Blog: The Healthiest Way to a Healthy You
by PaisleyH

How Overworking Can Hurt Your Health

Many may need to work long hours to save money, or because they are scheduled to.

Date:   5/18/2022 7:57:41 PM   ( 83 d ) ... viewed 55 times

Many may need to work long hours to save money, or because they are scheduled to. Some may not think much about working long hours, even if they find it tiring at times. The reality is, though, that overworking can have a serious negative impact on your health, especially if you are overworked for long periods of time. 

Unfortunately, some may not be able to avoid working long hours. If you cannot avoid long hours at your job, then it can be a good idea to seek out ways that you can protect your health. If you are looking to better understand the connection between your health and overwork, as well as find ways to mitigate the damage the overwork can do here are some things to keep in mind.

Overworking Can Lead To Burnout

Many things about a job can cause stress, from the other employees that you work with and the interpersonal issues you may have with them, to the length of your commute to work. Work can be even more troublesome to your health if you work lots of overtime each day, or don't get many days off. 

Often, the simplest way to avoid overwork is simply to reduce the hours that you work. That being said, there are many who are unable to do this. For some it could be because their rent is too high, or because they are unable to get a refinance loan so that they can better manage their house payments. Others still may have student loans or other financial obligations that prevent them from taking a lighter load at work. 

Whatever the reason that some may need to continue to work long hours, overwork can be damaging to their health. When you work too long hours, it may disrupt your sleep cycles. Not only that, but it can also drastically reduce your leisure time. Both of these things can negatively affect mental health. Depending on the type of job you have, repetitive physical movements can wear down on your joints and cause injuries. Additionally, if you have a sedentary job, then you might find the lack of physical activity contributing to health concerns like heart attack, or stroke. 

How Burnout Impacts Physical Health

When it comes to physical health specifically, the job that you have has a lot to do with how overworking can impact your health. Additionally, the amount of stress that is involved in your job hurt your physical health, as well. For example, if your job puts lots of stress on your back, then overworking can quickly lead to back problems which will only be exacerbated by working too long. Beyond that, the less down time that you have the less able your body will be to heal and repair itself. 

If you have a sedentary job, then the long hours of sitting and not moving much will take their toll as well. The more that you sit, the more that it can lead to weight gain, and the more it will contribute to things like diabete. Along with that, even though you are not being physically active, your job may still be exhausting, which can make it less likely that you will spend your hours off working out. 

How Burnout Impacts Mental Health

Being overworked isn't just hard on your body physically, it can take its toll mentally, as well. The less free time that you get, the less you are able not only to rest properly, but to do things that you enjoy or spend time with loved ones. While some may simply think that this is just unpleasant, the reality is that this can have serious negative repercussions for mental health. 

The less that you get to do things that you enjoy the more stressed and less relaxed you are likely to be. Not only that, but you may also get quickly behind on daily tasks you need to do at home, including things like getting enough sleep and taking care of personal hygiene. 

Another downside of being overworked is that you might not get to spend as much time with those that you care about. This can be hard on your relationships, and leave you feeling lonely, which is in turn bad for your mental health. When there is no end in sight to working long hours, it can be even more difficult to deal with, and can be even more difficult for you to cope mentally. This may result in you finding unhealthy ways to cope, like drinking too much alcohol, or turning to things like food or online shopping. While these things might be fine in moderation, leaning on them too much for support may cause more issues in your life in the long run.

Tips for Managing Burnout and Protecting Your Health

While overworking can be hard on your health, the good news is that there are things you can do to help manage and reduce its impact. One of the first things you need to do to limit your work hours is assess whether or not you truly need to be working that many hours in the first place. Many may feel that they have to because of the amount of bills that they need to pay. The reality is, though, that there are often ways that they can reduce their bills. From refinancing your home to calling creditors to talk about reduced bill options, there can be more than one way to cut back on your monthly bills. 

Along with finding ways to reduce bills, you can also assess your monthly budgets for other things as well. Some could save money by opting to drive an older vehicle, or by cutting back on subscriptions that they don't actually use. Additionally, if you truly take some time to assess how you spend money each month, then you may notice there are areas where you are overspending. Not only that, you may find that doing little things like eating at home more often could save you more significant amounts of money than you may have previously thought. 

After finding ways to reduce bills, you might realize that you don't need to work as much as you thought. However, if you are still in a situation where you are required to work long hours, then it can be beneficial to look at other ways you can protect your mental and emotional health. 

While it might not seem enjoyable to stick to a schedule in the little time that you have off of work, doing so might actually be beneficial for your health. Often, when you are tired from overwork, you may just  want to lay around and scroll through feeds on your phone. The truth is, though, that this can cause more issues than it is worth. By instead scheduling your free time, you can help ensure that you are completing important tasks.

One thing it is important to do is make sure that you are taking care of your body during your time off. If you work a job that is physically strenuous, then it can be a good idea to practice forms of movement that are soothing, like gentle yoga. This can help refresh you, and help you to feel better during long work hours. If you have a sedentary job, on the other hand, it can be a good idea to make sure you do a workout that gets your blood pumping and improves circulation. Not only can this help boost energy and mood, but it can also help you to maintain a healthy weight, as well. 

Physical activity can also be great for regulating your sleep cycles. Quality sleep is highly important, especially when you are working a lot. The more that you can make sure you are going to bed early enough to get 8 hours of sleep, the better you are likely to feel. Even though this may not always feel easy to do, it can be important for maintaining your health. 

In addition to working out and making sure that you get enough sleep, you also need to make sure that you are taking time to eat well. While it might be tempting to eat junk food for a quick meal when you are short on time and likely dealing with cravings for it, the reality is that you can benefit much more from eating healthy meals. Eating foods like lean meats and fresh fruits and vegetables can help you to get the nutrients that you need, which can help you to feel more energized and focused overall. 

A Few Final Thoughts

Working long hours and feeling overworked in general can be difficult to deal with. Even in the short term it can feel like it is taking its toll on your physical and mental health. The upside is that there are ways you can organize your life to avoid having to work too many hours. Additionally, even if you still have to work long hours there are steps you can take to protect your health and make sure that you feel your best.

 

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