Yes, Work Hangovers Are Real. Here Are the 5 Signs You're Suffering From One
If you get a sick feeling in your stomach like clockwork every Sunday at 6 pm or anticipate the dreaded 'ding' of an email notification even on your days off, chances are you might be suffering from a work hangover. No, we don't mean that dreaded foggy feeling you get at the office when you've stayed up too late on the weekend, we mean quite the opposite. A work hangover is a stressful state where work commitments, deadlines and to-do lists follow you around and leave you exhausted both physically and mentally. If all of this is sounding a bit too familiar, here are five clear signs you're suffering from a work hangover.
1. You're not over your old job
Quitting a job can truly be one of the most stressful times in your life. Whether it's a less than ideal scenario or completely amicable, we've all experienced the uncomfortable feeling of leaving a job in search of greener pastures. Usually you'll have a new job lined up to jump straight into—which means you won't suffer financially—but it can lead to other issues in your new role. By not taking some time to digest the time (both good and bad) you've spent at your previous workplace, it's easy to bring along all the pressures and concerns you've felt into this new job. Something exciting and fresh can quickly become arduous if you don't proactively wipe the proverbial slate clean.
2. You dread Sundays
If you've never felt this, we're envious. Let us paint a picture—you clocked out on Friday without a care in the world, except all you did was push that care to the back of your mind so that you could enjoy some relaxing weekend time. As Sunday creeps in and Monday morning is looming, that feeling makes its way to the forefront of your mind and before you know it, you're basically working for free. Try allocating specific time for yourself on a Sunday to enjoy an activity you love to get your brain active and focused on something productive.
3. You don't feel a sense of achievement
Even after a jam-packed workday, it's possible to feel like you haven't accomplished anything of substance. It might be that you haven't properly planned out what you intend to achieve that day in the form of a checklist or you're just not doing work you're passionate about, but leaving each day feeling like you're not really contributing can be tough. Try to set realistic goals for the day and celebrate when you finish them. It's all about small wins.
4. Your to-do list follows you
Everyone is constantly switching between multiple to-do lists (family, friends, bills) in their brain because of how busy our lives get. That only becomes an issue when you can't seem to focus on anything else besides the incessant rotation of tasks you need to get done. The best way to combat this awful feeling is to spend some time at the end of each day organising the following day so you can feel prepared and things aren't floating around in your brain and becoming larger issues than they really are.
5. You can't unplug
By now you know that we highly value quality sleep and rest to refuel and rejuvenate our bodies and minds. The ultimate obstacle to getting the vital downtime you need is remaining connected to your phone or laptop at home. It goes without saying that your bedroom should be a tech-free zone for your best chance at some quality zzz's, but many people fall into a trap of checking messages and emails late into the night which makes it almost impossible to drift off or find any inner peace. It's a hard habit to make, but switching off notifications at home is the best way to keep yourself feeling happy and healthy.
If you are concerned about your health, wellbeing or sleep, your first port of call should be your GP, who will advise a correct treatment plan.
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