Your career can play a huge role in your overall happiness and spiritual well being. It’s where you spend a large portion of your time, and if it’s draining you, that can impact your entire life. Unfortunately, so many people deal with work struggles. A 2019 Gallup poll found that 85% of people are unhappy in their jobs, with just 15% feeling engaged at work.
An unfulfilling work environment can cause excessive stress. It might burn you out, deplete your energy, and harm your overall mental health.
You might enjoy some aspects of your career. Or, maybe you want to stay where you are for financial reasons. No matter what situation you’re in, however, it’s not okay to let your job drain you.
So, what can you do to stay positive when you’re dealing with a spiritually challenging career?
Which Careers Are the Most Spiritually Draining?
First, it’s important to know which careers are typically the most taxing. A job you think you enjoy could actually be doing more harm than good thanks to the high-stress levels associated with it. Some of the careers with the highest rates of depression are:
- Public and private transportation
- Real estate
- Social services
- Personal services
- Legal services
There are plenty of reasons why these particular career paths cause stress and uncertainty. You might be worried about safety on the job if you work in a particularly dangerous industry, like manufacturing. Finding an employer who cares about your overall well being can combat that stress and strain, no matter which sector you’re in. Employers can decrease rates of depression in their employees by paying them a fair wage, providing proper benefits, and ensuring they always feel safe with specific guidelines in place. Depending on your career, you might even want to seek out an employer that provides safety training and adequate protective equipment, including masks or goggles for your eyes.
Strike a Balance
As you can see, some jobs will always be more stressful and draining than others. But, that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re in the wrong career. You just might need to make some changes when it comes to your priorities. If there are certain aspects of your job you enjoy, or you’re not ready to leave, your focus should be on striking a healthy work-life balance. Finding ways to de-stress during the workday is also important, so you’re not drained by the time you leave.
You might have a busy job without much time for breaks during the day. But, taking some time for yourself, especially when you’re feeling overwhelmed, is crucial. Try some of the following tips to de-stress and feel more emotionally stable while you’re working:
- Take a short walk outside
- Practice meditation or mindfulness
- Take a few deep breaths
- Stand up and stretch
- Talk to someone you care about
When you get home from work, make sure you’re focusing on other aspects of your life. Spend time with family and friends. Do things you enjoy. Practice self-care every day. When work consumes your entire life, it can dampen your spirit and leave you feeling empty.
Know When It’s Time to Move On
If you feel like you can’t strike a balance at work and your job is taking a toll on your spiritual health, it might be time to consider a different career path. A career death is better than mental health struggles. So, if you’re having a hard time finding much positivity in what you’re doing, looking elsewhere could be your best option.
It’s normal to be nervous about “starting over” or going down a completely different career path. But, don’t let that stop you from finding your joy. If you truly want to find a job that will bring you fulfillment, consider what matters most to you. What do you enjoy? What are your values? Don’t be afraid to try something different or out of the box if it appeals to you. If a job lines up with the things you believe in and the things you consider important, it’s often worth exploring.
One of the best ways to strike a healthy work-life balance is by freelancing. The gig economy has seen a lot of growth in recent years thanks to the benefits of contract work. It offers flexibility and freedom. You get to be your own boss and work with clients you want. Plus, 75% of freelancers earn just as much (if not more) as they did working a full-time job somewhere else.
There are some potential challenges, of course. It can be hard to get your foot in the door to maintain steady clients. Plus, you’ll carry the responsibilities of being a boss, including providing your insurance and taking care of everything your small business requires. But, it’s a wonderful way to find work that appeals to you and allows you to thrive.
Whatever you decide to do in your career, understand that no job is worth crushing your spiritual or emotional health. Staying positive is one of the best things you can do, but listen to your mind and your heart when it comes to making necessary changes.