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Category: Workplace

Signs That You Need a Mental Health Day off Work

Workplace stress and the pressure to consistently perform at your best can be a show-stopper for your mental well-being. And in case you’re wondering – yes – that’s equally valid for both physical labor and intellectual employment.


So, if you’re already here, you probably know at least a little something about mental health days off work. To help you better understand the concept, its importance, and its benefits, we’ll guide you through it in the paragraphs below.


Are you wondering if it’s time for a well-deserved break and how to ask for it? Let’s figure this one out together.


What Is a Mental Health Day Off: The Basics


A mental health day off is, by definition, a designated break from work that allows individuals to prioritize their well-being and handle their mental and emotional needs. It is a day devoted to self-care, rejuvenation, and intentional stress reduction.


Unlike traditional sick leave, a mental health day off focuses specifically on supporting mental well-being rather than physical ailments. It acknowledges that mental health is equally significant and deserves attention and care.


Or else said – it’s a day that allows you to zoom out from work-related stressors, recharge your mental batteries, and engage in activities that promote relaxation and self-reflection.


How Are Mental Health Days Off Regulated


Before we delve into the signs that indicate the need for a mental health day, it’s essential to understand how these days off are regulated in various workplaces.


While the specifics may vary depending on your location and company policies, many organizations have recognized the importance of mental health and implemented supportive measures. Some workplaces may offer specific provisions for mental health leave, while others may include it under general sick leave or personal days.


If that’s not the case, your mental health day off will count as sick or personal leave – two alternatives to which every part-time or full-time employee should be entitled.


So, before you plan your me-time off the office, you should unavoidably familiarize yourself with your organization’s policies to ensure you understand your rights and options.


7 Signs You Need a Mental Health Day Off


There is still a lot of stigma surrounding mental health matters, especially in developing countries. This being said, many employees may consider taking a mental health day off work a sign of weakness or even grounds for employment insecurity.


This mindset can easily lead you to overlook or totally ignore the red flags, thus self-sabotaging your comfort and health.


Below, you will find a list of signs and symptoms that you should not neglect when it comes to workplace well-being.

#1 Persistent Exhaustion

Feeling permanently tired, both physically and mentally, or waking up tired after a good night’s sleep, can be a sure sign of accumulated stress.


If you find it difficult to get out of bed or feel constantly drained, it may be time to consider taking a mental health day off without having second thoughts about it.

#2 Decreased Productivity

Experiencing a decline in your work performance, struggling to concentrate, and having difficulty completing tasks that were once routine may indicate that your mental well-being is being compromised.


Taking time off can help you regain focus and rejuvenate your productivity healthily and intelligently.

#3 Increased Irritability

It could signify mounting stress if you become easily frustrated, snap at colleagues or loved ones, or feel on edge without a particular reason.


Stepping away from work for a day can allow you to recharge and recover your composure before stress becomes burnout.

yelling through a rotary phone

#4 Emotional Overload

Frequent mood swings, feeling overwhelmed by emotions, or difficulty controlling your reactions are also important markers to pay attention to.


Work-related stress can contribute to emotional volatility, causing you to experience heightened levels of anger, sadness, or anxiety. This emotional overload can make it challenging to navigate daily tasks and maintain stable relationships.

#5 Lack of Motivation

Did you know that the word intrigued comes from the Latin intrīcō, meaning to entangle or perplex? Then, the Merriam-Webster dictionary tells us that the opposite of intrigued would be absent, inattentive, or apathetic.


Prolonged stress can rob you of the inbound human quality of being entangled, taking away from your enthusiasm and passion. No – going through the motions without experiencing a sense of fulfillment or purpose is not how things should be.

#6 Difficulty Disconnecting

If you simply can’t switch off from work and constantly think about job-related tasks outside of work hours, it’s time to step back.


This inability to mentally detach from work can blur the boundaries between personal and professional life, leaving you constantly on-call and unable to relax or recharge fully.

#7 Physical Symptoms

Physical manifestations such as headaches, stomach problems, muscle tension, or a weakened immune system can also signal excessive stress.


These symptoms should not be overlooked, as they can easily reveal that your mental well-being is being compromised.


The more of the symptoms above you experience, the more urgent the need to rethink your work-life relationship and take measures to destress.


sleeping on the couch

How to Ask for a Mental Health Day Off Work


You are not and should not be required to disclose your emotional states at work unless you want to be open about the situation.


