Mental HealthMoonlighting: Find out how it can take a toll on your mental...

Moonlighting: Find out how it can take a toll on your mental health!

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You must be picturing staying in the moonlight when you hear the word “moonlighting.” But this is not what it means. This phrase has another meaning. Moonlighting is the practice of doing a second job on top of one’s normal job, usually secretly and at night. Though we all want to be successful and support our families financially, but should that success cost us our lives? We’re saying this because long working hours can be detrimental to your mental health.

Dr Jyoti Kapoor, Founder, and Senior Psychiatric, Manasthali, spoke to Health Shots about how moonlight can impact one’s mind or mental health.

What is moonlighting?

Working two jobs concurrently is known as moonlighting. According to USLegal, moonlighting typically refers to when a person does a second job outside of regular working hours. As a result, a person could perform a regular 9 to 5 job as their main source of income while also working another job at night to supplement their income. Moonlighters are often cheaper and are more flexible with their schedules than regular employees, therefore some people encourage this practice.

Working for long hours can cause many issues. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Though whatever its financial benefits, this practice is known to be harmful to your mental health.

Moonlighting impact on mental health

Dr Kapoor says, “Post-Covid, moonlighting has become quite common among employees. This trend got prominence now because the pandemic has slashed salaries and lost employment and income opportunities for many. All these circumstances have made people opt for a second job. However, working two jobs has some real, negative effects on our mental health.”

Those who work more than 11 hours per day have a 2.5 times greater risk of developing depression than those who work regular hours, according to a recent study on long working hours. They could also experience sleep issues, and lack of sleep can have a long-term negative impact on your mood, impair judgement, and weaken your immune system.

Also read: Long working hours can ‘kill you’: Here’s how you can maintain a good work-life balance

It doesn’t only impact mental health but, according to a recent World Health Organization study, working 55 or more hours per week is associated with an estimated 35 per cent higher risk of having a stroke and a 17 per cent higher risk of dying from ischemic heart disease, compared to working 35 to 40 hours per week.

Check out 7 signs of long working hours:

  • Tiredness
  • Weakness
  • Digestive issues
  • Stress
  • Depression
  • Irritability
  • Menstruation problems
Long working hours are leading to posture problems. Image courtesy: Shutterstock

Tips to prevent the side effects of long working hours

Here are 7 tips to prevent burnout situation and health problems due to long working hours:

  • Make a schedule, plan your day well and follow it.
  • Don’t forget to track time. Tracking time can help you understand how you could perform better.
  • Sleep increases your productivity levels. So always prioritise power naps.
  • Take breaks between work. Talk to friends and family, enjoy a cup of coffee or tea, listen to music, or do anything else that you like to enjoy during breaks.
  • To boost your confidence and relieve stress, enjoy some ‘Me time’ for a small period daily.
  • If you’re stressed and need support from loved ones then ask for it. There’s nothing wrong with it.
  • Maintain a regular schedule of meditation and yoga to stay active.

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