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Avoiding Substance Abuse Caused by Workplace Stress

Avoiding Substance Abuse Caused by Workplace Stress

We often think of our work lives and personal lives as completely separate. In reality, however, our jobs can have a significant impact on our personal lives, especially when it comes to stress. For some, stress can boil over and lead to a number of personal problems, from anxiety to addiction. Here are a few tips for avoiding a stressful work environment and avoiding the temptation of substance abuse.

Develop Healthy Habits

Work can affect your personal life, but your personal life also affects your time spent on the job. Focus on developing healthy sleep hygiene; poor quality of sleep has been strongly linked to increased stress, and poor job performance due to a lack of sleep can ramp up your stress level. Take some time to examine your diet. Eating a healthful, balanced diet can help you feel alert and energetic while working, improving your job performance and preventing you from feeling sluggish. Overall, being healthy makes you more successful.

Watch Out for Substance Abuse

A bit of stress can lead to levels of drinking that verge on unhealthy, and waking up feeling tired and sluggish can make it more difficult to work without stress, leading to even more temptation to abuse alcohol or other substances. Take a close look at your drinking habits or other substance abuse, and consider speaking with experts if you have any questions. If you live in or around Miami, for example, Beach House is one South Florida drug rehab facility that can provide a valuable reset and allow you to escape the dangerous cycle of stress and substance abuse.

Be Open With Your Employer

Stress in the workplace often grows over time. A bit of stress is common and can even have some benefits. However, taking on increasingly demanding roles and becoming frustrated can lead to unhealthy levels of stress. Be open and honest with your employer. If you feel too stressed out, take a few minutes to find out if there are steps you and your employer can take to create a more relaxing environment. Note that people are more productive when they aren’t feeling overwhelmed, and steps you take to reduce stress might work for others as well.

Speak to Professionals

Most people can benefit from at least occasional psychological therapy. Therapists know how work can lead to stress, and they can help you develop a stress-reduction routine that works for you. Furthermore, building a relationship with a therapist can help you uncover conditions that you haven’t noticed before. Adding safety checks for yourself from checking-in daily to having an alcohol breathalyzer can really help. Depression, in particular, can cause work to be far more stressful than necessary, and treating depression can make going to work a far more pleasant experience.

Focus on Scheduling

We often feel overwhelmed when we don’t feel we’re in control of our work and personal lives. Take some time every week to develop a schedule, and use your smartphone or physical calendar to ensure you have enough time to accomplish what you need to get done. Schedules are also great for developing healthy habits. Scheduling extra time to prepare and enjoy a healthful breakfast, for example, can ensure you head into the office feeling fresh and ready to go.

Work can be enjoyable and rewarding. However, it can also lead to stress, unhealthy habits and substance abuse. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce stress, and help is available if you feel you’re losing control.


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by Brian Perry // Brian Perry is a contributor to Businessing Magazine.

Opinions expressed by contributors are their own.