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Understanding The Relationship Between Work Ethic And Mental Health


Understanding The Relationship Between Work Ethic And Mental Health

Being a woman with immense responsibility at work can often be stressful and demanding at times. Indeed, the pressure of being the #GirlBoss might even get to your head and allow for your mental health to be affected. So, how do you cope with it? And how do you ensure that all the demands at work are met while also keeping your cool? 

If you’re one of those people undergoing such a phase in life, this post will certainly boost your morale. Keep reading to learn more about the relationship between work ethics and mental health. Further, you’ll also find out how #GirlBoss Samantha Quick, User Experience (UX) leader and illustrator, overcame her share of mental health issues in her work environment.

Essential work ethics and balancing with mental health

When you hold a prominent position in your workplace, it’s natural for you to feel the need to be the best at everything you do. Not only that, but the amount of burden on your shoulders is enough to slowly but surely allow for a mental breakdown! 

At least that’s what happened with Quick. 

As she mentions in her article, Stop Faking It Until You Make It, she talks about how trying to be the best at everything she did had quite an impact on her mental health and well-being. When she was hired as the Resident Director, she was just 21 years of age! Further, she talks about how she managed between the job and being a full-time student at the same time. 

However, just because you have your share of responsibility doesn’t mean you are free of mistakes. After all, we’re all just human beings! Therefore, as much as you love your work or strive to do better, it’s also pertinent that you take care of yourself first. At least that’s what Quick learned during this past decade!

So, the question remains- what are the essential work ethics that you need to practice while also maintaining your sanity? Let’s take a look below. 

Accountability and responsibility

Of course, accountability and credibility are extremely important in your workplace. Just because you have your share of responsibilities doesn’t mean that you need to be flawless. It’s important to build a vital balance between the two, as well as set achievable expectations in the process.

As Quick narrates, her desire to be perfect at her job and ‘capable’ enough for it saw her working for as many as 90 hours a week. Sure, hard work leads to success. But you should also make sure that you don’t overburden or overwork yourself. Further, ‘faking it till you make it’ will only lead to health complications in the long run. 

So, if there’s ever a day when you make a mistake, you need to relax and keep calm. Also, taking accountability and responsibility for your error won’t stop you from going up the success ladder! 

  1. Honesty

When you’re an honest employee or employer, that’s when you know you’re following and expressing an honorable and proper code of conduct. However, when practicing honesty at work, it’s vital to recognize the need to ensure that you’re honest with yourself. For instance, if you feel like you’re overworking for no rhyme or reason, take a breather! Yes, you don’t need to exert yourself to gain some recognition from your colleagues.

Similarly, it’s okay to ‘let loose’ a little bit when you’re in a managerial position. This way, you know that your health is given absolute priority over anything else.  

  1. Showing respect and fairness

The third essential work ethic is knowing how to show respect and fairness at every stage. Whether you’re a decision-maker or an entry-level employee, ensuring that you’re fair with your actions is necessary. This way, you know that you’re expressing a positive work culture in the office. 

Again, you also need to ensure that you’re being fair to yourself and respecting your health and that of others. Only then can you bring about a safe and ethical work environment that doesn’t hamper your well-being and that of others. 

The relationship between work ethics and mental health

By now, you must have already guessed how crucial it is to balance your mental health and your responsibilities at work. Just as Quick mentions, it’s not essential that you need to have everything figured out: it will happen on its own! 

Being a woman in a male-dominant society might become even more stressful for you to show them what you’ve got. However, how far are you willing to go? To the point where you have a mental and physical breakdown? Certainly not! 

Just like work ethics start with yourself, so should the psychological aspect and well-being, too. As it is, excellent leadership and management coupled with robust mental health go hand in hand. So, the more mentally and physically fit you are, the greater the outcome and productivity will be. 

As Quick reflects, it doesn’t matter what kind of days you have- be it a good day, a bad day, or an ugly day. What matters is how you take it all in with positivity without being too hard on yourself. In the end, you need to take responsibility for your mental and physical well-being on your own. 


As we come to the end of this post, try and reflect on yourself and how you conduct yourself at work. Are you faking it all, or are you just that hard-working? Even though it might seem pish-posh right now, it might be too late when realization dawns upon you. 

As the saying goes, too much of anything isn’t good for you. Likewise, hampering your physical and mental health simply because you undermine yourself will negatively impact you. Therefore, make sure to leave room for adjustment. This way, you’ll be successful both at work and in life within no time! All you have to remember is to be confident in yourself and consider your mental health. 

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