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Always Tired After Work? You Might Be Burned Out.
Whether you have an office job or a physical labor job, chances are you’ve probably felt tired, maybe even exhausted, after work.
There are many reasons why you may be experiencing low energy levels at the end of a workday. Anything from physical, to mental, to emotional factors could all be at play. The good news is there are ways to alleviate that feeling of fatigue after work and boost your energy.
Here at Joychiever, we know how frustrating, disappointing, and draining it can be when you’re tired after work. Research from the Society for Human Resource Management found that 48% of U.S. workers feel mentally and physically exhausted after work. Burnout is a relatively common problem, and we are here to help. In this guide, we have some possible causes for workplace exhaustion and suggestions for how to have energy after work.
Cause: Using too much screen time
If you’re working a desk job at an office all day, or even if you’re working from home, chances are you’re spending too many hours of your day staring at screens.
The average human being spends above seven hours a day looking at a screen, which can contribute to feeling tired of working. Too much screen time has been linked to eyestrain, blurred vision, headaches, and neck and back pain, on top of disrupting the levels of melatonin, aka the “sleep hormone,” that our bodies produce. Disruption of melatonin production in your body affects your circadian rhythms that tell your body when it’s time to sleep.
Suggestion: Take a screen time break
To combat this, take a screen time break! And no, that doesn’t mean you get to look at your phone. Set some time aside at regular intervals where you give your eyes a break for about a minute or so, letting your eyes relax from straining to look at a screen all day.
Cause: Experiencing too much personal interaction
Look, we get it. Sometimes your social battery can be drained. It’s normal to feel tired, or even exhausted, by constantly interacting with people, especially if you’re naturally an introvert. Carrying out small talk in between tasks can take a lot out of a person, and that’s okay.
Suggestion: Carve out some quiet time
If this is something that makes you feel too tired to work, try to keep unnecessary interactions at a minimum. Take a coffee break when no one else is in the kitchen. Plug your headphones in and tell your colleagues you’re working through a project. Take your lunch outside if you need to. No one should blame you for carving out some quiet time, and doing so will prevent you from feeling fatigue at work.
Cause: Working in a stressful job
This may seem like an obvious point. But, many people don’t realize the physical toll that stress can have on the body when it goes ignored for too long.
Studies have shown that stress alone can cause extreme fatigue, both in your brain and on your body. It can lead to headaches, body aches, anxiety, depression, and burnout, all of which can contribute to having no energy after work.
Suggestion #1: Plan a break every 90-120 minutes.
Take a break! Life is too short to spend every minute of your day stressing yourself out. Even just a short, five minute break can drastically improve your mental health. Finding ways to reduce stressful situations at work can help you feel less exhausted after work.
Suggestion #2: Make a self care plan.
You need to make your emotional health a priority. Call a loved one. Take a hot bath. Try meditating. Spend time with friends. Go outside. Maintaining a peaceful, positive headspace better equips you with the ability to deal with stressful situations as they come up.
Suggestion #3: Try flexible scheduling.
Some people find that they are more productive at certain times of the day, and they’d prefer to optimize their time spent in the office based on that productivity. Speak with your supervisor about starting and ending early or starting and ending late. Maybe you’d prefer working four extra long days so you get three days off for the weekend. If this is a possibility that you can explore at your place of work, explore it!
Cause: Not eating a nutritional diet
Have you ever found yourself scrambling for food around lunchtime? You may end up grabbing a supermarket sandwich or picking out several snacks from the cabinets. Not getting enough nutrients not only impacts your performance at work; it also makes you feel like you have no energy after work.
Suggestion #1: Start by meal prepping.
It may sound daunting at first, but prepping your food in advance takes some of the stress off of trying to find a nutritional meal when you’re rushing out the door in the morning or tight on time during your lunch break. Overnight oats are an easily customizable breakfast option.
Suggestion #2: Hydrate! Hydrate! Hydrate!
The average person should drink about 11-15 cups a day. If just drinking water is hard for you, try to incorporate as many non-sugary and non-caffeinated beverages as you can in your daily routine. Most people drink sugar and caffeine for that extra energy boost, but those types of drinks actually tend to have the reverse effect on your body in the long run.
Cause: Having poor posture
Studies have shown that slumping over or slouching throughout the day has been linked to feeling tired at the end of a day. It also affects your mood and emotions, which ultimately affects your stress and energy levels.
Suggestion #1: Remind yourself
Set reminders on your phone to correct your posture throughout the day. It’s easy to forget to hold up your posture when you’re intensely looking at a computer screen or huddled over a desk. Setting a little reminder every hour or so can help keep you on track.
Suggestion #2: Consider alternative work stations.
Try putting a footrest underneath your desk. This will help you naturally keep your legs at a comfortable angle, which will also help keep your spine straight. You could also try using a standing desk or switching out your chair for a medicine ball. Who knows, perhaps the key to avoiding feeling tired after work is as simple as utilizing a medicine ball.
How to avoid feeling sick of working
No one wants to feel too tired to work. Burnout can be detrimental to your mental and physical health. You don’t need to wait until you’re completely exhausted to try to recharge. Take steps along the way to alleviate those feelings of fatigue at work, and you’ll feel yourself living a much healthier and more fulfilling life.
Don’t know where to begin your fight against burnout? Start by checking out our eLearning programs, 39 Life Hacks to Combat Burnout, and Alleviate Burnout: Design Your Life for More Joy. And of course, don’t hesitate to reach out to us here at Joychiever with any questions.