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Last Updated on November 26, 2020

Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

Why Am I Feeling Tired All the Time? (And How to Fix It)

Let’s start with the fact that there are healthy reasons to feel tired and there are unhealthy reasons to feel tired.

If you are feeling tired all the time, that is a good sign you are feeling tired for an unhealthy reason. It is healthy to feel tired after working out, going on a run or participating in an extracurricular activity. It is unhealthy to feel tired after sleeping for 10-hours and not exerting yourself throughout the day.

If you are feeling tired all the time, you may have noticed your productivity or ability to focus suffer. In this article, let’s discuss some of the most common reasons you feel tired and how to fix it.

1. Not Taking Care of Yourself

Feeling tired all the time could be a sign you are not taking care of yourself.

Think of yourself as your favorite luxury vehicle. To keep your car running optimally, you need regular oil changes, to use high-quality fuel and to keep up with the regular maintenance schedule. If you don’t replace your oil on a regular basis, your car won’t efficiently.

When you are feeling tired all the time, check to see if you are getting the proper amount of sleep. Are you sleeping the recommended 8-hours a day? If not, that could be the easiest change you can make in your life.

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Much like a car, the quality of fuel you put in your engine impacts your performance. Are you eating food that is full of nutrients or are you eating empty calories? All energy is not created equal. Even if you eat the same number of calories, you will get more energy from fruits and vegetables than you will from cake and ice cream. If you don’t feel you are ready to change your diet just yet, a good place to start is by taking more vitamins.

Lastly, consider what your ideal weight should be and if you are not there, make a plan to get there. If your body is carrying around extra baggage, studies show it can negatively impact your sleep, joints and organs.[1]

2. Pretending to Be Something You Are Not

Let’s just rip the bandage off and get at the heart of the discussion. If you feel tired shortly after you start working, then you may be exerting a significant amount of mental energy with your coworkers.

Much like your physical exertion can exhaust you over time, mental exertion can exhaust you too. Most people start feeling tired around the end of a long work day. This is normal. You have used a hefty amount of mental energy making various decisions throughout the day.[2] If your decisions are limited to work, you will likely make it through most of the day before feeling tired. If you are feeling tired all the time, then you are not being honest with yourself and others.

When work is overly political, you have to cautiously calculate every step you take. That is adding a significant amount of decisions to your daily count. The same can hold true with relationships in your personal life. If you have a family member who is very sensitive, you are walking on egg-shells to ensure you don’t offend them.

Whether in your professional or personal life, if you are forcing yourself to act in an unnatural manner, you will be feeling tired all the time. In a way, you are living a lie and you don’t want to be caught. And like most lies, you have to pause before each interaction to make sure you haven’t exposed yourself.

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It takes less energy to be true to yourself. When you do what comes naturally to you, it is like you are operating on autopilot. A good example of this is the energy you apply when driving home. It is so natural to you that you could daydream while driving and still make it home safely. When things are so natural to you that it can be accomplished by your subconscious, you are saving your mental energy for the important decisions.

Ideally, having a conversation with a coworker or a family member would be as natural as blinking or brushing your teeth. You say what comes to your mind and there is nothing for you to consciously consider.

3. You Loathe Something About Your Life

Stress is a real thing my friend, but keep in mind that all stress is not bad. Much like feeling tired, you don’t want to feel stressed all the time.

Some common causes of acute stress are losing a job, going through a divorce or the death of a loved one. As you see, these examples are unique circumstances that should not happen on a regular basis. However, when stress has you feeling tired all the time, then you are dealing with stress related to activities you perform on a daily basis. The most common of these triggers are being unhappy in your job, feeling insecure in a relationship or having a heavy work load.

There are two ways to deal with chronic stress in your life: You can remove the stress and you can manage the stress.

Ideally, when an aspect of your life causes you to feel stressed on a daily basis, you should remove it from your life. Understanding you may not be able to eliminate the stressful aspects of your life overnight, you may be better suited to start by managing your stress. Whether you are talking about work or family, they didn’t always cause you so much stress. By focusing on what excited you most about your job when you accepted it, you can reduce the stress your job creates.

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Are you grateful for the ability to provide for your family or could the friendships you built be a bright spot? In those strained relationships with your family and friends, reflect on a time when things were better. What about your spouse caused you to say, “I do” and when was your friend supporting you when others didn’t? If you are among those who genuinely cannot recall a time when things were better, then you need to manage your stress by limiting your interactions until you can eliminate them altogether.

4. Progress Has Stopped

If your future is not more compelling than your life today, you can’t help but be feeling tired all the time. One of the most beautiful and motivating things about life is growth. Of all the differences each of us have, the desire for growth and progress is something we all share.

Feeling stagnant in your life is exhausting within itself. It is unlikely you are feeling stagnant due to a lack of effort. You are most likely exerting a lot of energy to change your life, but for one reason or another you have are no closer to your goal. You feel like a hamster running on its wheel. Even though the hamster is not any closer to its goal, it did exercise the energy to do so. If you deal with this feeling long enough, you won’t just stop running on the wheel; you will stop running altogether.

