Working hard is an admirable quality highly prized in modern society, but there is a dark side to an unchecked compulsive need to work. While we all like to describe ourselves as a “hard worker,” could this fall back phrase be overdue for a societal re-think? As workaholic tendencies are being linked to health issues like obsessive-compulsive disorder, anxiety and depression by research like this Norwegian University of Bergen study, self-care practices such as taking a vacation and mindfulness exercises are great ideas for increasing wellbeing in the workplace. Work smarter, not harder; prioritize your health first. Here are 7 signs to watch out for, that may mean now is an opportune time for a vacation or mindfulness practice.
1) Brain Fog
This is a term used to describe an inability to think, focus, or put thoughts into words. This could be a sign that your body needs some rest and relaxation-preferably under some swaying palm trees! Scheduling time in the sun with your loved ones is a great way to recharge and increase passion for your work. Play is known to boost creativity and joy, so prioritize play during your vacations, weekends and evening times to combat brain fog.
When anxiousness has become a default mode, it’s the perfect time to reboot. Anxiety is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “intense, excessive, and persistent worry or fear about everyday situations.” Having feelings of anxiety could be a sign that workaholic tendencies need to be checked! Try getting away to a tropical place or if you can’t, try instituting a daily meditation practice. You may think you don’t have 10 minutes to meditate each morning, but the long-term results could save you hours in productivity during the day. According to the Harvard Business Review’s article If You’re too Busy to Meditate, Read This, meditation helps with productivity by helping your brain resist distracting urges.
3) Devaluation of Relationships
Workaholics may be heroes in the office, but at home it could be a different story. Prioritize time with the family by taking a vacation and experiencing adventures together. Booking a beach villa in Turks and Caicos is the perfect idea to enjoy uninterrupted family time and connect with one another in a stunning setting! A daily gratitude journal or spoken affirmations are also wonderful ways to practice valuing relationships. Write down or state aloud 3 things you are grateful for that include your significant other or family each morning. Stay committed to this daily practice and remind yourself of those 3 wonderful things a few times during your workday.
4) Working through Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner
If eating times are a distraction from work, it may be time to reevaluate. Treat meal times as important moments for your health. Practicing a short time of peace as you take in sustenance. A quiet moment to take in food is important for digestive and mental health and could tone down feelings of anxiety and overload.
Finding yourself irritated with others or yourself on a daily basis could be a sign that less work could be beneficial. Feelings of irritability can be fought by expanding time spent in nature. Try planning a vacation in a beautiful destination, or simply spend some outdoor time taking in some sunshine.
6) Feeling Low
Feelings of depression or helplessness can be a sign of overworking. Try making plans to visit a new place and speaking about your feelings to a close friend or family member.
We all have reached moments where the weight on our shoulders has become too much, and with one small new pressure, we feel at risk of complete collapse. Feelings of overload can be common when breaks are not consciously planned. Plan periodic getaways to ensure downtime, or practice intentional breaks from all screens and media. Commit to a no-screen policy an hour before bed and an hour after waking to spend time setting mindful intentions for your day or bolstering a gratitude practice.