We all want to go to work each day feeling motivated, inspired, and positive, with a zest for life and the tasks ahead. This, of course, doesn’t happen, and even when we love what we do, we all have days where we’d much rather be somewhere else chilling out or having adventures.
Yet, this isn’t to say that we should put up with absolutely anything in the workplace or continually look for ways to deal with a job we hate. Often, a bad situation in our work life can impact us severely in many ways, including physically and mentally. Is your job making you ill? Here are some signs to look out for that may be indicating you should look for a new position.
Mental Health Problems
The first key thing to notice in yourself is if your mental health has taken a significant decline. This can show itself in multiple ways. For example, many people whose job has become toxic find that they cannot stop thinking about work. When they should be at home or out and about enjoying their lives, their minds are on their work and projects and colleagues or bosses, etc. instead.
You might notice, too, that you feel constantly stressed, even at the end of the day or on weekends when you should be getting some R&R. You might pick up on the fact that you have a persistent feeling of dread all the time that you can’t shake, too, or you might find yourself invariably having to deal with uncomfortable conflict on the job time after time that makes you feel horrible.
For many people, a top sign that all is not right in the workplace is that they have developed depression, anxiety, or panic attacks or that mental health issues they’ve had in the past are rearing their heads again.
On the other hand, you might be contending with different physical ailments more than mental and emotional ones (although they’re all linked, anyhow). For instance, have you found that you’ve had more headaches in recent months than ever before? If so, this could be a clear sign your job is making you sick.
Our muscles tense up to guard our bodies against injury, so if you consciously or subconsciously view your working environment as a danger zone, this will keep your muscles tight and sore continually. In turn, this leads to chronic neck, back, shoulder, and head pain that can cause tension headaches, migraines, and other types of pain.
Stomach Aches and Other Gastrointestinal Issues
Perhaps you’re someone whose most vulnerable area of the body is your stomach. If so, you might notice you’ve been getting frequent stomach aches or other gastrointestinal issues such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, indigestion, and the like. Or, you might feel okay but find you’re eating way more than usual or aren’t hungry or generally interested in food anymore.
These factors can be triggered or exacerbated by stress because stress affects gut health and can lead to digestion problems and a reduction in good gut bacteria, and a rise in the bad ones. You might notice that these stomach-related issues only occur on days when you have to go to work or are thinking about it, and not on vacation.
Some other common physical ailments that point to a toxic work life include aching muscles, insomnia, nightmares, and other sleep disturbances, lethargy, and a rise in the frequency and severity of sickness throughout the year.
What to Do About It
Have you identified one or multiple symptoms from the above? If so, it’s time to do something about how much your job stresses you out and makes you unwell. Start by booking an appointment with a doctor. Chat to them about how you’ve been feeling and consider obtaining a note from them to get yourself some time off work to try to recharge your batteries and think about whether you want to stay in your role or not. Online physicians can be a quick and easy option, so you might like to check out https://plushcare.com/blog/doctors-note/ for more information.
Also, it’s wise to have a conversation with your boss about what’s been going on for you. Hopefully, they will be receptive, and you can chat about ways to take some of the load off your plate. Often, managers aren’t aware when staff members have become too inundated with tasks and just need to get all the information to take steps to reallocate jobs.
Make sure you take proper breaks during the day and on weekends to escape the stress, too, and consider talking to a therapist to help you come up with other coping techniques.
These days, it seems to be increasingly common for people to burn out from their roles or suffer other ailments. Work shouldn’t have to be like that, so look to take steps to change things for the better.