Self Improvement

4 Toxic Work Habits to Stay Away From

posted on September 18, 2018 | by Sanhita Mukherjee

4 Toxic Work Habits to Stay Away From

While we all understand the importance of self-care, most of us only put them in practice on the weekends. So what happens over the week, which makes us ignore all our beliefs about leading a balanced lifestyle, even though we know better?

As for me, I realized that I had developed a bunch of toxic habits over the last few years, which explained this. They happened so gradually, that it took me a while before I even recognized them – and once I did, work was always the one excuse I gave myself to justify these habits. See if any of these sound familiar to you, too:

Thriving on stress

When someone asks you how you are doing, do you often find yourself telling them about how hectic work is or how sleep deprived you are? Not only is this detrimental to your wellbeing, it also builds up a stressful work culture over time. After all, if most people in your workplace wear their stress like a badge of honor, nobody will feel comfortable speaking up when they are overworked. It’s a matter of time before it becomes the new normal.

That’s not to say you shouldn’t talk about being tired, but do what you can to break the cycle. Don’t glorify a hectic lifestyle or use stress as a way to bond with your colleagues. Ask for help when you are overwhelmed. Offer to pitch in when a co-worker talks about being stressed.

Ignoring medical issues (and prioritizing work instead)

Avoiding making a doctor’s appointment is something a lot of twenty-somethings are guilty of! And work gives us the perfect excuse to put it off till some weekend when we are free (which never arrives). As a result, we go about our business with a whole bunch of nagging medical issues. Think persistent back aches, headaches or that spot that you haven’t got checked yet. I once had this annoying cough for so long, that I had actually stopped noticing it!

If this sounds familiar, try this. Set aside a particular weekend, or take a day off if you are able to, and get all your medical appointments over with in one go. It also helps to have some regular healthcare professionals that you know and trust. Sitting on that dentist’s chair is always going to be intimidating, but maybe a little less so if it’s someone you have been to before.

Coffee dependency

I’m someone who gets up for a refill, even as I’m taking the last sip of coffee. I’d often end up drinking 3-4 cups of coffee a day, and feel super jittery and bloated by lunch time.

Switching to cold brew coffee is one thing that I found extremely helpful in reducing the impact. It is much less acidic than hot brews, so it doesn’t give you that uncomfortable acid reflux. Since you don’t have to worry about it going cold, you can enjoy it for longer. Plus, it has a smooth, mellow taste that is less likely to have you reaching for the extra cream or sweeteners.

Always being on

Ever had one of those super productive days when you’ve knocked off everything on your to-do list by lunch time, and tackled a bunch of extra tasks by 5 pm? When that happens do you feel a sense of elation and accomplishment? Or do you have this nagging doubt that you’re missing something important?

If it’s the latter, you may be hooked to the feeling of always being on. In a world that judges you for your hustle, being busy may feel like the right way to be. But it’s so important to keep this from taking over your downtime, too! Give yourself a break for not doing anything ‘meaningful’ over the weekend. Tell yourself it’s OK to not have checked your mail at home all evening. Avoid feeling guilty for having ‘wasted’ time reading a fun bestseller instead of a self-help book or something that will help you advance your career.

What’s a toxic habit you’ve noticed? Any off of my list? Let me know in the comments!