As mentioned, there is little more deflating than the feeling that you are not growing. Especially, if you are putting in the effort to achieve the results you desire.

As simple as it sounds, the life you have is the life you know how to create. The actions and decisions that created your life today, will not be able to create the life you want. You must change the rituals and habits you employ each day to change your life.

A bodybuilder has a different set of eating rituals than a sumo wrestler. Yet, if you are not sure about the rituals of either of them, you cannot change your life to match theirs. You must research and learn how a body builder chooses the food they eat, when they wake up, and how often they work out. If your goal is to create the results of a sumo wrestler, then it does not benefit you to mirror the lifestyle of a bodybuilder.

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The same holds true with your life goals. If you are not progressing toward the results you want, implement the tactics of someone successfully living the lifestyle you want.

Learn the 6 Ways to Make Progress Every Day (And Realize Your Goals).

Final Thoughts

If you are feeling tired all the time, you need to take a step back and recognize what is making you feel so tired. Once you know what is causing the problem, take small steps to change your life overtime.

If your lack of energy is tied to you taking poor care of yourself, then make the necessary adjustments to improve your health. However, if your exhaustion is internally driven, you must take the steps to align your internal purpose with your external actions.

Being yourself is the easiest person you can be. Attempting to be anyone else can be exhausting to say the least. When you are feeling tired all the time because you feel as though you are not making enough progress, review your daily actions and adjust accordingly.

The more you learn about yourself, the better equipped you will be to successfully change your life.

More About Mental Energy

Featured photo credit: Lily Banse via unsplash.com

Reference

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Last Updated on November 27, 2020

How to Recover From Burnout Quickly and Feel Better

How to Recover From Burnout Quickly and Feel Better

Professionals who experience burnout from work are often experiencing other difficulties in life that are compounding. While burnout can feel like a never-ending set of negative emotions, you can learn how to recover from burnout and feel better. If you do things right, burnout recovery may not even take very long!

Burnout can come with physical and mental symptoms. Meanwhile, you can suffer from burnout even if you are satisfied with your job and career. Therefore, learning how to recover from burnout is essential if you want to continue being productive and satisfied in your life and career.

Does Exhaustion Cause All Burnouts?

Christina Maslach and Herbert Freudenberger coined the term “burnout” in the 70s[1]. As psychologists, they independently understudied the impact of burnout on health workers and social service workers. They targeted their respondents based on chronic stress experienced, as well as the volume of interaction they had with others daily.

They discovered that burnout is not necessarily about exhaustion. There could be a detachment that comes in the form of displaying cynical behaviors towards clients or colleagues.

Also, it could come in the form of a sense of hopelessness or self-defeat with work.

Maslach subsequently came up with the Maslach Burnout Inventory, or MBI. This model is an inventory of 22 things that measure the three dimensions of burnout: depersonalization, emotional exhaustion, and personal accomplishment. This model eventually turned out to be a measuring tool, or a blueprint, in the industry[2].

Furthermore, a group of Danish scientists developed a newer model known as the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory, or CBI. This model analyzed burnout on three different dimensions: personal, work-related, and client-related[3].

All the aforementioned burnout models are quite complex, so instead of looking at them, you can consider these symptoms to see if you’re experiencing burnout. From there, you can begin to learn how to recover from burnout in a way that is unique to you.

Symptoms of Burnout From Work

Symptoms of burnout vary widely depending on the type of work you do, the environment you work in, the the kind of personality you have. If you notice any of these things, it may be a sign that you’re experiencing burnout:

  • You’ve lost interest in your present job or project but cannot terminate it.
  • You’re always exhausted.
  • You need to motivate yourself to carry out the smallest tasks.
  • You feel you are compensated less compared to the value you bring into the job or project.
  • You have withdrawn from interacting with others.
  • You become short-tempered while communicating with clients and colleagues.
  • You have turned to bad habits like drugs, alcohol, high sugar intake, sedentary lifestyle, or overeating.
  • You question life and career choices generally.
  • You are experiencing physical symptoms like headaches, heart palpitations, or stomachaches.

The good news is that you can come out of it and learn how to recover from burnout once you become aware of the signs.

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5 Strategies to Recover From Burnout Quickly

The following strategies may help you bounce back from burnout.

1. Focus On Your Projects

The famous American Psychologist Abraham Maslow, in 1943, reiterated that anyone could achieve happiness as long as they can expressed themselves and maximized their potential.

This is what he termed “self-actualization.” He warned:

“The story of the human race is that of men and women selling themselves short.”[4]

Successful leaders of companies understand the significance of self-actualization. That’s why they allow their employees to work on personal or social projects. They also enable their workers to come up with and own social projects, which they implement as corporate social responsibilities.