Of course, if your employer actively engages in employee well-being and offers official mental health days off, you can go straight to the point. In that case, you can communicate openly with your supervisor or HR department about your mental health needs. Explain why you requested and emphasize that taking this time off will ultimately benefit your well-being and work performance.


Additionally, if your organization has an Employee Assistance Program (EAP) or mental health support services, contact them for guidance on requesting a mental health day off.


When you don’t feel comfortable discussing your mental health, you have two different alternatives:


  • Utilize personal days off or personal leave entitlements without providing detailed explanations.
  • Or frame your request as a necessary day off to attend to physical health concerns, a.k.a. sick leave.


The most important basis for your approach should be your personal comfort; after all, your employee expects you to perform at work and not share private information about your life outside working hours.


How to Spend Your Special Me-Time


Once you’ve successfully secured a mental health day off work, it’s time to make the most of this time to recharge and rejuvenate. There is only one universally valid rule about this day, and it says: do, think, and plan nothing related to your job.


Whatever comes next depends on your preferences and personality. So instead of doing things by the book, do them by heart – just make yourself feel good your way.


It could be a day up in the mountains or a day in bed with your favorite novel. It could be a long cooking session, a roller-coaster ride with your kids, or a long talk with an old friend. You can plan and do whatever feels right, even if it’s way too far away from the commonly recommended yoga, deep breathing, and mindfulness sessions.


Benefits of Taking a Deserved Well-Being Break


Taking a mental health day off work can provide numerous benefits, most of which are quite obvious.


By definition, your most precious benefit will be your enhanced mental well-being. Stepping away from work can help alleviate stress and reduce burnout, allowing you to return with a fresh perspective and renewed energy.


This will inevitably result in increased productivity and the ability to feel intrigued by your job once again. You can return to work with increased focus and efficiency by giving yourself the space to rest and reset.


Ultimately, you will enjoy an improved work-life balance. The reason is simple – a mental health day off work sets a precedent for self-care and sends a positive message to both yourself and your colleagues.


To sum it all up – taking a mental health day off is a proactive step toward normalizing normality. Because a human being is not designed to work, sleep, and then work again; a human being is designed to feel intrigued by work, life, and everything in between.


black woman laughting and happy

Mental Health Day off Work FAQ

Can I take a mental health day off if I don’t have an officially designated policy at my workplace?

Yes, you can still request time off for mental health reasons, even if there is no specific policy in place. You can simply use your personal or sick leave and use it to recharge mentally.

Can I use my day off to address underlying mental health issues?

While a single day off cannot solve deep-rooted mental health concerns, it can provide a much-needed respite and an opportunity to seek appropriate help and support.

Can I request a mental health day off without disclosing the specific reason?

Yes, if you don’t feel comfortable disclosing the specific reason for your time off, you don’t need to do it. Just take a personal day off without elaborating on the precise details.

When and How To Take a Stress Leave From Work

Stress can affect both your mental and physical well-being, and that’s particularly true in today’s highly challenging work environment. Thus, understanding when and how to opt in for a stress leave from work is crucial for preserving your health and inner harmony.


In the paragraphs below, we will share expert know-how on the stress leave procedure: what it is, when you need it, and how to make it the right way.


Additionally, you will find helpful, hands-on advice on preventing future stress and burnout in your workplace.


What Is a Stress Leave Exactly


A stress leave, also known as a leave of absence due to stress, is a temporary period allowed to spend time off of work. It is granted to employees who undergo excessive stress, impairing their ability to perform their job or taking a toll on their overall well-being.


The primary purpose of a stress leave is to let people regain their balance, recharge, and address the underlying causes of stress or burnout at work.


Signs That You Need to Consider Taking a Stress Leave


Identifying the signs that reveal the need for a stress leave is essential for taking timely action.


The red flags can be mainly divided into emotional and physical symptoms, yet they can vary significantly from person to person.


Some of the most common emotional signs that you need a break include:


  • Persistent anxiety;
  • Overwhelming feelings of stress;
  • Irritability, mood swings, and anger outbursts;
  • Feeling emotionally drained;
  • Difficulty concentrating;
  • Loss of interest or enjoyment in activities;
  • An increased sensitivity or emotional reactions;
  • Racing thoughts or a constant feeling of being on edge;
  • Difficulty in making decisions, etc.


