change the situation so you start sleeping well again.
4. You are always in a work mindset
When you are always in a work mindset, it is impossible to have a balanced life. With your phone connected to the work email and the need to deal with urgent issues that arise at work, you can never leave it behind. It does not give you a chance to relax with friends and family. And it can put everyone on edge. This is not how it should be and it is time to put some new boundaries in place. For example, leave the phone in the car when out visiting or while socialising. You need time out to recharge and relax and you deserve it.
5. You do not care any more
No longer do you care about your performance at work. You constantly feel exhausted and procrastination is a new thing. You only completing tasks to bare minimum standards and are no longer available after hours. These are all signs you have lost interest in your job.
This can lead your negative thoughts to become self-fulfilling prophecies. Doing substandard work and taking too many sick days can lead to not getting a promotion. Or worse still, fired or demoted.
And because of high stress and anxiety levels through the week, you spend your days off trying to recover only to do it all over again. This can leave you unprepared for the challenges and joys of the week ahead.
6. There is nothing to smile about
Work does not make you feel positive so there is nothing to smile about while in the workplace. You have no trouble laughing and enjoying all life has to offer outside of work but this disappears as you step over the threshold of your work environment. Your mood instantly changes and you feel anxious, deeply weary and just plain on edge. Colleagues try to cheer you up but any smile is forced. So it is certainly time to find a new job before your mental health deteriorates.
7. Lack of a desire to socialise
A lack of a desire to socialise with colleagues and co-workers is a clear sign work is not making you happy. It is important to get along with the people at work as you spend so much time with them during the week. You want to at least have a joke around the coffee machine or be cordial towards each other. But if you are feeling bad about your job, you may simply not want to talk to others.
Life is too short
Life is too short and you spend way too much of your life going to work so you want to at least feel appreciated. So if you feel your job is hurting your mental health or is toxic, you need to put strategies in place to escape. But what you do depends on the situation.
It may be you just do not fit in to the organisation. You may not agree with core company practices, for example, or your beliefs do not align with the company values. If this is the case, it is time to come up with an exit strategy. Even if you have to take a job that pays less in the meantime but makes you happier, then this will help your mental health recover.
But if your workplace is truly toxic because of its culture, for example, then there are steps you can take through the human resources department. Document unacceptable behaviour and incidents. In fact, document everything. And talk to your boss if they are not part of the problem. This is a difficult road to take even if justified. It is fraught with high levels of stress and anxiety. It can often be more beneficial to walk away for the sake of your mental health.
We can help
When your job is affecting your mental health it can feel as if your life is out of control. That it is one miserable cycle you cannot break. You may be highly stressed and anxious and not be seeing things clearly or may not know what to do. But your life is more than just a job. If it impacts you in a negative way and affects your relationships, it is time to find a job that is good for your mental health. You cannot continually live with stress and anxiety without it eventually taking its toll on you physically and mentally.
It is time to take steps to do something about it — to take back control. Seek help. You do not have to do it alone. The sooner you get help, the sooner you can start feeling happier and positive about life. And the sooner you can find a job that you at least like.
If you are struggling, reach out to our professionals. When you are not coping, contact us. We can talk to you about getting your life back on track. But if you reach a crisis point, call us immediately. We are here to support you.
We can work with you over the phone, via Skype or in our Spas. Book in today for my Emotional Empowerment Program. I have an introductory offer for just $99, discounted from $220, so you may start taking back control of your life. We aim to help you cope with any mental health challenges. Our facilitators may alleviate the effects of these so you start to take control and enjoy life again.
Let me help alleviate the effects of mental health issues
My Emotional Empowerment Program has helped many people like you for more than a decade. My aim is to help you manage your symptoms. This can give you a new hope for the future. A future filled with happiness, peace and contentment in weeks not years. Listen to what Kylie has to say about my program after only a few sessions.
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