Overworking in American Culture is Stressful!

29 July 2019

Overworking in American Culture is Stressful!


When it comes to working hard, many of us understand that without drive, passion, and determination, we might never get to where we want to be in life. The problem with this in America is that millions of us are slogging away week after week and year after year, forgetting to take good care of ourselves to make sure the engine doesn't run dry.


Sound familiar? Overworking isn't just a Japanese problem (Business Insider). It is happening in the US right now... but we have the power to stop it.


How Big a Problem Is Overworking in American Culture?


Bigger than you think! According to this 2018 article by Forbes, the USA is the most overworked country in the developed world! The problem isn't new either. Back in 2016, the Washington Center for Equitable Growth outlined concerns about the rise in working hours and how detrimental it was to the community, economy, and families throughout the states.


Overworking in America is a real problem, but being practical about 'why' is more complicated. As the economy grows, so do opportunities to make more and more profit. Higher profit margins come from greater productivity – mostly achieved by longer working hours. House prices have gone up, food prices have gone up.


If you want to live in America today, you need a job working more than forty hours per week to pay your bills and live comfortably. In another ten years, how many hours will we need to work?


Are You Overworking?


So how do you know if you are one of America's overworked masses? Some signs you are overworking include:


  • Your resting heart rate will be higher because your stress level will be up. Bustle also suggests that decreased performance in the gym can be a sign.
  • You notice a difference in our mood, your quickness to anger, and your ability to sleep.
  • You experience tired or aching muscles all over your body.
  • Forgetfulness, anxiety, lack of appetite, and even depression are some of the symptoms cited by Psychology Today.


What Can You Do About it?


Take a break! Right now! Time for yourself is just as valuable as any time you spend working towards your goals. You will not be able to achieve them if you are completely burned out. Instead of overworking all day long, schedule breaks for yourself and take them. Breaks have shown to increase our productivity levels by giving us a fresh perspective.


Try these tips to de-stress and break the overwork cycle:


  • Schedule time for yourself two or three times a day – even just for five minutes. Reward yourself in those few minutes for all the progress you have made.
  • Take a day, a weekend, or a week off. Many people don't work over the weekend – it's okay if you choose not to once in a while.
  • Don't take on too much – watch your commitments. If it doesn't benefit you, then feel free to say no.


Moreover, if that doesn't work, read about “forest bathing” via the Guardian, which is how the Japanese deal with it!