Mental Health

3 Signs Your Job Is Negatively Impacting Your Mental Health and Questions To Ask Yourself

I have been in jobs where I feel like my creativity, my voice and my autonomy were been stifled. I have been in roles where I feel like I have “permission” to flourish and lead. I obviously prefer the latter. I am a High D High I (Disc Profiling Explained) and require a certain amount of authority or autonomy over my work. I want to feel “in charge” or “responsible”. In my work, I want to work somewhat independently but have the safety net to ask questions and seek input. I want to work on a team where my work is deeply appreciated and I can tell that my work makes a difference to our team and the company as a whole. My top Value is HUMOR. Not surprising to me, or anyone else in my life. I want to work  on a team where humor is also valued and we can get along well. 

Click Here for a  FREE PRINTABLE VALUE SORT

 WE NEED DIVERSITY WITHIN THE WORKPLACE. We need dominating personalities. We need do-ers. We nee Big Idea people. We need people who search for accuracy. We need people who want to make everyone feel good. We need bosses. We need followers. We need creative types. We need analytical people.  We need people who save money. We need people who can spend when necessary. We need vital voices who stand up for change or stand up against a super horrible shitty idea! We need friends at work. We need great workplace culture. We need to feel heard. We need to see the revenue and how we are doing as a company. We need to see the WHY. We need to have companies appreciate all types of people to get shit done! We also need companies to value mental health in the workplace. If you have a company running with a pack of wolves who all think the exact same way.. you will remain stagnant. 

That being said, there are many things (including the lack of all of those above) about a job that can make you want to leave but what if the job itself starts negatively impacting your mental health? 

Negative Impact #1

  You have no life outside of work

Not having a life outside of work can cause you to become detached from your inner circle and not the joy that life has to offer. Work is just work. Life is all the things that make up what you do and who you are. Work is a big part of some people’s identity, but it shouldn’t be the ONLY thing they spend time doing or working on. 

We have all heard those people who say things like….

“I am a work-a-holic!” 

“I stay until 10pm to get my project finished. If I don’t do it ..nobody will” 

“I haven’t taken vacation all year because frankly… I can’t” 

When you stay late, don’t go home in time for dinner, don’t have a hobby outside of work, can’t sleep because you’re thinking about work, spend your weekends also working, bring all of your work home with you and never see your partner/family/friends or make any time for doing something you enjoy..

You are out of balance!

Where is the joy in your life?

Where is the laughter?

Negative Impact #2

You Pick Up Unhealthy Coping Mechanisms 

Stress over a project, a deadline, a new director or changes within the company can cause a lot of people to run for past coping mechanisms (or pick up brand new ones). I am sure you have heard someone say “So glad it is Friday.. I can’t wait to finish an entire bottle of wine tonight!” Well.. that might not be the healthiest way to handle workplace stress and the work will still be there on Monday. 

Unhealthy coping mechanisms:

  • Smoking Cigarettes
  • Isolation
  • Drinking more than usual
  • Using drugs
  • Excessive anger
  • Restricting/Binging food
  • Overexercising 
  • High risk behaviors (driving fast, cutting people off, high risk sexual behaviors)
  • Self harm behaviors (cutting, picking, burning, hair pulling)  What exactly is self harm and why do people do it?
  • Unusual behavior

If you, or someone you know, has started picking up an unhealthy coping mechanism due to their job, reach out. Offer support and ask them if they think it would be beneficial to take a step back and figure out what would be beneficial at this time. Check out my post When You Are Silently Suffering. What to do next

Negative Impact #3

You aren’t being developed, therefore not valued

When you feel like your company or your boss is not developing you or spending the time with you that you need, it may be time to look at that more further. How is this impacting your mental health and how is that  impacting your career? 

Not being developed and not feeling valued can lead to:

  • Boredom
  • Frustration
  • Anger
  • Jealousy 
  • Fear of job loss
  • Depression
  • Anxiety
  • Negative outlook
  • Isolation
  • and many more things

Questions to ask yourself about your job

  1. Do I feel fulfilled at my job?
  2. Are there things I could incorporate into my life that would make my work/life balance better?
  3. Do I feel stressed majority of the days when I leave or when I come in?
  4. Am I being developed in my current role?
  5. Am I using unhealthy and dangerous coping mechanisms to “get by”?
  6. Would I feel less stressed if I took a step back for a bit?
  7. Do I have vacation that I could use?
  8. Would I be happier in a different role or a different company?
  9. Could I talk to someone I work with about this?
  10. Are there resources available to me in the community or at work that could help with how I am feeling?
  11. Would I feel better if I didn’t work here anymore?

Process these questions with yourself, a friend or a therapist. Be as honest as possible.

Check out my post where I am chatting about all things to do when you have anxiety/stress at work and no choice but to stay a bit longer: 

5 Tips for Overcoming Anxiety At Work

Still need a therapist recommendation? Click here for more info!

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