July 5th, National Workaholics Day, is right around the corner. Society tends to glorify workaholism in today’s day and age. People are motivated to continue “grinding” as a way to achieve their professional, financial, and personal goals. There’s nothing inherently wrong with this level of ambition, but we shouldn't diminish the harmful effects of working too hard. Many people even use work as a coping mechanism because they struggle to deal with trauma or are avoiding personal issues.
National Workaholics Day is the perfect time to share with your clients the dangers of being overworked and the benefits of finding a work-life balance. If you need assistance helping clients who struggle with workaholism, consult with SokyaHealth today.
Workaholism is defined as "being overly concerned about work, to be driven by an uncontrollable work motivation, and to put so much energy and effort into work that it impairs private relationships, spare-time activities and/or health.” Simply put, a workaholic is someone who works obsessively. Workaholics typically work long hours, most days a week, and prioritize work over all else, including their family, friends, and personal responsibilities. This causes strain on their relationships.
Nowadays, being a workaholic is becoming less desirable among employers. It seems that in the past, employers were happy with employees who thought of nothing but work. Now that people are having more conversations regarding mental health in the workplace, this situation is less common. Despite growing employer support in improving the mental health of their employees, many still become workaholics for personal reasons.
The reasons people turn to workaholism vary. Generally, workaholics use work to cope with personal issues or past trauma. Psychologically, individuals with low self-esteem may be more likely to obsess over their work. Due to their overly critical nature, people may not see themselves as good enough until they’re the best in their business.
It’s also common for people to throw themselves into work when they experience marital or familial issues. Instead of going home and facing the problem, they focus on work because they can’t handle the situation.
A person’s past can also impact the likelihood of becoming a workaholic. Individuals who experienced a stressful childhood or had parents who were workaholics themselves are more likely to become workaholics. Sometimes, childhood trauma causes people to be emotionally cut off from the world around them. Work becomes their only emotional or social connection. In a sense, these people feel that work is the only thing they have and put their all into their career. This may prove financially fruitful but leaves little chance for emotional connection or support, leading to a lonely life.
It’s hard to say whether being a workaholic is a bad thing. Some people put in a crazy number of hours at work and are still able to take care of themselves, spend time with their families, and maintain a personal life. However, there are harmful effects of overworking oneself.
In an article published this past October, the Cleveland Clinic discusses the side effects of working too much. They found that working too much prevents people from getting enough quality sleep, eating during the day–never mind eating healthily–and exercising. Sleep, nutrition, and fitness are pillars of optimal health. Individuals who don’t make time for them experience adverse physical and mental health effects.
The Cleveland Clinic also states that working too much can cause people to neglect relationships. That includes romantic relationships, friendships, and familial relationships. Workaholics often miss school events and weekend activities. Some workaholics won’t even use their vacation days.
Another adverse effect of workaholicism is the degradation of their mental health. People may begin to experience symptoms of depression, anxiety, or other disorders. It’s not uncommon for people to abuse substances when they become overwhelmed by work. Especially in the case of workaholics, who frequently turn to work to cope with trauma and stress, the inability to properly cope with work stress may lead to substance use disorder.
Creating a work-life balance can be a complex process. There is no one-size-fits-all method to teach your clients how to create work-life balance; this help must be individualized. You can start by educating your client on the dangers of workaholism. They must come to understand why they overwork themselves. Is it to cope with conflict in their relationships or past trauma? Is their employer the cause?
Once you have determined the cause of their workaholic tendencies, you can offer advice. They can focus on making personal health a priority, look for flexible work options, and learn to set boundaries at work. By improving their work-life balance, they’ll notice improvements in their health, personal relationships, and overall well-being. Sokya is wellness, and we can help you help your clients on their path to wellness today.
So many people across the country are workaholics. Simply put, workaholics focus so obsessively on work that it impairs their personal relationships, spare-time activities, and their overall well-being. Workaholism is sometimes the cause of your client's inability to cope with trauma or personal conflicts and can produce a lot of harmful effects. Overworking prevents people from getting enough sleep, eating right, and getting exercise, which leads to many health problems. To help your client, you must get to the root of the problem. From there, you can offer them advice for creating a work-life balance. They can make personal health a priority, look for flexible work options, or learn to set boundaries at work. If you are trying to help a client and their struggle with workaholicism, consider consulting with SokyaHealth by calling (866) 657-6592. We can help you help your clients improve their wellness.