Ideally, your job is part of your life; it doesn’t usurp every aspect of it. But when your job starts to negatively impact your mental health, you may find that your quality of life begins to go downhill.
Here are some key signs that your job is affecting your mental health.
1. You Experience Symptoms of Burnout
The signs of burnout can vary from person to person. But if your job has been taking a toll on your mental health, you’ll almost certainly notice signs of burnout. These might include general exhaustion, lack of motivation or creativity, isolation from coworkers, and decreased productivity.
Burnout can feel all-consuming, but it’s possible to recover from it. Some people opt to take leave if possible. But sometimes, reframing and re-evaluating your work-related stressors with an executive coach can help. They can give you the tools to help you avoid burnout.
2. You Frequently Get Sick
Chronic stress doesn’t just impact your mental health. If you stay stressed for long enough, your immune system takes a hit. If you find yourself catching more viruses than normal and taking longer to recover than you used to, chances are good that your job is taking a toll on you.
3. Your Sleep Becomes Disrupted
Declining mental health often causes disruptions in sleep. But disrupted sleep makes mental health worse, too. If you find yourself caught in this vicious cycle, it just might be because your job has now begun to affect your mental health around the clock.
For some people, the stresses of the workday plague them through the evening, so they find they have trouble sleeping or otherwise experience disrupted sleep on the nights after they work. For others, the anticipation of work is what causes the stress, so they tend to have disrupted sleep on Sunday nights (or before going back to work).
4. You Spend All Weekend Recovering from Work
The weekends (or the other days you have off) are meant to help you recover from work and enjoy your time off. But if you find that you’re so worn out you spend the whole weekend recovering, your job might be damaging your mental health.
When your job has a negative effect on your mental health, you may find that just getting through the work week is a Herculean feat. When you need the whole weekend to recover, your mental health may suffer further because you feel like you have no relaxing time to yourself.
5. You Feel Like You Can Never Relax
Achieving work-life balance is critical to feeling happy and fulfilled in life. But for some people, it can be difficult to stop doing work or thinking about work once the workday has ended.
Disconnecting from work is often easier said than done. And if you work a job where you need to be on-call or work irregular hours, it can be especially difficult.
But if you notice you feel constantly tense despite your best efforts to relax, it might be because your job has begun to wear on your mental health. This is an important symptom to watch for. In a culture that glorifies working hard, it can be easy to let things get out of balance.
6. Your Boss or Coworkers Frequently Make You Angry
If your job is a toxic work environment or is impacting your mental health in another way, it’s easy for resentment to build. As a result, you might find yourself easily angered by seemingly small things. Depending on your personality, you might keep that reaction to yourself or snap at a coworker.
Of course, you might also be angry because a coworker is lazy or a boss is demeaning and rude. Either way, if you find yourself frequently angered at work, it’s worth looking into why. From there, you can make a change to protect your mental health and your overall well-being.
If you do find that your job is harming your mental health, how you deal with it is up to you. You might find you want to step back from your current role, take steps to make your job stress more manageable, or even switch careers entirely. But when you prioritize your mental health, you’ll almost certainly find your life as a whole improves.