Technology enables us to take on more work over longer periods of time. Even in traditional work environments, increased demand for speed, productivity, and mobility can seem unmanageable.
Mobile technologies blur the lines between our personal and professional lives, and lead us to use our downtime to check work emails or even finish tasks outside the office. Work stress can start to compound and negatively impact your life.
Here are four warning signs that you might be suffering from work-related stress.
Do you consistently find yourself on edge whenever you think about work or while you’re at the office? When you interact with your coworkers or customers, do you find yourself responding in ways that are surprisingly irritable or aggressive?
Work stress can cause you to behave in an uncharacteristic manner. If you find yourself becoming increasingly prickly at work, try to alter your caffeine intake, sleep habits, and diets.
These factors can work together to increase emotional imbalance.
2. Sleep issues
People who are affected by chronic stress often find they are unable to get enough sleep. This is partially because your body is in fight-or-flight mode due to work anxiety, and it can be extremely difficult to get your body to relax.
High caffeine or alcohol intake can also contribute to insomnia or sporadic sleep schedules. You can try to combat irregular sleep patterns by getting more exercise, avoiding food at least two hours before sleep, and decreasing your tech use before bed.
3. Dietary changes
Do you find yourself coming home after a grueling day of work, hunkering down in front of the TV, and eating junk food? Stress eating can be a major indication that your work life is affecting your personal time.
Stressed individuals may feel as if they lack the time or energy to make healthier food choices or cook a meal. You might be buying fast food on a regular basis or eating lots of processed meals, like frozen foods.
Try to use downtime in the morning or late at night to prepare healthier meals and snacks, so you rely less on junk food.
4. Alcohol or substance abuse
In order to cope with stress from work, you might be staying out late at bars or drinking at home. This can lead to dangerous habits, especially if these behaviors occur on a regular basis.
Monitor your alcohol, cigarette, and other drug use carefully. If you suspect you have a substance abuse problem, seek professional help immediately.
Workplace stress can take a tool on your health. Improve your workflow by exploring automation strategies, building connections on social media, and keeping your personal life separate from your professional life.
These strategies can help you reduce your overall amount of work stress and live a more balanced life.