Stress & Time Off Work

Forced time off work, mandatory leaves and unemployment cause a great deal of stress for many people in today's society, where success is often measured in income. Stress associated with unemployment may lead to numerous health problems and issues, both physical and mental.

In most cases, short-term stress is normal in daily life, but long-term stress may lead to severe medical issues for an individual in the future if not addressed promptly and efficiently.

Finances and Stress

Dealing with financial issues -- the continued influx of bills, credit card payments and mortgages -- causes a great deal of stress for those laid off work or unemployed. Meeting obligations, feeding and sheltering the family are just the tip of the iceberg. Emotional and mental issues of pride, accomplishment and the ability to provide for oneself and one's family often suffer when a person takes time off work.


Inactivity leads many individuals to feel depressed and stressed. For people living in apartments, there's only so much one can clean. Having time off work doesn't necessarily mean a person has the money to go on vacation or engage in house repairs either. Having excess time and nothing to do with it can cause enormous stress for those accustomed to working. Stress caused by inactivity may lead to impatience and increased irritability.


Stress and time off work often go hand in hand, leading to many bumpy relationships. Financial stress, dissatisfaction and worry often cause difficulties and arguments in marriages. A person dealing with stress from enforced unemployment may also suffer in social relationships. Jealousy often appears when one member of a group is out of work while others continue to enjoy the ability to pay bills, entertain and go on vacation.

Physical Manifestations

Stress, regardless of cause, often results in headache, anxiety and lack of focus. Stress may also cause increased use of alcohol or drugs and often leads to insomnia. Feelings of anger, sadness and burnout and insecurity are common. More serious and long-term complications of chronic stress conditions may include heart disease later on in life and the possibility of heart attack and stroke. High blood pressure, racing heartbeat and panic attacks are common.

Stress Management

An individual taking time off work, voluntarily or not, needs to avoid damage caused by excessive worry and anxiety by engaging in daily activities or exercise and taking up some form of relaxation to help keep mental outlook positive. Therapies such as yoga, medication and tai chi are good exercise regimes that promote a connection between body and soul, and often help individuals reduce the effect of stress on the body by encouraging calm reflection and thinking processes.

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