Fighting Work Addiction for Your Mental Health

person typing on a computer

You may be putting in long hours at your job, and could be asking yourself: "Am I addicted to work?" 

If you feel this way, you are at the right place to begin the process of healing from this real addiction. 

You may feel you are unable to stop working and feel better from work. 

People with work addiction often want to see themselves be super successful at their jobs. 

Despite excessive work affecting your mental or physical health, you may have found you can not stop and are thus fighting work addiction. 

In the United States, work addiction is a real issue as overtime and hard work are frequently expected. 

Below we will discuss the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, a necessary conversation with your supervisor, digital detoxes, filling unstructured time, and seeing a therapist or counselor

We invite you to keep reading to learn how to fight work addiction.

Addiction Therapists in Colorado

Andreea Felea, LPC

Andreea Felea, LPC

Colorado
(719) 602-1342
Margot Bean, LCSW

Margot Bean, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Carrie Nelson, MS, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Susan Taylor, LPCC

Susan Taylor, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Tracey Lundy, LCSW

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 452-4374
Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

Whittney Romero, MA, LPCC

(719) 345-2424
Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Mackenzie Batson, LPCC

Colorado
(719) 345-2424
Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Janelle Wagenknecht, MA, LPCC, ADDC

Colorado
(720) 710-0919
Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Kelsey Maestas, LPCC

Pueblo, Colorado
(719) 696-3439
Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Bethany Cantrell, LPC

Colorado Springs, Colorado
(719) 602-1342

Bergen Work Addiction Scale

In the United States, work addiction is a real issue as overtime and hard work are frequently expected.

Below we will discuss the Bergen Work Addiction Scale, a necessary conversation with your supervisor, digital detoxes, filling unstructured time, and seeing a therapist or counselor.

We invite you to keep reading to learn how to fight work addiction

The University of Bergen developed the Bergen Work Addiction Scale to assess if one is fighting work addiction.

With this scale, you may be asked to rate how often you do the following: you clear your schedule to work more, you become stressed when you cannot work, people have asked you to cut down on your work time but you have ignored their requests and more!

You can look up the Bergen Work Addiction Scale and see where you fall on it if you feel you are addicted to work and need to fight work addiction.



Speak With Your Supervisor

A good supervisor will want employees to have a good work-life balance and will want to help them if they are fighting work addiction.

An employee need not burn out through exhaustion and feeling overwhelmed. That could only affect job performance.

Be honest with your supervisor if you're fighting work addiction, and show that you are self-aware by listing habits you have noticed in yourself.

If you feel that you have too much work to complete, your supervisor will ensure that your team's work is divided evenly amongst its members, or tell you to focus on some tasks over others.

You could always just start by asking your supervisor to make sure you take your lunch break.

That's important not just for your health, but the company's as well.

It's also possible that you need a different job within the company. Keep an eye out for internal openings.

You may also want to look at online job boards or reach out to professional connections.


Digital Detox

Chances are you have found out that you are not too happy with where you ended up on the above-mentioned scale, and you want to fight work addiction after speaking with your boss. 

Now, we would like you to try out a digital detox. One thing you can do if you are fighting work addiction is to put your smartphone away. 

Put it somewhere where you can not easily get to it, like inside a drawer or a closet. 

This will stop you from using your phone at every free moment, such as when you are waiting for your bus home or your dinner to get done in the microwave. 

You need to avoid reaching for your phone at down moments, as the stress of what has popped up on the screen could make you feel worse. 

Once you get back to work, set an example for your colleagues by giving them your full attention when they are speaking, as opposed to being on your phone. 

They will notice you have done that, and when they go home they just might decide to be more present for themselves and others around them if they are fighting work addiction themselves.


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Deal With Unstructured Time

It is important to fill your time outside of work. If you do not fill that time when fighting work addiction, then you run a huge risk of turning back to work.

Do you need to call a friend? Your friend would be very happy to hear from you, and it would be a way to fill up your time and fight your work addiction.

Perhaps you could even meet up with them in person to catch up.

That would make you feel connected to another person, and fill up even more time.

Do you have things that need to be done around your living space?

Schedule time to organize and clean after work and on your days off.

You can also head to a gym, go on walks or participate in religious activities.

When you have a couple of days off in a row, consider taking a short trip to a place you have never been before.

You will get to meet new people and overall be distracted from your job.



Get Professional Help

You may want to speak to a mental health professional about your concerns. 

This person can have you talk through why you are fighting work addiction, and give you tools to get through it. 

You might be avoiding dealing with difficult emotions, and that is why you have a work addiction. 

The therapist or counselor will work through them with you. 

If you are in a committed relationship or marriage, you may want to consider bringing your partner with you to work through any work issues that have affected things.


Conclusion

While there are tips and tricks to fight work addiction, it takes work. Fighting work addiction can be done.

A mental health professional can see where you are at and go from there.

It is also important for you to plan for unstructured time, try out a digital detox, talk to your supervisor, and see where you fall on the Bergen Work Addiction Scale.

We hope that down the road you are not fighting work addiction and that it is behind you.

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June 17th, 2024

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