Have you ever worried about work even when you’re not working? Have you ever felt anxious about your work even when you’re supposed to be having your break away from it? If you are, you’re not alone.

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Many working adults are feeling the mental pressures of work crashing down on their shoulders, making it hard for them to unwind and relax, and separate themselves from work. A healthy person should have time to work and a time to rest, a time to run errands and a time to rest. If you can’t separate these things, you may have work separation anxiety.

What is Work Separation Anxiety

Work Separation Anxiety

Work separation anxiety is when you can’t get work off your mind because of pressures, deadlines, and standards not being met because you are not at work or should be taking a break from it. Work separation anxiety causes people to become worried, stress and even develop anxiety to the point where they cannot function properly outside of their workplace.

With so many expatriates residing in the UAE for work, its extremely important to increase awareness about what work separation anxiety is, how to control it, and what we can do to stop it from taking over our lives.

Signs if You Have Work Separation Anxiety

Work Separation Anxiety

Stressing out at home or outside of work because of stressful tasks at work is nothing new. Almost all adults and students will feel this from time to time. But here are a few signs that it may be more serious than you think and if you may have work separation anxiety:

  • You worry about work constantly – If you find yourself dreading or worrying about work from the moment you wake up and around the clock to when you go to bed at night, and find it hard to relax, then you have work separation anxiety.
  • You resist delegating the workload – If you find that you’re taking on most of the workload yourself because you don’t trust others to handle it, then you are making your condition worse. The thought of not being in control of your work makes you dread.
  • You come to work even when you are unfit – Instead of calling in sick or taking time to rest, you come to work to get the job done. Not only does this put others at risk of contracting your sickness, but the quality of your work can also suffer, and your condition can become significantly worse without rest.
  • You avoid taking holidays – People with work separation anxiety try to avoid taking holidays or annual leave. They find themselves working every day, all day, even when a long holiday and rest is greatly due.
  • You constantly check up on work for comfort – people can often check emails, messages, and tasks to feel comfortable that work is complete. People with work separation anxiety can only relax or find comfort when they are constantly up to date with tasks. This can be very demanding of your energy and can leave you feeling anxious at all times of the day.
  • Get headaches easily – Feeling dizzy, having random headaches and tiredness are all symptoms of work separation anxiety. These all happen when you don’t give yourself time to relax or unwind. These are also symptoms of people who are overworking. If these habits don’t change, the condition can worsen and can result in symptoms such as panic attacks, shortness of breath and even stroke.

Practical Ways to Stay Away from Work Separation Anxiety

Work Separation Anxiety

1. Speak with your manager or boss

If your stress and anxiety is caused by your work-levels, schedule or just the way your workplace operates, speak with your manager or employer on your experience. They are the only ones who can adjust your work-levels and workflow from a work operations standpoint.

2. Speak to your manager

The first step is to evaluate your work environment. If you feel there are individual factors, like unreasonable deadlines, unmanageable workload or a company culture that doesn’t encourage taking time off, make a list of these issues and schedule a time to speak to a manager to address them.

3. Understand your basic rights

We all know the benefits of working hard and going the extras mile to produce great work, but if it is at the expense of your health, then you aren’t doing the right thing anymore. You need to be aware that you are entitled to rest when at home or outside of work. Any extra work required of you should be clearly stated in your employment agreement.

4. Change your workplace culture 

After speaking with management, given that your meeting was constructive, change the culture at your workplace to one where people can support and help each other. This also means you need to be able to delegate tasks better and rely on others more. Trying to be in control of everything will only cause you more stress. Your colleagues are there to support you and your heavy load of work and not the opposite. 

5. Organize your time and be disciplined

By having a schedule and organizing it in advance, you should be able to work as well as having your downtime. Stick to it and be disciplined. Work when its time to work and rest when it’s time to rest. If you are productive and can stick to your schedule, you will have a healthy balance, and you shouldn’t be suffering from separation anxiety.

Head over to the Okadoc app to immediately book an appointment with your health practitioner.