Do you ever feel exhausted at work? Days where it doesn’t seem to matter how much coffee you’ve had or how much sleep you got the night before? When you have responsibilities or deadlines, it can be really frustrating to feel tired at work. You might think the reason you’re tired is due to just a bad night, or maybe your overall ‘not stellar’ sleeping habits, but sleep isn’t the only factor that can affect your energy levels. Fortunately, in most cases, there are simple, easy changes you can make to start feeling more energized right away. Here are some questions you can ask yourself to help troubleshoot why you might be feeling so tired at work.
What are you drinking?
When you’re feeling tired and you’re not sure why, drink a glass of water. Our bodies are 60% water, and losing even just 1.5% of your body’s water can contribute to dehydration and fatigue. Caffeine and alcohol actually dehydrate our bodies, so even if you think you’ve been drinking enough liquids, you might be losing hydration through other beverages. If you’re feeling tired, try drinking more water and see how your body feels.
How much are you moving?
Sitting all day sounds restful, but it has the reverse effect and actually makes you tired. Having a sedentary job could be contributing to your sense of exhaustion—especially if you don’t move around much before, during, or after work. It might sound counterintuitive, but moving your body can give you more energy. Even a gentle walk around the office or around the block can go a long way to helping you feel more alert and excited. Next time you’re feeling exhausted at work, see if taking a short walk helps you feel more awake and energized.
What are you stressed about?
Stress can have an enormous impact on the body and drain your energy. Even if you’re not stressed about a work project, any kind of life change or transition can put your body in a state of stress. It’s important to give yourself time every day to decompress and relax. While it can be tempting to sit and watch TV, it’s more restorative to choose activities that are somewhat active or mindful. Breathing exercises, meditation, or spending quality time with loved ones are all activities that can calm your nervous system and bring your body out of a state of stress.
What are you eating?
If you notice yourself feeling tired in the afternoon, it might be due to what you eat at lunch. Eating a lot of sugar and carbohydrates, without enough protein, can cause your energy levels to spike and then crash later in the day. Eating more complex, nutritious foods will give you a steadier stream of energy throughout the day. When you’re feeling tired, try a healthier, high-protein snack to avoid an afternoon carb crash.
What are you excited about?
While fatigue can be caused by diet or stress, it could also be a sign that something else is going on. Having a toxic work environment or not feeling passionate or challenged by your work are all things that can cause stress and a sense of exhaustion. Giving yourself goals, taking on new challenges, or dreaming big are all things that can give you a renewed sense of purpose and energy. If, on the other hand, you notice that nothing makes you excited or that every day feels gray, it might also be time to talk with your doctor or a therapist about what else may be going on.
It can be frustrating to feel tired and not your usual self at work, but fortunately there are many easy things you can do to bring your energy levels back. And if you’re feeling tired right now, the easiest thing you can do? Start with a glass of water.
What ways do you fight fatigue, or tiredness, at work? Comment below or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.