Whilst most people will feel some sort of work related stress at some point throughout their career, for others this feeling can become so overwhelming that it makes them feel physically and mentally ill.
There could be a number of reasons for a job making someone unwell. The pressures of tight deadlines, feeling overworked or a dispute with a colleague could all have an adverse affect on mental and physical health.
Whether work induces an illness or results in a pre-existing chronic condition becoming worse, nobody should have to suffer in this way.
Past research by MIND and YouGov shows that 56% of workers have found work stressful at some point, so we have listed 6 signs to look out for if you think your job is making you unwell:
If your clothes are starting to feel baggier than usual and you are lacking energy, it could be that you are losing weight as a result of stress.
Whilst dropping the pounds can sometimes be a personal goal, doing so as a result of work related stress is never healthy. Although a person’s weight can regularly fluctuate, the NHS advises that a persistent, unintentional loss over 6-12 months that equals more than 5% of a person’s weight, is usually something to be concerned about.
For some people, work related stress may result in poor food choices or missing important meals, for others it can lead to them completely losing their appetite.
It is important to remember, that whilst weight loss might be more common, stress can have the opposite effect and lead to weight gain too.
Nobody needs a sleepless night prior to work and if your inability to sleep is a result of work related anxieties playing on your mind, you might need to seek advice from a healthcare professional.
Stress is one of the main causes of chronic insomnia and poor sleeping habits such as irregular bedtimes and an uncomfortable sleeping environment will only exacerbate the problem. Set yourself a regular bedtime routine and avoid being on personal devices too late into the evening.
A lack of sleep could also lead to frequent headaches and a lack of energy.
Heightened anxiety and emotions
If you are finding yourself feeling anxious about situations that wouldn’t normally phase you, consider whether the stress you are feeling could be stemming from your job.
Whilst most jobs can lead to some sort of workplace stress at some point throughout your career, it is not right if this feeling starts to take over your personal life too.
Symptoms of anxiety could present themselves as constant worrying, overthinking, paranoia, losing interest in things you are normally passionate about or decreased productivity.
If your anxiety is at a level where it makes functioning day-to-day difficult, you might need to seek advice from a medical professional, or at the very least a family member or friend who can lend a listening ear.
Mood swings, irritability and frequent crying spells might also be a result of your job making you unwell.
If your job is making you unwell, you might find yourself lacking in motivation to socialise with friends and family.
For some people, social withdrawal can be a symptom of anxiety; however, retreating from society could only make this problem worse in the long run.
If you can feel your anxiety increasing in social situations we advise speaking to someone you trust to see how they can help.
It might be a good idea to join a club of something you love such as a running or cycling club. This will help you to broaden your social network and give you a positive reason to mix with other people.
Excessive consumption of alcohol
If you’ve had a stressful day at work, it’s fairly common to wind down the day with the odd glass of wine.
However, if you’re drinking excessively to mask the pressures at work, the feeling of relief you get will only be temporary. In the long run, the implications on your finances and health will only leave you in a worse position.
If you find that your default stress buster is always reaching for a bottle, try to focus on hobbies which don’t revolve around alcohol such as going to the gym, walking your dog or going to the cinema.
Inability to focus on your personal life
If your job is playing on your mind even when you are meant to be relaxing, this could understandably make it difficult to concentrate on relationships with family, friends and partners.
Being present is important and if you find yourself constantly distracted by thoughts of work, eventually it will take its toll.
Whilst your career is important, it is equally important to have a healthy work-life balance to ensure that you feel motivated when you enter the workplace.
If you are finding it difficult to focus on anything other than work, speak to your manager to see if there is anything your workplace can do to help.
Should you be worried that your job is making you unwell but you aren’t in a position where you are able to remove yourself from the situation, there are ways you can make your life easier.
Focus on positive aspects of your life such as relationships with loved ones and make sure you have plenty of interests outside of the workplace to distract you from your job. Exercise, eat well and drink plenty of water to keep you feeling physically and mentally fit.
The main thing to remember is, there are plenty of healthcare professionals who can provide you with advice to ensure things get better!
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