Am I addicted to work? Is my job running my life? Is work always on my mind? These are just some of the basic questions one may ask if you are facing job or career-related addictions. Work addiction is a real but less discussed addiction in the mental health community where the need to always perform tasks comes from a fear of not being successful or what others in your work may think of you if the task is not completed immediately. Anxiety therapists in Orlando agree this is a tense line to clarify but one that you may find yourself crossing routinely. Try asking yourself if you are off the clock and can’t seem to stop thinking about work, or if you get a notification you need to immediately answer it. Do you even find yourself doing a “second day” of work after your normal workday has concluded because you feel you just cannot stop? How about even if you disrupt your daily living for the purpose of being able to put work first thus not allowing yourself to be given time for yourself. Being addicted to your work can alter the way you want to live your life solely by focusing on how you can be the best employee. These are all indications of a poor work-life balance and potential addiction to our job.
How do you recognize the imbalance? Time with your family, partner, and friends may start to become second or third priorities and cause relationships to fail. Personal care may also take a backseat as you may be in the mode of always utilizing as much time for work as you can and enhancing productivity. It is in these moments, work-life balance becomes crucial and can prevent the start of burnout you may feel. Having this balance can begin to remedy any damage done from your work addiction but just like any other addiction - it’s addictive! Work provides task completion and instant gratification, as well as feedback to help rationalize the need or want for it. It may feel weird to start practicing these coping skills which are why support for this is ideal and needed. Friends or family is a great start or even speaking to an addiction or anxiety specialized counselor to help you navigate work addiction is a great place to begin. These are just some healthy ways to navigate and cope with work addiction.
Career counselors, life coaches, and anxiety therapists in Orlando agree that mindset is a large contributor to work addiction. Stress management is needed to allow boundaries, as well as overall awareness of the issue. We at Orlando Thrive work to aid clients in establishing these boundaries. Small steps in boundaries are ideal, this can look like leaving work 15 minutes earlier than usual and building your routine with intention. The drive to be successful is not a bad thing, but having the balance between work and living your life is crucial as well. Find the balance and put yourself first, not work.
Heather Oller is a licensed Orlando therapist at Orlando Thrive Therapy, Coaching & Counseling who specializes in counseling Orlando couples, individuals, and families who are seeking changes in their lives. She has been a mental health professional for over 17 years and is a practicing Orlando counselor that specializes in conflict resolution for couples. You can contact her for an appointment or call 407-592-8997 for more information.