If you’re working a 9-5 job, ensure you dedicate some hours in the morning or evening to personal projects, such as creating a blog or an app that solves problems for others.

That way, you can express your values while striving to attain your professional goals. This will help you feel a sense of control over how you are spending your time. Set boundaries between your personal and professional life to improve this. 

2. Practice Mindfulness

Meditation is a time-tested strategy to deal with burnout. According to research from Denmark, consistent meditation is connected to the development of more gray matter in your brain stem[5]. This can improve memory, self-control, decision-making, and more.

You can rewire your mind and brain to be more focused and productive by practicing meditation daily. Start small. Take a 10-minute break during work or early in the morning to practice mindfulness.

3. Detoxify Through Exercise

Toxins are poisons locked up in your system. One of the best things to do when you are learning how to recover from burnout is to detoxify through exercise. Exercise can increase your heart rate, which pumps blood faster and detoxifies your system.

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Have you noticed that you naturally feel better after a prolonged exercise that raises your blood pressure?

Anxiety is one of the major symptoms you will experience when you’re burned out from work, and exercise is a great way to quickly relieve that anxiety.

Joshua Broman, in a 2004 study, revealed that students who practiced exercise became less sensitive to anxiety[6]. Several additional studies have buttressed this benefit.

Incorporate regular exercise into your routine by swimming before work, taking a long walk in the afternoon, or spending some time at the gym in the evening.

4. Practice Journaling

Writing can heal. Writing about your emotions and experiences on a daily basis helps you process them, which can expedite the healing process.

One prominent literature review supported the idea that writing about your experiences can generate long term improvements in your mood and health[7].

How do you experience this healing when you are burned out from work life?

Keep a professional journal!

For instance, you can take a thirty-minute break during your weekends or quiet moments to assess your performance, progress, and the challenges you have faced in the past few days.

Itemize your achievements — the projects as well as the challenges that are holding you back. You can also list some uncertainties or questions about your present work. That way, you can discover patterns in your professional life and reflect on the next action to take.

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Journaling can enable you to discover solutions to potential issues before they surface. This technique is highly practical for those who love expressing themselves. However, if you don’t enjoy writing, you can use the bullet point format or memo feature on your phone to record answers to those questions.

5. Estimate the Tasks

Do you often feel like a superhuman when it comes to working, and then barely complete half of what you have planned to do?

If this is a common problem for you, try to learn how to accurately estimate how much time a task will take and how many tasks you can do in a day. When in doubt, overestimate the time.

It takes practice to become perfect in estimating tasks. Nevertheless, a surefire strategy that you can use to ensure you are working on the most important tasks is called the Eisenhower Decision Matrix, shown below.

Use the Eisenhower Matrix to learn how to recover from burnout.

    You can recover from burnout by revamping your work strategy using this model. Find out what task deserves most of your attention and in what order by establishing priorities.

    5 Job Burnout Triggers

    Once you have learned how to recover from burnout, it’s important to be able to recognize burnout triggers so that you can avoid more burnout in the future. Burnout recovery is best when you don’t have to use it!

    There are many things that may trigger burnout. Here are the most common culprits.

    1. Workload

    You can be more productive when you are working on a workload that aligns with your capacity. You will face more opportunities to rest and recover. It will also be an avenue for you to develop yourself and grow.

    That’s not the case when you are overloaded with work or are facing unrealistic deadlines set by your boss. You will lose the chance of regaining your balance.

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    2. Absence of Autonomy

    The feeling that you don’t have access to vital resources and a say in various decisions that affect your professional life can impact your health.

    For instance, do you receive calls from your boss all night? Does your company saddle you with responsibilities beyond your capacity? Do you have what it takes to influence your work environment?

    3. Environment

    Who do you collaborate with? How trusting and supportive are those work relationships? In some instances, you can’t choose your work environment or colleagues, but you can optimize the relationship.

    Your environment can upgrade your engagement or downgrade it.

    4. Reward

    If the intrinsic and extrinsic rewards on the job don’t align with your level of effort, you may begin to feel a lack of motivation to exert any effort at all.

    For instance, you may need a face-time with your employer, positive feedback, or an increase in your compensation.

    Find out which reward makes you feel appreciated, and seek avenues to receive more of it.

    5. Values Mismatch

    If you are working in an organization that doesn’t share your same values, you will continue to see a decline in your level of motivation. Motivations and values are inbuilt in people and organizations. For instance, if you strongly believe in making an impact first, before money, you will experience burnout on the job in an organization that prioritizes money over impact.

    Final Thoughts

    Burnout from work is not only about getting exhausted. It is a multidimensional issue that demands a multifaceted solution.

    Don’t forget, you need to diagnose the problem first and make the best effort to change. If, despite all, you still fail, then you might need to reassess your work and decide if you’re where you need to be.

    More Tips on How to Recover From Burnout

    Featured photo credit: Doğukan Şahin via unsplash.com

    Reference

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