Believe it or not, there is a downside to loving your job—it could lead to depression. This is just one of the surprising findings from a recent study by researchers at University of South Australia.
But maybe this isn’t so surprising. Employees who have high “work engagement”—above-average vigor, dedication and absorption while on the job—are much more likely to work long hours than are employees who don’t enjoy their jobs. And working long hours significantly increases employees’ risk of developing symptoms of major depression—even if they love their jobs.
If you are a workaholic and love your job, there are strategies to lower your risk for depression…
Work for an employer who prioritizes employees’ mental health. Working for a firm that doesn’t care about its employees’ mental health triples the risk for major depression symptoms.
Sequester your work phone during nonworking hours as much as possible. Additional not-yet-published research has found that checking work texts and e-mails regularly during nonworking hours undermines the mental health recovery that those nonworking hours could provide.
Spend your nonworking time engaged in activities that lower risk for depression—exercise…spending time in nature…and engaging in social interactions. These activities have been linked to lower odds of depression. Examples: Consider joining a friend for a jog…or taking a bike ride on a forest path or along a riverside.