New year, same work anxiety. How capitalism makes work-life ‘balance’ feel impossible.

At first it felt like a normal side effect of being employed. But buried underneath well-intentioned advice to “unplug from work!” and “enjoy your downtime!” came the unsettling realization that taking time away from work, be it a weekend or a day off for a doctor’s appointment, felt almost more anxiety-inducing than the workweek itself. How can I take a break when I’m worried that a day off will lead me to fall behind and lose my job?

It’s become clear this isn’t just a paranoid quirk specific to overthinkers working multiple jobs, like me.

Two years ago, when I found myself in the emergency room trying to email my boss, I was struck by how my literal health emergency wasn’t making me anxious — but my job was. What if I couldn’t make it to work the next day? How many hours would I lose, and how would I

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