You and I have all been there! Trying to research information fast enough for a test, submitting work your boss asks for within a certain period, or trying to get more work done for the business. In today’s fast-paced world, overworking has become the norm.
Many people are working long hours, skipping meals, and sacrificing sleep to keep up with their busy schedules. Singapore has the longest working hours per week in the APAC region, according to a recent study by The Instant Group, and we are also the most overworked nation. The study also revealed that 62% of Singaporeans feel burned out and 73% of them are unhappy.
As a result, they turn to alcohol and caffeine to cope with the stress and fatigue. Consumption of coffee prepared at cafés and coffee shops grows to 14% among past-day drinkers, an increase of 20% from January 2022 levels. While these substances may provide temporary relief, they can quickly turn into harmful addictions.
My Battle with Overworking Addiction
I’ve realized that throughout my life(even though I’m only 26 which is quite young…I hope😅) I have a constant need to feed these addictions of mine.
While I may not have an addiction to smoking(which is worst IMO), the need to drink alcohol to work with customers and caffeine to stay late at night for work has become a norm. These “drugs” keeps me going to work, but I’m starting to get second doubt whether I need them.
Why Society Turns to Alcohol and Caffeine
Our society has painted a beautiful image when it comes to alcohol and drinking caffeine.
If you can drink alcohol, it is a status symbol(for me in Singapore) to show the people around you that you mean business. In some countries like the UK, ordering a pint of beer probably cost a few dollars. However, here in Singapore, a pint of beer easily costs you $10 or more. Welcome to Singapore!
If you need to drink caffeine, heck everyone here is doing it! Singapore has probably one of the most coffee shops apart from Korea(they have the best coffee!!), we are always in constant need to get caffeinated!
It’s interesting how we never truly explore the danger of alcoholism and caffeine in an overworked society. We are constantly trying to outwork each other in hopes to escape the rat race earlier. We are stuck in the endless need for chasing after the dollar.
Alcohol and caffeine provide an instant boost of energy and can help individuals feel more alert and awake. This can be especially appealing for those who are working long hours and need to stay focused.
In many workplaces, drinking alcohol and coffee are seen as social norms. Drinking during business meetings or happy hours can be seen as a way to bond with colleagues or to fit in with the company culture.
Lack of Time
With so many demands on their time, many people feel that they don’t have time for other activities. They may turn to alcohol or caffeine as a quick and easy way to cope with their stress and anxiety.
The Addiction to these Substances
When you realize your daily work norm is drinking coffee in the morning and afternoon. And having to end it off with a can of beer at night.
It’s hard to avoid these substances in our daily life when it is easily available. My direct response to overworking is getting myself more coffee or hanging out for a drink in the bar.
Life can’t keep going on like this
Long-term effects of caffeine addiction may include chronic insomnia, constant anxiety, depression, and stomach problems. It can also cause high blood pressure or make high blood pressure worse. More than 300 mg of caffeine (about 2 to 3 cups of coffee) in a day may be linked to miscarriages and low-birth-weight babies.
Don’t get me started on the danger of alcoholism, we all know the danger of alcoholism!
In an overworking culture, it can feel like there’s no time to rest or recharge. People may feel like they need to be constantly productive and available, leaving little time for self-care or relaxation. Alcohol and caffeine can be seen as a way to keep up with this demanding lifestyle, allowing people to stay alert and focused even when they’re exhausted.
Addiction is a Choice
Sugar is bad for you and can cause diabetes, but you still insist on drinking sweet drinks. Smoking is bad for your lung especially if you have asthma, but you still choose to smoke.
As you can see, most addiction stems from the fact that you choose to consume too much of it which causes these long-term side effects. Of course, there are warning signs your body will signal to you.
So…… Find new addictions!
I found that getting positive reinforcement is a great solution to overcome these addictions. Family time, exercising, taking interval breaks, or simply talking to someone are easy ways to cope.
Overworking culture is a major issue in today’s society, and it’s understandable why people turn to alcohol and caffeine to cope. However, these substances can have serious negative effects on our health and well-being, and it’s important to find healthier ways to manage stress and pressure.
By prioritizing self-care and making time for relaxation, we can break the cycle of overworking culture and create a healthier, happier society.