Caution: Quills may be sharp Circulation: 81,826,882 Issue: 157 | 10th day of Gathering, Y6
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Curing the Condition Of… Being Overworked


by charmedhorses

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WORK - Work, work, work. It's amazing how this four-letter word can have so much meaning and feeling in it, but there it is, staring all of us in the face. Both Neopets and owners alike have their share of it -- whether it be doing their homework or tending to the Neohome. Eventually this one word, so innocent and yet so demanding, drains up of our usual spirit and leaves our tired bodies responsible for dragging us ion and continuing the work.

When such a thing happens -- which it does much too often, and I don't think there is any sure fire way to escape it- we must pull ourselves together over the course of a nice, long, relaxing vacation.

This article was written for Neopets and their owners, to help Neopians everywhere find ways to rejuvenate their weary selves. I hope that by the end of it you will have found the strength to pull yourself together and give your mind a well-deserved rest.

Symptoms

To begin with, it is important that you understand the symptoms of being overworked. After all, how is one to know if the have simply become immune to it?

The most obvious clue that you're being overworked is if you're working abnormally long hours. However, this can be tricky because I daresay a lot of Neopets actually enjoy devoting themselves to their work. In this case, beware of losing your flicker of fun- though rewarding at first, the moment you feel as if you have to work late you should try to do just the opposite. I know this can be hard, but see if you can get off early. If your boss puts up a fuss remind him or her of all the hard work you've been doing.

If you work at a place involving some sort of food-a deli, diner, ice cream parlor, any of these, a major warning sign is when you grow tired of the smell of that food. It's one thing if you don't like it to begin with, but if you did it's quite another. I take it to be a most depressing sign of losing enjoyment in one's job.

Another clue that you've been doing too much is if you find yourself working quickly and more inefficiently than usual in an attempt to get it all done. This is perhaps the worst way of being overworked. Not only does this result in work far below what you are capable of, it also means that you end up having to work longer trying to improve the quality. As you can see, this creates quite the circle and your overall condition only worsens.

The last symptom that I would like to warn you about is obsession. If the only thing that you can think about is your work you know you have a problem. The weekends are supposed to be your time off, away from everyday stresses. If thoughts of work creep into your days off on a regular basis you should rethink how much time you're spending on it. After all, being unable to stop thinking about a big project is one thing, but thinking of work 24/7 is quite another. BE very cautious and keep home life and business life separate.

Cures

As much as I'm sure you'd like to get away, in reality taking a break can be much harder than you would have imagined. Being able to set aside all thoughts of work usually ends up quite a challenge. Nevertheless, going on a vacation is the best remedy for a weary mind. Pack up a few things and hit the road, putting all thoughts behind you.

How long should you go for? Where should you go? These are good questions. The answers depend on the severity of your case. If you're totally drained I recommend a vacation of a week or more, but if you're just beginning to feel overworked a four-day weekend would serve as an excellent break. It's always good to stop it before it gets too bad.

For a longer getaway I suggest going to a land faraway from your hometown. If you live in Neopia Central try somewhere vastly different such as Terror Mountain or the Lost Desert -- one vastly cold and the other vastly hot. The reason behind your trip is to relax and do something different. What could be better than going to a new place and trying new things? You'll be so busy that you won't have time to even think about work.

The same would be good for a shorter break, but because you don't have as long I would recommend a trip to Mystery Island or Krawk Island. There's nothing quite like basking in the sun as you recline on the beach. It's a great way to forget about all your problems.

Of course, this is just the first step. Once you get home you'll have to be sure you don't get overworked again. Try to work your normal hours, arriving and leaving right on time. At your Neohome take it easy and don't stress about work-related issues.

Side Affects

Just because being overworked is a different kind of condition don't let it fool you. As is the case with most other diseases, work stress has side affects as well.

The most prominent of these is a long to be back on vacation. Rather ironic, isn't it? Going away to get better and then wishing you were gone again. Well, that's the way things go and after a little while you'll be perfectly content again. Just settle down at Neohome and you'll remember exactly why you love it so much.

Another strange side affect is becoming even more obsessed with your work. This is a rarity, but sometimes when a Neopet has been gone for a long time span they feel obligated to make up for lost time. Be very wary of feelings like these.

There may be a few other problems such as headaches or unusual tiredness, but these too should diminish shortly after you return to work.

Prevent It From the Start

Being overworked is something every Neopian is likely to experience. However, if you try to take precautions from the beginning by working normal hours, resting enough, and keeping your mind on other things, you may be able to avoid it. With that written, I wish you farewell and many days filled with fun!

Author's Note: This was sort of a different article for me, but after all the work I had last year in school I thought I'd address it as a Neopian issue. After all, if we go through it I'm sure our Neopets do too! Anyhow, feel free to drop me a Neomail with your thoughts.

 
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