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Feeling Depressed After a Long Weekend of Work? It’s Not Just in Your Head

If you’re feeling a little depressed about being robbed of your weekend because you spent the whole time working, a new study shows that it’s not just you being moody. In fact, the study confirms that consistently surrendering your weekends to work could lead to clinical depression associated with mental health problems.

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Interestingly, the study, published in the BMJ’s Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health, also found that, for women, working longer hours during the week increased their symptoms of depression even more, while the long weekends’ depressive symptoms applied to both genders.

If you’ve just wrapped up a long weekend of work that pushed you right in to the next week’s work, and you’re reading this and feeling a little depressed, it may be comforting to know that it’s not all in your head. On the other hand, just because lots of people feel depressed after having an all-work and no-play weekend, it doesn’t mean that’s the way it should be.

Unfortunately, the world’s been trained by Big Pharma that your problem is all in your head in the form of a chemical imbalance that can only be cured with an antidepressant or a psychotic drug, even though studies have repeatedly shown that depression is NOT a chemical imbalance. Not only that, still more studies show that those antidepressants your doctor is so eager to give you work no better than placebo for moderate depression.

So how do you bring balance to your work week? First, despite what the 24/7 global business world tells you, prioritizing your activities and taking out for yourself can decidedly make you a better employee, as well as a less-depressed person. That’s because long work hours drain your mental and physical health in a way that can make you less productive at work.

Since everyone wins when you feel good about the work you do, there is balance in your schedule and your stress level feels manageable, then learning to say “no” when it comes to those overtime hours or weekend work can be beneficial in more ways than one.

If the work hours are something you feel you can’t control, or need to do out of financial obligations, then prioritizing the time you do have becomes even more important. But first, make a real effort to look at ways to cut back on a heavy workload — any amount of time that is less than what you’re putting in can help.

Then, focus on the aspects of your day that are truly "must do" activities, and put your energy and time where they will garner the most positive effects. Use the extra hour or two — or more, if you’ve managed to cut significant amounts of extra work from your week — to do things that help you explore your emotions and things that matter to you.

And remember, while nurturing yourself may be a foreign concept, it's never too late to start thinking about ways you can practice healthy self-care. For example, you might choose to prepare one of your favorite meals, get a massage, go for a bike ride, listen to music, spend time with a friend, take an exercise class or simply have fun activities with your family.

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