Working too much, how to put yourself first. Woman at a cluttered desk, reading a report, head leaning on hand, stressed.

5 Signs You’re Working Too Much: How to Put Yourself First

In life, it is so easy to get caught up in working too much, staring at the computer screen for way longer than needed, and it can really have an effect on your well being!

Not too long ago, I was in traffic on my way to a work event when all of the sudden, the car in front of me slams on their breaks. To my surprise, I responded with some not-so-elegant language. You see, if you know me, you know that this isn’t something that I do very often. As a matter of fact, I only do this when I’m stressed and overworked.

While foul language is one of my indicators that I am working too hard, you may have others! That’s why today, I’m going to be sharing the 5 signs that you’re working too much, and small changes you can make to put yourself first.

Irritability

One of my biggest signs that I’m being overworked is more irritability than usual. It could come in the form of cursing, unnecessarily snapping off to friends and family, and more. I consider myself relatively chill, so when I hit my upset point, most likely I have been working way more than I need to. This means, I need to make a change, and here are some of the things I may try to do…

One thing you can do to to combat irritability is get outside. Did you know that doctors will actually prescribe outside time to people who are overworked and stressed? There’s just something about being outside that does wonders for our brain and physiology. 

Another is listen to things that lift you up. Whether it’s an entertaining podcast, a motivating audiobook, or some energizing music, nothing can lift me out of my irritated state like some time away from the screen, listening to something enjoyable. Double bonus is its on a walk outside! 

Pain

Of course working out causes pain and soreness, but did you know that working too much can also bring pain? It’s not like a pulled muscle, though. It’s more of a low, aching pain that can come from being stiff and sitting for too long!

So, what’s the best remedy for this? Time off and getting moving! Give yourself a break. Your work won’t go anywhere if you take a day off and go do something fun. You could go for something as simple as a walk or a hike, and you’ll already notice that dull pain lifting away.

Forgetfulness

This one is the absolute worst! You know that mental fog where you’ve got so much going on in your brain that you just can’t remember or focus on one thing? Of course, we’ve all experienced it at some point or another, but it’s an indicator that you may be working yourself too hard! 

One thing I love to do to sharpen up my brain is use my Lumosity. Essentially, it’s a brain game app that will challenge and work your brain in a fun way. In the afternoons, if I start to feel a wave of brain fog coming over, I’ll usually step away from the computer and play this for a bit! It’s a great way to refocus and get some clarity!

Making Poor Choices

Of course you can always make poor choices no matter your workload, but I’m specifically talking about poor choices when it comes to food and drink. Chances are, if you are tired and worn out, you’re not going to stay disciplined with your healthy food choices.

No, if you’ve had a long day, that cheeseburger and milkshake sound a lot more appetizing and comforting than a salad. Not to mention the temptation of a happy hour! 

If you’re planning to go out with friends to wind down a long day, plan to take a walk or get in a quick workout! You’ll be able to make better decisions once you’ve already prioritized your health in another way after work. 

Low Energy Level 

Lastly, if your energy level is sitting empty, you may be working too much. I’m not normally one to ever say, “I’m tired.” Even after a morning-long bike ride, it’s just not something that I say. However, there’s just something different about being tired from work, and when I find myself thinking and sharing that I’m tired or worn out, I know it means i need to step away and find some balance. 

Related: Sleep is a Superpower

Keep an eye out for these warning signs, and stay on top of your health and wellbeing! Work is important, but it should not be your everything! 

Related: Four Tips for Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle as an Entrepreneur

Related: Podcast Episode – 028 Overcoming the Ravages of Overwork

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