Long working hours at the office and work being carried over the weekend can lead to adverse mental health issues, the UAE mental health experts are warning. A new study highlights that women are especially prone to stress-induced mental health issues when they face consistently long working hours, along with responsibilities of managing roles.

Research shows that women who put in 55 hours or more every week at work are at a higher risk of depression. Nadia Brooker, psychologist at The Priory Wellbeing Centre, Dubai, says: ‘In today’s competitive workplace, no one is immune [to stress]. Women... take on far more responsibilities. When you add a full or part-time job into the mix, it’s easy to understand how the associated stresses and strains of daily life can build-up.’

Early warning signs of stress include becoming easily agitated, feeling overwhelmed, low energy, headaches, upset stomach, difficulty sleeping, clenched jaw, racing thoughts, difficulty focusing, changes in appetite and low mood or mood swings. Prolonged stress can lead to anxiety, depression, and even physical health issues such as lowered immunity and IBS.

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The Priory’s team recommends using guided meditation apps, deep breathing, healthy eating, listening to music and enjoying fresh air as ways to release stress.