We all need a break from work once in a while – which is why it’s important to recognize the 10 Signs That Could Mean You Need a Vacation. If you were with us for Part I and are familiar with the first five of the 10 telltale signs you need to start planning some time away from your job, you also know how stress can affect your overall health and work performance. And, should you be forced into taking an extended leave or worse – spend time in the hospital as a result of the pressures getting to you – without health insurance, you could suffer a financial disaster as well.
In Part II of the 10 Signs That Could Mean You Need a Vacation, we’ll cover the final five signs to be aware of. As a quick reminder, here are the initial five:
1. Every little problem turns into a big issue
2. Your coworkers keep asking if you’re feeling all right
3. You start making mistakes
4. You’re feeling pretty cynical
5. You start ‘borrowing’ the office supplies
For more details on the previous signs, simply click back for Part I. Now, for the final five:
6. Everything hurts
You may be starting to ache in places you didn’t know you had. After all, backaches, neckaches, headaches, and eye strain aren’t just painful conditions, but they could also be your body’s subtle way of telling you that you might be in need of a day off. And, ignoring these signs could lead to more serious consequences.
A 2011 University of South Florida review on stress in the workplace found that heavy workloads, negative environments, and obstacles preventing people from completing their tasks were all factors linked to pain-related health problems in employees. Furthermore, the same researchers went on to say that – in a stressful situation, the employees’ bodies release chemicals that trigger inflammation, thereby increasing their sensitivity to pain.
7. Your stomach has turned against you
Don’t underestimate a headache as being a good sign you’re feeling frazzled, but your stomach may have a lot to say as well. In fact, according to Paula Davis-Laack, PhD, author of “Addicted to Busy”, some people say they’re more likely to have stomach problems and digestive issues when they’re feeling stressed. The medical reason for this is that stress can cause changes to the bacteria that reside in your guts, which could lead to upset stomachs, including gastric disorders such as heartburn.
In a 2010 study in the Journal of Nervous & Mental Disease, people with gastrointestinal disorders were found to be more likely to have chronic stress in their lives or environment than their calmer GI counterparts.
8. You can’t seem to buy a decent night’s sleep
If you can’t buy a decent night’s sleep at any price, that can also be a side effect of too much stress, according to medical experts. In another survey – this one from 2007 – from the University of Georgia at Athens, people who believed they performed “excessive” amounts of work were more likely to have difficulty falling asleep and staying asleep. In addition, they tended to spend more time in the restorative part of their sleep cycle than those who weren’t as overloaded or overworked at the office.
More proof of stress’ effect on sleep comes from a 2005 study by Swedish researchers who found that overworked employees were more likely to have trouble unwinding prior to bed and have increased amounts of daytime sleepiness, which could be caused by their bodies trying to make up for the lost sleep. Some researchers also speculate that encountering a particularly stressful situation may cause lasting tension and sabotage your sleep for a long period of time.
9. When you get home, you dash for the liquor cabinet
Do you make a mad dash for the liquor cabinet and pour yourself a glass of wine or scotch as one of the first things you do when you get home? If the answer is “yes”, Dr. Davis-Laack claims you might be using alcohol as a coping mechanism for overly stressful days at the office. In a 2012 study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, women who were experiencing burnout were found to be more susceptible to emotional and uncontrolled eating – two habits that could boost the risk for obesity.
However, the University of Maryland found that – instead of reaching for an alcoholic beverage to unwind – when people performed 30 minutes of moderate-intensity exercise, they were usually calmer when facing an anxiety-inducing situation than those who had rested quietly by just “kicking back”.
10. You’re questioning why you wanted this job in the first place
You may have initially thought you could handle the workload and the stress of your new position when you started, but now – you’re under so much continuous pressure, you’ve lost perspective of why you keep coming into work. That’s one of the more serious signs of burnout – and it usually means you may need a longer break from the office – or may need to re-evaluate your priorities.
Consider your health and life’s big picture: do you have a family to support? Is it affecting your relationship with your wife and kids? It’s important to remind yourself – your health and family should be major factors in deciding what you value most. If your job is killing you slowly – get away from it – or take a well-deserved vacation.
Now that we’ve covered all 10 Signs That Can Mean You Need a Vacation – the rest is up to you. If you’re showing any of these signs – you should really consider asking for a few days off or consult your doctor. Stress is not something to take lightly – and, don’t handle it alone without health insurance. It’s been medically proven to sometimes cause irreversible harm to our bodies.
If you have health insurance either through your employer or from the state exchanges as a result of Obamacare – also known as the Affordable Care Act – take advantage of the coverage by getting regular check-ups with a doctor and let a professional tell you if it’s time for a vacation. It could be a life saver.
If you currently don’t have coverage – why not get a free health insurance quote today?
Now that you’ve read all 10 signs, are any of them making you think you need a vacation? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments section below.