13 Unhealthy Habits That Reveal A Workaholic

Workaholic, the popular buzzword of our century, doesn’t just mean working VERY hard, but an unhealthy addiction to your work. Workaholism is such a grave issue that it has been labelled as the “addiction of the century”. Workaholics think that their ability to work is synonymous to their worth, so the more the better. But as is the case with any addiction, workaholism takes a severe toll on our physical, emotional and mental wellbeing. It steals our happiness, peace and creative energy. Are you wondering if you have work addiction? Then you’ll identify with these 13 recognizable habits of a workaholic.

Workaholism manifests as an uncontrollable urge, a compulsion to work continuously. Even when not at work, workaholics are not able to turn off thoughts related to work. There’s a clear difference between a hard and energetic worker who is driven to achieve a goal and a workaholic. Workaholism has an unhappy quality and comes at the cost of other important areas of your life- family, relationships and intellectual capacity.

Work addiction is indication of more deep-seated issues. It acts like an escape route from dealing with pressing affairs of your life. Work addiction is less about finding work irresistible and more about the need to escape from real-world problems and dissociate from underlying issues and emotional struggles. Workaholics bury themselves with work to keep themselves distracted and avoid the uncomfortable reality.

Related: Signs You Use Busyness As A Coping Mechanism (& How To Slow Down)

13 Unhealthy Habits Of A Workaholic

1. Having an irregular sleep schedule

Workaholics neglect their sleep. And while it makes them feel more productive by putting off sleep for work, it actually hampers their performance. Sleeping less has been linked to drop in productivity, difficulty concentrating, poor judgment and obesity. So establishing a healthy sleep routine is essential for being more efficient at work. Here are some steps to do that:

  • Aim for 7-9 hours of uninterrupted sleep,
  • Sleep in complete darkness,
  • Avoid using device screens one hour before bedtime.

2. Unhealthy eating habits

What you consume is intricately linked to your cognitive performance. A healthy and balanced diet packed with proteins, complex carbohydrates, vitamins, fruits and vegetables is what you need to stay focused and mentally sharp during work.

Workaholics munch on fast food and unhealthy snacks on the go. They skip meals and overeat in a single intake in order to save time. All these harmful eating habits will reflect not just on your digestion, skin and weight, but also on your mind and thinking ability.

Research shows that eating well boosts energy levels and productivity. A study was conducted in 2012 with 20,000 workers of some renowned U.S. companies and it was seen that the employees with an unhealthy diet were nearly 70% more likely to suffer loss of productivity in comparison to employees who maintained a healthy and regular diet full of veggies, fruits and whole grains.

So if work is what drives you in life, you should definitely pay more attention to your diet. Your food intake should be wholesome and spread evenly throughout the day.

3. Making no time for exercise and physical fitness

Usually, workaholics are so busy that they find no time for physical fitness. But the truth is that human bodies weren’t designed to sit at once place for hours at a stretch. The daily stress experienced at work releases many harmful hormones in our body like cortisol and is responsible for a number of serious illnesses, like stroke and heart diseases.

If we want to protect our immediate and future health, we need to do a minimum of thirty minutes of exercise everyday. There is ample scientific evidence that prove that regular physical activity is very effective in preventing chronic diseases, depression and premature death.

Read: Sitting for 8 hours a day linked to a higher risk of depression

4. Overworking

You might not understand it now because your body is young and strong, but overworking your system backfires when you’re older and your body’s ability to recover from daily stress and damage reduces. Overworking your brain and not taking proper care of your body will repay you with body aches and poor performance, in your later years. Researchers found that employees in Europe, Japan, Korea and China who had more than 50hr work week had an increased risk of cerebrocardiovascular diseases and coronary heart diseases.

So to avoid life-threatening health issues in your later years, you need to establish strict restrictions on the amount of hours you work in a day.

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