In the meantime, you can also notice different physical signs that stress is too much, including:


  • Frequent headaches;
  • Chronic fatigue or exhaustion;
  • Muscle tension or pain;
  • Digestive issues such as stomachaches or nausea;
  • Rapid heartbeat or palpitations;
  • Changes in appetite;
  • Insomnia or difficulty sleeping;
  • Weakened immune system, leading to frequent illnesses;
  • Shortness of breath or shallow breathing;
  • Increased sweating, clammy hands, etc.


All of these indicators can spring up when stress levels have reached a perplexing point, demanding your attention and care.


too much work leading to burnout

How to Request Stress Leave From Work


Communicating your condition, your plans, and your needs to your employer can be a challenging thing to do. Anyway, employees should know their rights and proceed with their requests promptly and adequately before the situation gets out of control.


So, here is how to take a leave of absence from work due to stress.

Step 1: Look up and understand your rights

Familiarize yourself with the stress leave laws and regulations in your state or country. Additionally, review your employer’s policy regarding leaves of absence due to stress.


This background will give you confidence and ensure you take the necessary steps within the bounds of the law and company guidelines.

Step 2: Visit your healthcare provider

Secondly, schedule an appointment with your physician to discuss your stress levels and their impact on your well-being. Ultimately, you should request a doctor’s note that supports your need for stress leave.


If you’re wondering what to say to the doctor to get stress leave, the answer is rather simple. All you need to do is to openly share your symptoms and challenges, ensuring the doctor understands the severity of your situation during the appointment.

Step 3: Discuss the situation with your employer

Choose an appropriate time to discuss your stress leave request with your employer. For example, arrange a meeting with your human resources department to debate your options, including the duration of the leave and any available support programs.


Remember that open and honest communication is vital in ensuring you and your employer are on the same page.

Step 4: Focus on your recovery

During your stress leave, prioritize your well-being and do all you can to help your healthy comeback. For example, you can explore self-care strategies such as relaxation techniques, seeking therapy or counseling, or practicing a favorite hobby you’ve left behind lately.


It’s important to utilize your time, recharge and free your mind from all work-related matters during the leave. Now would be the best time to build a new self-care routine that will last in the long term.


Now is the time to also lean on your friends, family, or support groups. Share your feelings and concerns with those who can offer guidance and empathy, and do not hesitate to reach out to professional therapy if you feel the need for it.


recovering from burnout

The Benefits and Drawbacks of a Stress Leave


Every coin has two sides, and stress leave makes no exception.


On the positive side, it provides a much-needed break to address and alleviate stress, resulting in better mental and physical health. In addition, it allows you to recharge and regain your resilience without having to juggle between your work and yourself, even if for a while.


However, a stress leave can also have some drawbacks, especially if your country or company is still not engaged enough with the matters of employee well-being.


Depending on the situation, a stress leave can cause a potential strain on finances or bring up concerns about job security. Understanding these aspects can help you make an informed decision and ultimately think of changing your workplace to a healthier one.


Returning to Work: Tips for a Smooth Transition


Returning to work after a stress leave requires careful planning and a gradual transition to ensure a successful reintegration.


To achieve this, you can consider the following tips:


  • Keep your employer informed about your progress and any special accommodations you may require upon your return.
  • Consider a phased return, starting with reduced hours or lighter duties initially to prevent overwhelming yourself.
  • Establish clear boundaries to protect your well-being and prevent excessive stress from resurfacing.
  • Use all available support systems, such as employee assistance programs or counseling services, to help you navigate any challenges upon your return.

Some countries have well-developed employee support systems that can provide all the resources needed throughout the process.


rock balancing

How to Prevent Future Stress and Burnout at Work


Taking action when stress is overwhelming is important; yet, taking action to prevent stress in the first place would be your best well-being strategy.


To do so, you can gradually learn to prioritize self-care, even if your working schedule makes it seem impossible. Try to regularly engage in activities that promote relaxation, stress reduction, and overall well-being, such as spending time in nature or rocking out to your favorite band.


In the meantime, avoid overcommitting yourself and learn to say no when necessary. Instead of over-timing as a rule, plan and prioritize your tasks, delegate when possible, and avoid excessive multitasking.


To implement that theory into practice, maintain open lines of communication with your supervisor and colleagues, seeking support when needed. This will help you establish a healthy work-life balance and enjoy your precious time for rest, hobbies, and quality time with loved ones.


Remember – at the end of the day, no one except you and your family will know how much exactly you put into your work. So, to protect your peace and balance, put first things first – starting with yourself as number one on the list.


Stress Leave FAQ


Do you get paid for stress leave at work?

