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How Workaholism and Burnout Can Ruin Your Health and Sex Life

We know it’s a cliché that if you want to be successful, you must work hard. But too much hard labour is not healthy for your brain, body, and spirit. Burnouts can often be the result of stress and that creates even more stress, that not only impacts your working life negatively but also your personal life with your partner. No, we’re not referring to those pointless fights with your partner or the desire to isolate yourself because you're burned out; we’re talking about the embarrassing situations that occur in your intimate experiences together - or worse, the absence of all intimacy and sex life. Workaholism and consequently stress and burnout can find their way into our bedrooms, making it very difficult to seek or enjoy any form of intimacy.

High levels of chronic stress and its effects on the body

When you cannot detach from work, you ruminate and are unable to relax and release the stress that builds up in your body. High levels of chronic stress may impair your immune response, making you vulnerable to a variety of illnesses, including cancer. [1] Sadly, stress may damage you physically and emotionally too. Here are some specific conditions you can face as a result of stress. [2]

  • Anxiety

  • Weight gain or weight loss

  • Depression

  • Gastrointestinal difficulties

  • Difficulty in concentration

  • Headaches or even migraines

  • Muscle tension and overall aches and pains in the body lead to discomfort and low mobility

  • Cardiac illness, cardiac arrests, blood pressure issues and increased risk of stroke

  • Issues with sleeping - insomnia, interrupted sleep, insatiable need for sleep

  • Low libido, Sexual issues

  • Memory issues, forgetfulness

Depleted energy and bad sleep are bad for your sex life

Working hours that are erratic, as well as sleep deprivation, go together. People working late or on restricted timetables often do not get a decent 5-7 hours of sleep. For men, this may cause the body to stop releasing melatonin, which impacts testosterone synthesis in the body.

Whenever you work more so than your body can handle, you'll experience chronic exhaustion, headaches, and in some cases nausea. This indicates that your body's internal functions aren't performing well, and when the system isn't running properly, hormone secretion suffers as well.

As we know, sleep is crucial for health. It's also beneficial to a healthy sex life since it decreases stress and strengthens the immune system. If you can't get your recommended eight hours of sleep every night, consider power napping to see how it affects your energy levels and sex drive.

Body and health struggles - down to lack of exercise and poor eating habits

Individuals who exercise regularly have more energy and have better sex lives. This is due to three factors. Physical activity, for starters, boosts the release of hormones and generates physiological responses that increase desire. The second thing is that working on yourself and continuously watching yourself improve makes you more confident. This enhances your everyday worldview and improves your perspective on life. All these positive emotions make you better in bed and help you enjoy your sexual life more! Finally, frequent exercise promotes the health of blood arteries and enhances blood circulation, resulting in improved blood supply to the genital regions.

Research has shown links between having a healthy and nutritious diet and better intimate experiences. Certain foods are known to support and stimulate better sexual wellbeing. For instance consuming superfoods high in antioxidants, such as dark chocolate and berries would help your body with blood circulation in the penile area, intensifying arousal.

Quitting smoking can also help your arteries unclog and clear plaque that may be constricting blood vessels in your intimate sexual organs. Additionally, reducing or quitting alcohol can help your body to maintain a better hormonal balance.

Lack of time in survival mode

The workaholic has time and passion for work and very little else. When we take into consideration that the topics of intimacy and sex are taboo even for couples who are in happy and loving relationships - opening the conversation for the lack of intimacy you have in a relationship marked by one partner’s absence and work schedule is beyond difficult.

Many couples are often drained when they come home at the end of the day and thus having less and less time for each other fall into the trap of disconnection with the growing distance between them.

The advice ‘’to find time’’ is useless, our time is filled by our priorities and for as long as the workaholic is in emotional survival mode, seeking work to self-soothe, cope and find safety in - there will be no positive outcome if there’s pressure or threats. Rather it is important to focus on the priority ‘’to make time’’ for therapy, support and healing.

Disconnected in the relationship - lack of social and emotional contact with a partner

It's crucial to consider the state of your relationship while coping with low libido. Relationship stress and disagreements have been shown in studies to have a larger effect on reduced libido than other forms of stress. [3] Both women and men are affected by this.

Since both men and women believe that their spouse's happiness affects their own sex drive, a loss of enthusiasm from one side might result in a loss of desire in both.

Dealing with relationship issues is crucial for a variety of reasons, one of which is your sex desire. The first stage should be to ensure that you're employing fair and helpful communication tactics in your partnership. Rather than viewing one another as "the adversary," try to perceive difficulties as challenges you can confront together. Attempt to devise tactics that address the needs of both parties.

If you're having trouble doing it yourself, a therapist, marriage counsellor or sexpert may help you improve your relationship habits and address some underlying concerns.

If you’re searching for an expert specialising in sex(uality) and relationships, we recommend the first and most progressive sexual wellness platform

Sexless relationships

Stress-induced sexlessness leaves you disconnected and less passionate. Moreover, according to research conducted at the University of Gottingen in Germany, those who have much less sex prefer to undertake extra responsibility and work in order to balance their lack of fulfilment and satisfaction in the relationship. And, as you would expect, increasing work leads to even less sex. [4] [5]

In conclusion, studies and common sense point to the ways how if left untreated, burnout can have serious consequences that could ruin your sex life, including stress-induced sexlessness.

We hope you have enjoyed this blog and that you are able to implement some of the strategies for reducing burnout into your daily life in order to reconnect with your intimate self and your partner. If you are looking for more information or guidance on managing burnout and workaholism, please check out our course Bin Burnout and Thrive, we dedicated a whole chapter on how to improve your intimate life and battle workaholism at the same time. Let’s be productive and efficient even in battling our workaholism and burnout and kill two birds with one stone in the course.

You can learn more about our course here >




  3. Dewitte M, Mayer A. Exploring the link between daily relationship quality, sexual desire, and sexual activity in couples. Archives of sexual behavior. 2018 Aug 1;47(6):1675-86.

  4. Greeson, Jeffrey M., et al. "Decreased symptoms of depression after mindfulness-based stress reduction: Potential moderating effects of religiosity, spirituality, trait mindfulness, sex, and age." The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 21.3 (2015): 166-174.



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