5 Unexpected Ways to Beat Work Fatigue
Work + Life Balance

5 Unexpected Ways to Beat Work Fatigue

by Kristen Lee
Photos Lynette Boyle | July 31, 2015

FRIENDSHIP, A HEALTHY SNACK, AND A SPLASH OF COLOR MAY BE ALL YOU NEED TO PERK UP FROM THAT OFFICE SLUMP. 

I first encountered work fatigue during an internship for a startup organization. Given the nature of my work, there were days when Id leave my apartment at six in the morning and return home at ten at night. It was my first full-time position, and as much as I loved the work I was doing, I was exhausted. I had no work-life balance and the fatigue was slowly taking its toll on my health.

Im sure many of you have been there before. Your brain is fried. Youre mentally drained. Your body feels weak and worn out. You seem to be tired and lethargic every single day, and even a permanent coffee IV drip couldnt fix that. For the sake of your health and to avoid burnout, you need your energy back.

 For the sake of your health and to avoid burnout, you need your energy back.

Aside from the obvious solution – getting more sleep – heres what you can do to fight off that awful work fatigue:

MAKE TIME FOR FRIENDS

During the first month of my internship, I told myself I was too busy, too tired, too spent to make any time for friends. I rarely made dinner plans during the week, and would order takeout more times than Im willing to admit.

So, when I finally agreed to meet my friends one night, I was surprised by how energized I felt by their presence. They took my mind off work, and made me laugh all the stress away. I wasnt eating in a rush or zoning out with bad reality TV. I was enjoying my food and the company of my friends—the value of which I underestimated.

From then on, I made it a point to see my friends weekly, even if it was just for an hour. By making one simple change to my daily routine, I was able to establish a better work-life balance and regain my energy back. 

Related: Freelance Diary: Learning to Find Balance

TURN ON YOUR CARDIO PLAYLIST

In the past, when overwhelmed by deadlines and to-do lists, I would turn on calming music in hopes that itd help me relax. Unfortunately, listening to slower music isnt the best idea when youre experiencing an afternoon energy slump.

It wasnt long before I discovered the power of cardio music at work. Listening to upbeat, fast tempo tracks can give you the motivation to tackle any project with new-found enthusiasm. {Click to Tweet}

Listening to upbeat, fast tempo tracks can give you the motivation to tackle any project with newfound enthusiasm.

Not every work project will be exciting, but it doesnt have to be soul-sucking either. A little Beyoncé in the background might just be the energy boost you need to turn photocopying into your very own dance party.

 AVOID THE OFFICE DONUTS

I know what youre thinking, but trust me, this isnt about watching your waistline. As tempting as free donuts are, all the sugar from that one donut can cause rapid spikes in your blood sugar level. For a moment, youll feel on top of the world...that is, before the subsequent sugar crash leaves you feeling sluggish and desperate for a nap.

Save the donut for later or opt for a healthier snack that will taste good and keep your blood sugar levels stable.

ADD A TOUCH OF COLOR

Youre bound to feel drab if your outfit embodies that of a gloomy Monday morning. Fortunately, work attire doesnt need to be lifeless or dull. Try to spruce up your outfit with warm tones like red, orange, and yellow, which are linked to feelings of happiness and optimism. {Click to Tweet

Whether youre conscious of it or not, adding a touch of color to your outfit can lift your spirits. If youre not ready to rock a red pantsuit, go for simple, colorful accessories. Details can make all the difference.

Adding a touch of color to your outfit can lift your spirits...go for simple, colorful accessories. Details can make all the difference.

Related: How Being Happy at Work Affects the Rest of Your Life

 GET SOME FRESH AIR

For a typical office job, its not uncommon to spend the entire day sitting and staring at a computer screen with the occasional bathroom breaks here and there. I make it a point to step outside and take a few deep breaths whenever I have the chance. Go for a brisk walk, or better yet, eat your lunch outdoors! Youll feel great after getting some fresh air.

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At the end of the day, the best advice (for all of life’s ailments) is to get more sleep—but during those seasons of life where that’s just not possible, try the tips we’ve shared to re-energize and get back to work more fresh than ever.