The payment for stress leave varies depending on several factors, such as your employment contract, company policies, and applicable laws. For example, some employers offer paid leave for stress-related absences, while others may require you to use accumulated sick leave or vacation days.


How long can a stress leave typically last?

The duration of a stress leave can change depending on the circumstances and the severity of the case. It can range from a few days to several weeks or even months in more severe cases.


Can an employer deny the request for stress leave?

In general, an employer cannot unreasonably deny an employee’s request for stress leave if it is supported by appropriate medical documentation and complies with applicable laws and company policies. However, specific regulations and legal protections regarding stress leave vary across jurisdictions.


Do I need a doctor’s note to take a stress leave?

In most cases, a doctor’s note or medical documentation is required to submit an official stress leave request. Anyway, if your company is actively committed to employee well-being, you will probably enjoy a more open-minded and supportive reaction to your concerns.

Elevating Employee Well-being Through a Strong CSR Framework

The notion of employee well-being is gaining momentum in the workplace, and the reason is rather simple. Companies have just become increasingly aware of its massive influence on business success.


Organizations that put employee well-being at the apex of their priority list tend to enjoy multiple positive outcomes. They include – but are far from limited to – lower rates of absenteeism, higher levels of employee engagement, and an enhanced level of productivity.


Furthermore, prioritizing the well-being of employees can boost a company’s reputation, help attract top-notch talent, and construct a positive organizational culture.


This being said, a well-thought employee well-being policy is an inseparable part of every future-proof company vision. So how does it align with the overall Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, and what practical outcomes does it bring at the end of the day – we’re discussing in the paragraphs to follow.


Defining Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Its Connection to Employee Well-being


Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is basically the company’s commitment to practices favorable for society and the environment. It includes multiple facets, such as sustainable business operations, ethical labor practices, and community engagement.


In recent years, CSR has also been closely intertwined with employee health and well-being.


By placing employee well-being initiatives at the forefront of their CSR strategy, companies are not only fulfilling their societal responsibility. They are also making a sound investment in the prosperity of their employees and, therefore, their own future profits.


happy team in the office

The Matter of Employee Well-being and Its Influence on Company Success


Employees who are healthy, engaged, and motivated are more likely to be productive, innovative, and committed to the company’s mission. Additionally, companies prioritizing employee well-being can drastically reduce healthcare costs and absenteeism while, in the meantime, improving their retention rates.


We can mention two noteworthy facts and stats published by the Happiness Business School to translate theory into practice. They point out that happy employees are 20% more productive, helping their employees outperform the competition by a matching 20%.


In contrast, companies that do not target employee mental health as a priority may face some not-so-positive offshoots on their bottom line. Employees who are stressed, overworked, or struggling with job-related burnout may have higher rates of absenteeism, lower productivity, and poorer job satisfaction.


These issues can lead to high turnover rates, increased healthcare costs, and some truly challenging times in employee retention in the future.


So, investing in the contentment of your teams doesn’t look like such a far shot for your business growth after all, does it?


How To Improve Employee Well-being: Best Practices


Developing a robust CSR framework that bolsters employee well-being requires a blend of policies, initiatives, and general culture.


A few best practices for accomplishing this include:


  • Place mental health and wellness at the forefront. Providing mental health resources, such as employee assistance programs, can help employees cope with anxiety at work and enhance their overall feeling of fulfillment.
  • Provide flexible working arrangements. Supplying flexible work hours, remote work, or hybrid timetables can aid employees in juggling their personal and professional lives, curbing stress, and elevating job satisfaction.
  • Cultivate a positive workplace environment. Encouraging teamwork, celebrating employee accomplishments, and endorsing work-life balance can build a positive workplace culture that brings success in the long run.
  • Invest in employee development. Тraining programs, mentorship, and a clearly defined career path can foster employee loyalty, engagement, and job satisfaction.

Long story short – if your teams feel respected, appreciated, and taken care of, you can expect smooth collaboration and fruitful mutual efforts.


employee wellbeing

The Benefits of Investing in Employee Well-being as Part of a CSR Strategy


Investing in employee-centered initiatives is not only the right thing to do from an ethical standpoint. It also makes good business sense.


A physically and mentally thriving workforce delivers more and delivers it of their own free will. This means that you, as an employer, won’t have to put too much pressure on your teams or too much effort on righting their wrongs – merely because their wrongs will decrease smoothly and naturally.


