I have seen an increasing amount of posts on social media regarding stress at work at the moment. This is excellent news, because at least people are talking about it. We have a lot more to learn about stress at work including how to manage it better and just how detrimental it can be to our health. Nothing is more important than your health. No client, deadline, promotion or presentation is worth more than your health and happiness.
One of the main problems with stress at work is that people don’t accept it’s happening until it’s too late. They let stress grind them down for so long that they crumble completely, which makes it harder to recover from.
If people could get the help they need earlier, they may not tumble so far down the cliff. They just might be able to climb back up again.
Sometimes you can experience subtle signs of stress and not really notice. You carry on as normal and try and battle on. Then your symptoms get worse and you don’t want to admit you are stressed/depressed/anxious because you think your colleagues and boss will obviously think you are weak.
Although there is definitely still stigma around mental health at work, you can get the help you need. The people that judge you are not worth your time. Don’t let it get to the point where you feel like the world is going to end.
Trying to put on a brave face won’t get you anywhere, it will only make things worse. Instead, you need to make some serious changes.
I experienced severe anxiety at work, and it temporarily caused my mental health to take a huge nose dive. I let my determination to succeed and drive to climb up the career ladder get in the way of my happiness.
I have now discovered that what I thought would make me happy (getting promoted, rising in the ranks, getting paid more etc.) was in fact partly what made me miserable. What motivates me these days is enjoying what I do, delivering excellent work and achieving a good work life balance.
I think back to when I wasn’t coping at work and was doing something that made me miserable and shiver. It wasn’t a great time in my life. However, I want to try and help others, so I have tried to remember, in considerable detail, what it was like. I’ve also done a little research on the signs of stress at work and added a few extra things in that I didn’t personally experience, but a lot of people do.
Hopefully a lot of people can relate to these signs, and maybe even a couple of people who won’t accept they are ridiculously stressed will read this and realise something needs to change. Here’s 26 signs your job is causing too much stress:
1. You have that sick feeling in your stomach whenever work crosses your mind.
2. You have panic attacks on the way to work, at work and after work.
3. You have nightmares about your job most nights, and wake up every morning feeling a bit sick and terrified.
4. You become ill a lot.
5. You constantly have a racing heartbeat and butterflies in your stomach.
6. You hide in the toilets at work just to escape the stress for a little while.
7. You become miserable outside of work, because you can’t switch off from your job.
8. You consider pulling a sickie but you can’t because you are too scared/you have too much work to do.
9. You don’t enjoy the last few days of your holiday away from work because you are feeling anxious about going back to work.
10. You have Googled ‘stress at work’ or something similar.
11. You have regular emotional breakdowns at work because you simply can’t cope.
12. You start experiencing health problems as a result of your stress (stomach issues, heart palpitations, high blood pressure, skin problems).
13. You are starting to show signs of depression and you are pretty sure it’s because you hate your job and you feel trapped.
14. You can’t sleep at night and wake up feeling exhausted every day.
15. You begin to rely on that glass of wine each night to calm you down and you drink ridiculous amounts of caffeine to get you through the day.
16. You become withdrawn and don’t have the energy or time to socialise with your colleagues. You skip lunch just so you don’t have to talk to them.
17. You work your ass off and spend way too long in the office, but you can’t leave on time because you’re totally swamped with work.
18. You have developed nervous habits such as pacing the room, shaking your legs, sweating excessively or biting your nails. People can see that you are visibly rattled.
19. You can’t concentrate on your work anymore because you are so stressed and unhappy.
20. You start thinking negative thoughts and begin to feel like you are terrible at your job.
21. You can’t cope with simple tasks anymore such as participating in meetings and presenting to clients.
22. You become moody and short tempered with your colleagues and also loved ones at home.
23. You constantly feel completely overwhelmed and get confused easily.
24. You completely lose interest in doing your job and each day drags so badly you think it’s never going to end.
26. You spend every minute you aren’t working looking for new jobs.
*Image courtesy of Monochromia Photography. I am not a health expert. If you think you are seriously stressed, contact a doctor. This is not an official diagnosis for stress.