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Use the Holiday Spirit to Break a Work Addiction

The holidays should ideally be a time of joy, giving, thankfulness and family, but many people are instead overcome by work-related stress, anxiety, exhaustion and irritability.

The holiday season is a time when people feel pushed into working like crazy – hoping to make enough money to buy gifts and meet end-of-year deadlines. Before you know it, monetary demands and a burning desire to appear successful can quickly morph into a work addiction.

Work Addiction Defined

Work addiction is a real condition that affects thousands of people.

The behavorial disorder often stems from a compulsive need to achieve status or escape emotional stress. This particular addiction is usually driven by at-work success and most commonly seen in people who are perfectionists, hence the term “workaholic.”

Work addicts are intensely compulsive; they tend to use their jobs as a way to avoid most other aspects of their lives. In addition to a bulk of suppressed emotional issues, they also rely on work-related issues to overcompensate for personal problems outside the office.

Signs of a Work Addiction

Symptoms of a typical work addict include:

  • Long hours at the office, even when not needed or required
  • Obsession with work-related success
  • Losing sleep to engage in work projects or finish tasks
  • Disintegration of personal relationships because of work
  • Using work to cope with feelings of guilt or depression

Learning to Clock Out Mentally

So, let’s talk about a few creative ways to break the cycle of work addiction. Instead of working endless hours and destroying your social life, you’ve got to find some sort of reprieve. In addition to seeking out professional help and counseling, consider the following tips:

  • End your work day at a normal time. Instead of working from 7 to 9, work from 9 to 5.
  • Take a full hour for lunch and make a point of relaxing during that time. You could even take a quick power nap.
  • Eat on a regular schedule. Skipping meals can make you feel irritable.
  • Make it a habit to go to bed at a decent hour every night.
  • Catch the holiday spirit and leave job-related thoughts at the office. Go shopping for gifts, make appearances at seasonal parties or enjoy baking holiday cookies with the kids. You can even snuggle up on the couch with a cozy blanket and just take in the beauty of your Christmas tree.

Breaking a work addiction is possible and the first step in that process is to give you permission to take time for yourself!

Learn more about the available treatment options for work addiction.

Image Credits: The Site/Bill Moyers