When employees feel valued and supported, they are likelier to go above and beyond in their work without perceiving this as a chore or a burden.


From a financial point of view, ensuring employee well-being can lead to lower healthcare costs for the business. Fewer medical interventions and sick leaves mean a more structured and predictable workforce and, therefore, better consistency for you as an employer.


Some other benefits of monitoring and enhancing employee well-being include:


  • Enhanced creativity and innovation;
  • Better relationships with customers and stakeholders;
  • Reduced conflicts and tensions in the workplace;
  • Reduced turnover and recruitment costs;
  • Higher quality of work output;
  • Improved customer satisfaction;
  • Better adaptability to change;
  • Better organizational resilience;
  • Reduced stress and burnout among employees;
  • Lower risk of employee lawsuits and legal disputes;
  • Greater diversity and inclusion in the workplace, etc.


Measuring the Effectiveness of CSR Initiatives on Employee Well-being


Estimating the significance of different CSR initiatives for employee physical and mental health is critical to ensuring you invest your resources wisely.


While there are various ways to measure the impact of CSR on employee well-being, one effective method is through employee surveys and feedback.


Employee surveys can help pinpoint areas of improvement and provide insights into how employees perceive the company’s initiatives. For example, surveys can ask workers about their job satisfaction, stress levels, and work-life balance. By collecting this data, companies can identify areas where they can improve their CSR initiatives and patterns that bring tangible results.


Another way to measure the impact of CSR on employee well-being is through employee turnover rates. High employee turnover can signify dissatisfaction, stress, or burnout. By tracking turnover rates and comparing them to previous years, you can gauge the effectiveness of your CSR initiatives and make adjustments as needed.


Some other metrics you can use for the purpose include, for example, the following:


  • Employee engagement rates;
  • Absenteeism and sick leave rates compared to the industry average;
  • Health insurance claims and healthcare costs;
  • Employee morale and self-initiative levels;
  • Employee participation in CSR initiatives;
  • Time to fill job vacancies and recruitment cost per hire;
  • Performance on sales targets or project deadlines, etc.


Finally, the impact on the company’s bottom line and financial performance will always be the stamp telling you that your strategy has succeeded.

Symptoms of Burnout at Work

Have you been dragging your feet lethargically on your way to the office lately? Are you struggling to summon the once-abundant motivation and energy that once drove you through your workday? If that sounds relatable, you might be approaching the risky specter of burnout.


Burnout is a condition that undermines a person’s emotional, cognitive, and even physical capabilities. It is often triggered by prolonged and extreme work-related stress in combination with some personal predispositions and risk factors.


The paragraphs below will shed some light on the symptoms, causes, and stages of job burnout, along with some hands-on strategies for preventing and managing the condition.


What Is Job Burnout: Definition and Types


The state of burnout is marked by an all-pervading feeling of emotional, mental, and physical exhaustion. It can arise when you constantly push yourself beyond your limits to fulfill your professional duties, ultimately leading to an unavoidable collapse.


It is crucial to differentiate burnout from other associated conditions, such as stress and depression. Stress is a natural reaction to the numerous challenges and pressures we encounter. It can often be managed by employing effective coping mechanisms. Depression, conversely, is a severe mental health disorder that requires timely and personalized professional attention.


Burnout, though, is a complex and multifaceted state with a specific modus operandi for prevention and management.


There are different types of job burnout, the most common among which include:


  • Frenetic burnout occurs when individuals work excessively and compulsively, attempting to prove their worth through high productivity levels.
  • Underchallenged burnout happens when individuals feel bored, unstimulated, and unappreciated in their job.
  • Worn-out burnout is when people feel exhausted and disillusioned, often due to chronic stress, job insecurity, or lack of support.


No matter the type of burnout, recognizing the reasons behind it will always be the first step toward making things right for yourself again.


Common Causes of Burnout Among Employees


Burnout can be provoked by a combination of work-related and personal factors.


Work-related contributing factors contributing can include:


  • Unrealistic job demands, increased workloads, and arm-twisting deadlines;
  • Lack of control over the nature and the quantity of your assignments;
  • Inadequate levels of social support from colleagues, supervisors, and the community.


lady being burnout at work

Some personal factors, on the other hand, might be:


  • Personality traits such as perfectionism, high-performing anxiety, and neuroticism;
  • Unhealthy coping mechanisms – avoidance, alcohol, or substance abuse;
  • Significant life events, including divorce, financial stress, or health-related problems.


