How to Stay Healthy When You’re Overworked and Exhausted

Photo by Noah Buscher on Unsplash

Burnout syndrome is the number one cause of suffering in the modern world. In the fast paced world we are living in, competition is fierce in almost any field. This is causing us to work twice as much trying to prove that we are better than the rest in our league.

In the beginning, we have drive and energy that can create worlds, and we are motivated by our own passion and inspiration drawn from successful people, motivational speeches and books that all seem to be pushing us to be faster, better and stronger all the time.

However, this can only go on for so long, as the exhaustion of our mind and body is inevitable and rather painful to cope with. Putting in enormously long hours at work is meant to be making us productive and more efficient, yet it very soon proves to be counterproductive as it leaves us anxious, stressed out, depressed, unmotivated and unwilling to work.

Combined with the physical symptoms of burnout, this leaves serious consequences on our mental health as well. As the world isn’t showing signs of slowing down any time soon, we are all prone to developing this condition at some point in our lives, therefore we should make sure to take action before it is too late.

Here are a number of actions and techniques than can help us feel more grounded and present, and avoid the serious repercussions of exhaustion.

Regulate Your Sleeping Patterns

We are all familiar with the 8-hour-sleep recommendation, yet very few of us manage to make it their priority for long enough so that it becomes a habit. There is always another email to answer, another episode of our favorite TV show to watch, or a plan for tomorrow to be catered to and sleep is the most obvious thing to sacrifice. The less hours of sleep we get, the more likely we are to feel exhausted and overworked and inefficient, so we pressure ourselves into working harder and longer, and the cycle continues.

Changing our sleeping patterns may not come easy, since our body and mind may at first resist being trained to sleep less, yet we need to make it our priority to change this harmful habit. Make sure to make up a sleeping schedule and stick to it no matter what. You probably won’t be able to fall asleep at a certain time at first, so you can use different apps and white noise that can help you. And don’t forget the weekends, as it is crucial to keep your schedule every day in order to program your mind and body to properly rest.

Reconnect With Yourself

Letting yourself go spiritually is often the reason for burnout in the first place. As you forget to properly take care of your inner self, the busy life tends to take over and stress without mindful breaks very soon leads to complete exhaustion. Setting aside ten to twenty minutes to meditate in silence will provide a healing effect on your mind, body and soul. You will feel rejuvenated and more energetic to take on the day. More importantly, you will become more sensitive to the symptoms of possible burnout, which will give you the opportunity to stop and reflect on your priorities.

Move Your Body

In the contemporary world, we are accustomed to sitting and being physically inactive while our minds are overworked. This leads to our energy being disproportionally balanced, which causes mental exhaustion and physical impairment. In addition to getting enough sleep and meditation, we need to provide our bodies with a proper amount of action in order to stay healthy and productive. Even if you are already feeling exhausted and overworked, there are ways to motivate yourself to take action.

Yoga is one of the best ways to help yourself feel better in times of exhaustion as it implements a simple and low intensity workout flow with mindful breathing techniques that both take your mind away from everyday stress and provide your body with proper stretches and healthy movement.

Modern society has also taught us that holidays mean lying on the beach, which again renders you inactive, and while you may come home feeling rested, you will not be doing your mind any favors. Going on a walking holiday instead will help reboot both your body and mind. Walks such as the Camino de Santiago, or the Fjord treks in Norway, or even a hike up the Etna in Sicily will help you come back to work with a new perspective on things.

Listen to Music

The effect of music on both our psychology and physiology have been known and studied for decades. A great number of therapies include music as a means of stress-release and improving concentration and motivation. In the same way it helps you go that extra mile in the gym, music is a great way to help your mind and body get an additional boost at times when you feel overworked and fatigued. Rediscover your favourite type of music that inspires you and include it in your daily life and watch how your energy increases.

Make Change a Habit

Doing the same activities at the same place over and over again can exhaust even the most passionate and motivated of us. No matter how much you enjoy your routine, over time it threatens your inspiration and creativity. Even the smallest change, such as moving your office furniture or changing your route to work can do miracles for your creativity and productivity.

Start small and soon enough you will be inspired to make change a habit.


Contribued by: Rebecca Brown
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