When Work Gets in the Way of Your Health

When is it time for one to say enough is enough? Yes, work can be stressful, but it should never endanger your health, especially when it is a desk job. If you are having so much stress at your job that you feel like you can’t function and your heart is racing, it’s time to take a break. No job is worth sacrificing your health, or worse, your livelihood.

If you are feeling stressed from your job, take a step back and think about why you are feeling this way and if there is something you can do to relieve the stress. If your family and friends express concern over your behavior or lack of balance between work and life, it’s time to stop and listen.

First of all, set up a system of getting work tasks done. Either write everything down for yourself on a to-do list or get a white board and write all current projects, no matter how small, in a list. This helps so that if there are several people asking for things to be completed, they can see why you are so busy and what else may get in the way of finishing their task.

There is no way to be in more than one place at one time, and there is no way to say “yes” to everyone. It is imperative that you learn to manage your time wisely and be honest about whether or not a task is possible. If you can’t delegate or hire a temp, set priorities and tell yourself you are only one person – you cannot fix everything.

Here are some tips for managing stressful job situations:

1. When you arrive at home, log out of email, text messaging, Facebook, Twitter, Google+, etc. It may be necessary to enlist help from family members to make this happen, as it will be very difficult at first.

2. Move around at the office. If you are in a desk job, get up and move around every hour or so. If you need to, set your timer on your phone to remind you.

3. Meet friends for lunch. Nothing says relaxation and rejuvenation like laughing and eating with some good friends.

4. Know that sometimes we need professional help. Don’t be afraid to seek help from a counselor or mental health professional and talk about what stress is keeping you from balancing work and life.

Lastly, remember that you can’t do your job if you are sick or end up in the hospital. No job is worth risking your health for, but if you must stick with something for the sake of health insurance, please try to find ways to minimize stress.

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