What are the symptoms of being overworked?
by Simon Dewaele on Jan 30, 2023
Being overworked can manifest itself in a variety of physical, emotional and social symptoms. From fatigue and exhaustion to sleep problems and relationship problems, it is important to recognise and address the signs of being overworked. Read on for a comprehensive list of symptoms of overworkedness and how to protect yourself from the effects of stress.
Overworked - what does it mean?
Overworkedness is a condition in which a person experiences persistent emotional and mental strain. It is a response to excess stress or tension that builds up and leads to fatigue, emotional exhaustion and a lack of concentration. We have extensively covered what being overworked means, and how to manage it properly in our other article. It is important to know that overexertion is a common condition and has effects on daily life, work and relationships. It is advisable to take timely action and seek help when you feel you are overworked.
What are different forms of symptoms?
Stress and overwork can manifest in three different categories of symptoms: mental, physical and relational/social. Mental symptoms of stress include feelings of anxiety, depression, irritability, difficulty concentrating and memory loss. Physical symptoms of stress can manifest as fatigue, headaches, back pain, muscle aches, sleep problems, palpitations and increased blood pressure. Relational and social consequences of stress can manifest in disrupted relationships, reduced social interactions and impaired communication skills. It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to stress and overstrain, and the severity and frequency of symptoms can also vary greatly.
Mental effects of overworkedness
Overstrain can have serious mental effects. One of the first symptoms people experience is irritability and annoyance. This can lead to unreasonable outbursts of anger and conflicts with other people, both at work and in personal relationships. Concentration problems are also a common symptom of overstrain. People may have difficulty concentrating on tasks and making decisions, leading to reduced performance at work and in everyday life. Anxiety and tension are other mental symptoms of overstrain. This can lead to unreasonable anxiety and a constant feeling of restlessness, which can affect sleep and overall health. Emotional instability and rapid crying can also be symptoms of overstrain. This can further exhaust people and make it harder to function in daily life. It is important to note that everyone reacts differently to stress and overstrain, and the severity and frequency of symptoms can also vary greatly. It is advisable to seek help at the first signs of stress and overstrain to avoid more serious complications.
Physical symptoms of being overworked
The physical effects of being overworked can be just as painful and hampering as the mental effects. Fatigue and exhaustion are perhaps the best-known physical symptoms of stress and overstrain. If you are constantly stressed and exhausted, your body cannot manage to repair itself and rest, leading to fatigue.
Headaches and muscle aches are also common physical consequences of overstress. When we are stressed, our muscles cramp up, which can lead to pain and discomfort. Changes in eating and sleeping patterns can also occur, where you do not sleep well and do not eat healthily, further affecting health. Finally, physical weakness and reduced immunity is also a symptom of overexertion. If the body does not recover sufficiently, it becomes more susceptible to illness and disease.
Keep in mind that these symptoms of overworkedness are not unique and can also be caused by other conditions. It is therefore always important to seek professional advice when you think you are overworked. For more information on the different forms of symptoms of overworkedness and the steps you can take to deal with them, please refer to our article "Overworked - what do you feel when you are overworked and what do you do about it?"
Social and relational consequences of overstress
The social and relational consequences of overstrain can be profound and far-reaching. One of the most notable mental effects is loss of interest and pleasure in daily activities. People who are overworked often feel exhausted and discouraged and find it difficult to concentrate or feel enthusiastic about things they previously enjoyed. This can lead to social isolation and reduction in social activities.
Relationship problems are also a common consequence of overstrain. People may argue with partners and feel distant, which can affect the quality of their relationship. At work, overworked people may also encounter problems such as reduced productivity and conflicts with colleagues.
Reduced communication skills and increased sensitivity are also common social consequences of being overworked. People may react quickly to being irritable or irritable, which can cause problems in relationships. In addition, overworked people may also experience problems with concentration and memory, which can affect their performance at work and in social situations.
Changes in sexual behaviour, decreased sexuality and financial problems are other social consequences of being overworked. People may feel trapped in a vicious cycle of reduced self-esteem and self-worth, which can lead to addiction to drugs or alcohol. Feelings of shame and worthlessness can also occur, further isolating people from their social network and adding to their problems. It is important to take these symptoms seriously and take action to resolve them.
How to deal with being overworked
Are you experiencing any of the above symptoms of stress or overwork yourself? We strongly advise you to act quickly and proactively to prevent worse. Of course, you could use some advice on how and through which steps you can intervene.
We have listed a few things for you, about how to deal with overstrain and what you can change in your daily life. Here you can find useful tips that are easy to apply.
Read more about this here.