Putting Mental Health Ahead of Financial Health

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When you choose a career and make your best effort to get as far up the ladder as you can, every step counts, and every opportunity you miss feels like two steps backward. These days it is common for women to want to perform at the highest level possible to try to get ahead in their jobs, but at some point you may find that the price you have to pay in emotional strain is higher than what your salary can make up for.

Even when your job is drowning you in stress and anxiety, taking time off or cutting back on your workload may seem like an impossibility. After all, you have financial obligations that won’t just magically pay for themselves, and after having worked so hard to get where you are, it probably seems counterintuitive to drop it all for a while or to reduce the amount of time you spend doing work-related things. But the truth is, if you don’t maintain some balance in your life, it can lead to significant psychological issues later, which may in turn affect your ability to work to your full potential. Don’t wait until you’re so burned out that your stress level makes the decision for you — if you know you are pushing yourself too hard, decide what to do about it now, before you head too far down the road to disaster.

You have to weigh your options against each other. Is what you’re going to gain in money worth what you’re going to lose in peace of mind if you keep working at this pace? You may think you don’t have a choice, or you may have convinced yourself that working this hard is what you really want, but there’s always a world of options available to you if you just take some time to explore them. Bosses can be surprisingly flexible when it comes to decisions that will eventually make their employees more productive. If your boss isn’t really the understanding type, there are always other companies that you can look into. You may not necessarily have to change jobs, but it never hurts to be aware of all the possibilities, even ones you might not have considered before. A lot of times we feel like our financial obligations leave us no choice but to stay right where we are and work ourselves into the ground. We fear the upheaval and hassle of trying to change jobs or employers. But there is always room for you to make choices about what direction your life will take, and if you don’t take advantage of that, it is possible that the consequences of too much anxiety about work will lead to a critical situation that will hurt you mentally and financially.

It’s a difficult choice to make when bills need to be paid, but in the end there is nothing more valuable than your health, and mental well-being can be particularly difficult to repair if you cause yourself emotional or psychological damage through pushing yourself too hard. In any case, if your mental health is suffering because of work, the end result financially is likely to be even worse than if you took some much-needed time off and got less pay as a result. Sure, you are strong, but that is no reason to subject yourself to the abuse of excessive work stress — keep your priorities straight, and enjoy the rewards of being as successful on the inside as on the outside.

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