Research suggests that there is also a lengthy checklist of risk factors defining how predisposed you are to burnout. According to a recent study from Future Forum, women and workers under 30 are most prone to it, with nearly half (48%) of 18-to-29-year-olds feeling chronically exhausted at work.


At the same time, 46% of women reported higher levels of burnout compared to men, who count up to 37%.


What Are The Early Symptoms Of Burnout at Work?


Burnout can manifest in different physical, emotional, behavioral, and social symptoms.


Physical Symptoms of Burnout


These include:

  • Feeling tired and drained most of the time, even after resting;
  • Frequent headaches, migraines, or tension headaches;
  • Difficulty falling or staying asleep or waking up feeling tired;
  • Upset stomach, diarrhea, or constipation;
  • Lack of concentration and focus, etc.


Emotional Symptoms of Burnout


Emotional signs of burnout can include:

  • A negative and cynical outlook on work and life;
  • Lack of motivation and interest in work tasks or projects;
  • Feeling unfulfilled or dissatisfied with your work;
  • Feeling emotionally drained, depleted, or overwhelmed;
  • Feeling irritable or impatient;
  • Loss of enjoyment in activities previously found pleasurable, etc.


woman tired in the office

Behavioral Symptoms of Burnout


In this group, you can look out for:

  • Difficulty completing work tasks decreased productivity or low quality of work;
  • Absenteeism and tardiness;
  • Procrastination and avoidance of tasks;
  • Neglecting self-care and personal needs;
  • Engaging in risky or impulsive behaviors;
  • Isolation and withdrawal from social interactions, etc.


Social Symptoms of Burnout


Last but not least, burnout is a probable reason for the following changes in social behavior:

  • Conflict with colleagues or supervisors;
  • Having difficulty with teamwork and collaboration;
  • Becoming more critical of others;
  • Neglecting personal relationships;
  • Poor work-life balance;
  • Losing interest in personal hobbies or activities;
  • Feeling uncomfortable in social situations, etc.


How Do You Diagnose Work-related Burnout?


Diagnosing burnout can be tricky. The reason is that the symptoms are often comparable to those of other conditions, including depression and anxiety.


However, there are several established ways to confirm a work-related form of burnout, the first among which is self-assessment. You can use validated assessment tools such as the Maslach Burnout Inventory (MBI) or Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) to evaluate your symptoms and determine your burnout level.


A healthcare professional can also check your physical health to rule out any underlying medical conditions. Sleep disturbances, poor diet choices, and hormonal disturbances are the usual suspects when it comes to chronic exhaustion.


Mental health professionals, on the other hand, are there to inspect your psychological condition. They can confirm or eliminate the hypothesis of job-related burnout, as well as identify any other mental health conditions causing the distress.


Last but not least, reviewing all work-related factors is a crucial step to take. For example, analyzing workload, job demands, and employment conditions can help identify the root causes of burnout and design your long-term prevention plan.


a man being burnout at work

Strategies For Preventing and Managing Burnout


Preventing burnout requires a combination of individual and organizational strategies.


As an individual, there are a few stepping stones to consider on your path to healing:

  • Establish boundaries between work and personal life to foster a healthy work-life proportion.
  • Plan self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, or hobbies to promote your physical and mental well-being.
  • Work on developing healthy coping mechanisms such as problem-solving or seeking social support.

Organizations, on the other hand, are also required to take the matter seriously and implement measures to reduce burnout levels among employees.

If you are an employer yourself, here is what you can do to make things better for your crew:

  • Encourage workplace social activities and provide opportunities for employees to connect with each other.
  • Provide resources, such as employee assistance programs or mental health services, to sustain employee well-being.
  • Avoid excessive workloads and deliver adequate resources to complete tasks.

At the end of the day, transparency is crucial for a healthy workplace environment. Promote honest discussions about workplace anxiety, job-related burnout, workplace bullying, and whatever challenges your team might be facing. Happy employees are productive employees, and an employer who cares is an employer who profits.


When To Seek Professional Treatment For Work-related Burnout


You don’t need to experience habitual burnout that manifests in physical symptoms before seeking support from a healthcare professional. In fact, it’s precisely the opposite.


Remember that reacting as early as possible is essential to prevent early-stage burnout from evolving into hard-to-manage enmeshment.


Once you have the first step, treatment strategies will differ depending on the severity of your symptoms. They usually include counseling, medication, or a combination of both. However, when you have a trusted professional to guide your way, you can rest assured that it will all work out in the end.


