How Burning the Candle at Both Ends Affects Your Quality of Life

Burning the candle at both ends sounds like a great idea on paper. But, the consequences of doing so can be severe. You can jeopardize your health and relationships and even the job that has you working so hard. Instead of trying to juggle so many plates, let’s look at five ways burning the candle at both ends can affect your quality of life.

1. Work-Life Balance

Recent research indicates most employees place a high value on work-life balance, i.e. the equilibrium between your personal and professional lives. A healthy work-life balance makes you the best version of yourself, as you’re able to devote equal amounts of time and energy to personal and professional activities. However, if you overcommit to work, your work-life balance suffers. The result: an unhealthy work-life balance can make it tough to function.

Developing and maintaining a healthy work-life balance is key. To do so, it often helps to set manageable goals during your workday. You can also make a plan to accomplish your work goals and execute them to the best of your ability. And, if you miss a goal, don’t hesitate to move it to the next day.

In addition, don’t forget to separate your personal and professional lives, even if you work remotely. For instance, those who work from home can set up a designated office space. In fact, there are a lot of great personal office space ideas online that might inspire you to set one up in your home.

Of course, a healthy work-life balance extends outside of your workplace, too. So, when you finish your workday, unplug from work and enjoy yourself. By relaxing your body and mind, you can recharge your batteries. That way, when you return to work, you’ll be well-equipped to feel and perform your best.

2. Social Relationships

Social relationships play important roles in mental and physical health. Yet, those who constantly work frequently miss out on birthday parties, barbecues, and other social events. This can cause people to miss out on friendships and other meaningful relationships. It may lead people to become isolated, to the point where they lose interest in social relationships altogether.

If you’re worried your workload is damaging your social relationships, now’s a good time to evaluate your priorities. Take a look at how you’re spending your time and who you want to be a part of your life. Then, you can develop a plan to engage with family members, friends, and others whom you want in your life.

As you try to build new social relationships or improve existing ones, start slow. Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day; much in the same vein, don’t expect your relationships to flourish right away. Instead, you can do things like send a daily text message or email or attend a weekly social event to connect with others. In the long run, you can enjoy relationships that deliver long-lasting benefits for all involved.

3. Sleep

Sacrificing sleep for work is a recipe for disaster in all areas of your life. Healthline points out the body produces high amounts of the hormone melatonin late in the day, when it gets dark outside. Melatonin helps regulate sleep; as more melatonin is produced, a person may start to feel tired. At this point, a person should wind down and get ready for bed.

Conversely, those who work late at night can inadvertently disrupt their bodies’ circadian rhythm, which impacts a person’s metabolism, hormones, and sleep. At this point, getting restful sleep can be difficult. It can even reach a point where a person can lie down to sleep but remain awake for many hours. Or, a person may feel tired during the workday, which can hamper their productivity.

The National Sleep Foundation recommends adults get an average of 7-9 hours of sleep each night. Try to follow this recommendation closely, so you can consistently enjoy restful sleep.

It can be beneficial to develop a sleep regimen as well. Going to bed and waking up around the same times each day, turning off electronics before bedtime, and setting up a dark and comfortable sleep environment can help you get sufficient rest night after night. 

4. Diet

Young adults frequently choose fast foods over fruits and vegetables, according to research. This is often due to long work hours that prevent these adults from exploring all of the healthy food options at their disposal.

The more fast food you eat, the more susceptible you are to obesity. Also, an unhealthy diet can take its toll on your physical and emotional wellbeing, causing you to feel sore, depressed, and exhausted more frequently than ever before.

When it comes to your diet, it pays to be diligent. Track what you eat and plan snack and meal times throughout your workday. Regardless of what happens during the day, make sure you eat.

Staying hydrated and exercising regularly can have far-flung effects on your diet, too. Drinking at least eight 8-oz. glasses of water daily can help you avoid dehydration and the physical and emotional side effects of it. Furthermore, 30 minutes of daily exercise can help you stay in shape.  

5. Burnout

Burnout tends to be far worse than ordinary fatigue, Healthline notes. The problem won’t disappear on its own, and if left unaddressed, can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, depression, and other physical and emotional health problems.

No one is immune to burnout, so you need to keep a close eye out for symptoms of it. Common symptoms of burnout include exhaustion, irritability, and isolation. Some people may also be prone to frequent illnesses and have escape fantasies when they are dealing with burnout.

Regular exercise, consistent sleep, and healthy eating can help you reduce your risk of burnout. If you experience any burnout symptoms, ask for help. At this time, you can check in with your doctor to explore ways to combat burnout going forward.

How to Avoid Being Overworked and Improve Your Quality of Life

Being overworked won’t help you or your employer. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to avoid issues that hamper your quality of life. These include:

  • Make time for yourself. Do things you like for at least a few minutes every day. Build rewards into your daily life, and you will have things to celebrate every day.
  • Talk to your manager. Let your manager know how you feel; if you’re dealing with a toxic work environment or other issues that affect your quality of life, your manager can help you alleviate these problems.
  • Automate work tasks. Use marketing automation or other tools to streamline everyday work tasks. These tools can help you free up time for yourself.
  • Prioritize time management. Craft a daily schedule. You can use your schedule to manage your time for work, school, social relationships, personal interests, and other aspects of your life.

Lastly, you only get one life to live, so try to make the most of it. In doing so, you can live the life you want to live and enjoy your life to the fullest extent.