Starting a new job can be exhilarating. You’re excited and ready to start working, but you might also be nervous to make new friends. Once you get into the swing of things, the first few weeks and even months can fly by. The effects of working too much don’t seem to apply to you because you’re adjusting to a new routine and finding new challenges to conquer.
After a while, though, even the newest things that pop up during your day can begin to feel like you’re doing the same old thing day in and day out. That’s when you begin to feel the effects of working too much.
It’s that moment when you look at your schedule for what’s going to happen during your week and wish you could change it. It’s when you realize your new job isn’t so new anymore.
For some jobs, it’s impossible to adjust your schedule or add anything new. You learn to cope with the massive workload or stressful environment so you can get through to your next paycheck.
Before you clock in for your next shift, read up on the effects of working too much and how you could be doing damage to yourself by not setting your work aside sometimes. It might energize you to make positive changes and help get yourself back to a place in life that’s more enjoyable.
Here are four adverse effects you may begin to experience if you overwork yourself.
1. Bad Decisions
When you have busy days at work, you spend all your energy trying to meet deadlines and make meetings productive. The moment you clock out, all you want is a moment of peace. But maybe that moment of peace is followed by a cigarette or an extra couple slices of pizza. You might binge dessert or skip the gym. Being tired makes it easier to make bad choices, so look at how often you indulge in unhealthy habits and ask yourself if it’s related to your work stress.
2. Altered Hormone Levels
Dealing with endless days of work can make you feel tired, but while your energy is getting drained, your hormones are jumping all over the place.
Women will notice their periods become off schedule or completely stop, causing even more stress when your monthly flow doesn’t arrive. Men can see their fertility drop, which is crushing to couples trying to get pregnant. The next time you feel overly stressed, think about what it’s doing to your hormones and step away from your desk for a minute.
3. Stress or Damage to Your Heart
Everyone has heard that when you get put in a threatening situation, your body goes into flight-or-fight mode. Much like how you feel your heart beat quickly in those moments, extreme work stress can cause your heart to work overtime, too.
Instead, learn how to cope with your stress so you can find a middle ground.
As time goes on, the stigma around mental health is disappearing, and more people are talking about how they deal with depression. Why people encounter depression is always different, but you could find yourself dealing with it sooner rather than later if you keep working overtime.
Stress suppresses the growth of neurons in the hippocampus — so, the bigger your hippocampus, the less depression you have. Save your future self the emotional turmoil of depression by setting strict limits to your work hours.
Some people will say the harder you work at your job, the more you’ll succeed in your career. While that makes sense, there comes a time where you have to learn to say no to your job.
It’s not good for you to always be at the office or to continuously bring your work home — you could damage your mental and physical health. Be your own advocate and keep your work life as reasonable as possible. You might find that your coworkers are willing to help you out! All you have to do is ask.
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