Burnout is both a preventable and a treatable issue. The only thing you need to do is keep an eye on yourself and react timely to preserve your mental well-being regardless of how demanding your job is.

How to Deal With Anxiety at Work

Do you often feel the mental tension building up before you even arrive at your workplace? The good news is bad news; there are millions out there who feel just the same.


Anxiety affects millions of people around the globe, cutting across diverse age, gender, and cultural demographics. As one of the most persistent mental health challenges in the modern world, it is most noticeable in the workplace, where high-pressure situations are often the norm.


If you’re prone to anxiety attacks and a generalized feeling of anxiousness, it’s no surprise that the long hours, difficult coworkers, and pressing deadlines can all contribute to the problem.


Luckily, there are ways to tackle anxiety and regain control of how you feel at your workplace. So, in the following paragraphs, we will explore the various factors contributing to workplace anxiety, its most common symptoms, and some practical tips for managing the situation before it gets out of control.


What is Workplace Anxiety: Definition and Statistics


Workplace anxiety refers to the feelings of nervousness, fear, and unease that can arise and persist in a work environment. These feelings can be triggered by your colleagues, tasks, or the general workplace atmosphere.


Typical symptoms include excessive worry, racing thoughts, difficulty concentrating, and increased irritability. Meanwhile, physical symptoms can also occur, such as excessive sweating, shaking hands, and heart palpitations.


According to a survey by the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, three-fourths of people who feel stressed out at work report that the tension carries over to their personal life.


Research also suggests that anxiety-related disorders are the second leading cause of workplace absenteeism, costing employers billions of dollars in lost productivity annually.


Given the facts above, we can easily assume that workplace anxiety is both a significant factor in one’s overall well-being and a fundamental problem that employers need to understand and address.


Top 10 Causes of Anxiety in the Workplace


There are various workplace anxiety causes and identifying your triggers can be the first step in handling them in the long term. So, let’s bring up the curtain and explore ten of the most frequent reasons for feeling uneasy while at work.


#1 Workload and Deadlines

The mounting workloads, suffocating deadlines, and towering expectations can build a sense of pressure and stress that can trigger anxiety. Individuals who struggle to manage their workload or feel flooded by the demands of their superiors or clients may be more susceptible to anxiety attacks.


In addition, the constant buzz of tasks that need to be accomplished can leave workers feeling overwhelmed, and unrealistic time frames can add to their workplace anxiety.


overloaded with work

#2 Interpersonal Conflicts and Workplace Bullying

Conflict with coworkers or supervisors, workplace bullying, or feeling excluded can add to the social anxiety at work. A workplace lacking a positive, supportive culture can also increase employees’ feelings of constant and undefined dread.


Workers who feel they are not valued or heard may experience nervousness, leading to decreased productivity and a lack of motivation.


#3 Lack of Control

Experiencing a lack of agency in managing your workload or schedule can also give rise to a pervasive sense of debasement that may worsen your anxiety.


Surveys suggest that those who perceive themselves as having little influence over their workload or career path may become particularly susceptible to anxiety. In addition, feelings of helplessness may feed into the already scaling distress, leaving individuals feeling trapped in a closed circle.


#4 Job Insecurity

The mere thought of losing one’s job or the fear of instability in one’s career can induce an immediate negative reaction in a person. People who have undergone job loss or downsizing previously may be more prone to experiencing anxiety related to job security. The unpredictable nature of their occupation status can give rise to stress and anxiety, adversely impacting their and even their families’ mental well-being.


out of money

#5 Poor Work-life Balance

Trying to juggle work and personal responsibilities can be a lot to handle, and not having enough time for self-care can intensify workplace anxiety. In addition, people who sense their job has become all-consuming may be at greater risk of developing long-term mental health issues. These include but are not limited to generalized anxiety, depression, and even substance abuse.


#6 Poor Job Satisfaction

It’s common for people to experience anxiety when they feel that their work doesn’t hold personal significance or lacks alignment with their values.


The dissatisfaction can cause a downward spiral, where lack of motivation feeds into anxiety levels, and vice versa. In such cases, it’s essential to assess the reasons behind the dissatisfaction and explore alternatives to bring greater meaning to one’s work.


#7 Organizational Change

Staff can quickly develop anxiety when confronted with corporate transformations, such as organizational restructuring, downsizing, or alterations in top-level management. That’s especially valid for people who bear skepticism about their place in the hierarchy or the future trajectory of the business.


The executive personnel in charge have a crucial role in providing certainty and elucidation along the process. By expressing themselves openly and transparently, they can foster a feeling of calm and confidence among employees.


#8 Poor Communication

Insufficient communication, ambiguous prospects, or substandard feedback have never made a workplace environment any better. Employees who don’t have the necessary details to perform their duties or are not receiving satisfactory assistance from their colleagues or supervisors can (quite logically) feel uncomfortable and worried. In addition, poor intercommunication can create a feeling of seclusion, contributing to employee anxiety and strain.


poor communcation between two colleagues

#9 Physical Work Environment

Unpleasant work settings are proven to both originate and deepen workplace concerns. These can be loud clamor, no access to enough daylight, an uncomfortable seat, or any other profession-specific physical discomfort.


Workers who lack a secure or cozy workplace start to automatically correlate between discomfort and work. That’s ultimately a ground for developing some not-so-pleasant associations with the place of employment.


#10 Trauma

Witnessing an incident, acts of violence, or workplace bullying is more challenging for some people to take. Individuals who have faced such trauma might be more susceptible to work-related anxiety, even if they change their workplace or settle the conflict.


The reason is that the mere recollection of the traumatic event can incite feelings of panic and anxiety, leading to reduced efficiency and drive.


It’s worth noting that some individuals may be more prone to anxiety than others, regardless of their workplace environment. Factors such as genetics, family history, and personal life experiences can all contribute to an individual’s predisposition for anxiety.


How To Manage Anxiety At Work


Fortunately, there are several strategies individuals can use to manage anxiety in the workplace.

Here are some practical tips to help you manage how you feel:


  1. Identify the cause. Try to specify what’s causing your anxiety and address it directly. If it’s a workload issue, talk to your supervisor about adapting your assignments. In the case of a colleague conflict, attempt to resolve the matter through communication or mediation.
  2. Practice relaxation techniques such as deep breathing, meditation, or grounding techniques for anxiety. These techniques can help you relax your mind and body and relieve stress and tension.
  3. Seek support from friends, family, or a mental health professional. Discussing your emotions with someone can help you process them and gain a different perspective.
  4. Establish boundaries in your work schedule and make time for self-care. In addition, you can take regular breaks throughout the day to stretch, walk, or do something you enjoy.
  5. Learn self-empathy and show kindness to yourself. Remember that uneasiness is a normal human response, and it is acceptable to experience anxiety occasionally.
  6. Stay methodical – formulate a to-do list and prioritize tasks to remain systematic. This can aid you in handling your workload more efficiently and diminish the feelings of being overburdened.
  7. Guarantee your sound sleep each night, as sleep deprivation can intensify anxiety and stress by altering the hormonal balance in your body.
  8. Convert pessimistic self-talk into positive assertions to help decrease anxiety. You can root out negative thought patterns by doing daily exercises and tracking your progress.
  9. Use humor to lighten the mood and reduce tension in the workplace. Laughing can help reduce stress and face challenges with a healthy dose of wit.

If you’re feeling particularly overwhelmed, consider taking a mental health day off to recharge and refocus. Taking time off can help you gain perspective and return to work feeling refreshed and rejuvenated.


If workplace anxiety persists or worsens despite your best efforts, it may be time to consider whether your job is the right fit for you and whether it’s time to make a change. Remember – your mental health and well-being should always come first.


I quit postit note

Anxiety at Work: When To Quit?


The first and most certain red flag would be the physical symptoms of workplace anxiety, such as recurrent headaches, stomach problems, or insomnia. If you have these, it may be time to revisit whether your job contributes to your health issues and leave it behind if it does.


If you dread going to work each day and can’t shake the feeling of anxiety, it may also be time to ask yourself whether your job is causing more harm than good. This is especially true if you have a well-known anxiety trigger you’ve tried to discuss and resolve before that still hasn’t changed.


Some other signs that the positives of quitting might outweigh the negatives include:


  • Your values don’t align with the company’s values;
  • You’re not growing or learning;
  • The work environment is toxic:
  • Your mental health is getting worse;
  • You have a better job opportunity;
  • You feel unable to voice concerns or provide feedback;
  • You face unfair treatment or favoritism, etc.


Last but not least – you might just feel your gut telling you it’s time to go. Sometimes, intuition knows better than rational arguments – so trust it. Maybe it’s just time to move on and replace workplace anxiety with inspiration, motivation, and fulfillment.

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