Exhausted and depressed at work: how falsely do we live life?

Stress at work. exhausted and depressed at work: how falsely do we live life?

Exhausted and depressed at work: how falsely do we live life?

How many times have we treated our job as something ‘we just have to get on and do’, or because it pays the bills, pays well or looks good on the CV?

Exiting the ‘rat-race’; winning the lottery, earning more money, having a nicer boss, or securing a job with more security or flexibility often seep into our thoughts at work. Or we may feel that work makes us feel depressed, anxious, stressed or exhausted. Does this sound like the type of working life we really want?

And is it possible that all this exposes two questions:

  • Just how falsely are we living life?
  • What if there was another way to work?

Most of us know deep down and seek for our work or job to be enjoyable, to have meaning or purpose and ease; to not feel exhausted and depressed. Though how often do we (or know others who) use work to self-promote, or to be better than someone else; or to strive to ‘be more’?

It doesn’t help that competition is endemically encouraged and promoted as the way to get ahead at work and become a success, though if we’re honest are we not exhausted and wasted from all the constant measuring and comparison we do?


impacts and blinds our ability to see, let alone allows for space in which to appreciate our own worth or the unique value that we and others bring to workplaces, in favour of self-criticism, opinion and judgement, leaving the task of appreciation to our bosses.

Recognition and appreciation

How often do we complain and leave a place because we don’t feel valued or appreciated?

What if we ceased this expectation of recognition and appreciation from others and started instead to value ourselves and in this learnt to not sell ‘our value’ short or compromise on it - how might things change at work?

  • How we negotiate salary or pay reviews
  • How we carry out our jobs
  • How we even sleep at night

Imagine the steadiness this would bring – if we fully appreciated ourselves – and from there just got on with it.


Is an equally massive stumbling block – how many times do we use blame of others as an easy fix and default button to quit our manager or job or to have that ‘new change in career and direction’?

In using others as an excuse, aren’t we just abdicating or ignoring any responsibility and using this as a cover to not face or deal with how we’re really feeling? If we’re blaming others, isn’t that an indicator that we are actually not happy, with our job, and perhaps not happy with more than that in our lives? Perhaps it is worth addressing that, first.

Work/life balance

Is another area we can really look at - seeking ‘the meaning of life and work’ or, in other words, looking for the ‘quality of life’, is thinking that if we work less and sleep more we’ll have the needed quality we’re lacking.

But what if the answer is not in ‘less work’ but in the way we are at work? Is there a way of working where we can work as many hours and in some cases more, sleep less and yet wake up and feel more vital in our body?

The fact is that our experiences of work have knocked huge dents in our ability to have confidence or trust in ourselves. And in confidence’s place sits: - mission drive - ambition - arrogance - the push to succeed - to “have it all” e.g. kids, career, success OR the opposite - with stagnant apathy, an opting out of life and not contributing to the world we live in.

Can we not all relate to this, in some way? At one end of the spectrum or the other, most of us have experienced this at some stage of our working life, and it doesn’t feel good at all.

But is this really how we want to work? And isn’t there more to work than this?

Could it be that all this covers up something that it is also equally highlighting in our workforce – that whenever we discount or discredit ourselves to become someone else to please another, or to be recognised and identified, we cement within ourselves a way of living and working that is far from the ‘real-us’. In other words, on some level deep down we already know that a lot of the way we behave at work is not really who we are – that we are not truly just being ourselves.

If we look at it that way, perhaps we can come to see that in not being the ‘real-us’, we are actually hurting ourselves – and our work suffers too. Perhaps we could even say, therefore, that simply not being ourselves is actually the major illness that is crippling our enjoyment and making us exhausted and depressed at work. Worth at least considering?

It could be that all the competition, all the comparison and all the blaming that we tend to do at work actually is making us sick – and is a very dissatisfying way to work. And yet how many of us work like this on an everyday basis? Our workplaces are full of this sort of attitude whether it is in us or others.

So equally could it be that we’ve been making ourselves sick and ill from not being or working as ourselves? In other words, because we have simply not been our-selves at work, but rather gone into the drive, strive and competition etc to be more?

Moreover perhaps even the success, health and wellness that we really do seek at work is simply, ‘us being the real-us’.

When we stop trying ‘to be someone’ – we start to be ourselves again

The ripple effect of working in this way can only mean that the work we do, the goods we produce, the people and organisations we work with can help shift the overall direction away from competitive individualism and more towards collaboration and harmony and the efficiency of love.

Such that no longer are we depressed at work, but instead can enjoy a level of health, wellness and vitality our body is naturally designed for.

60% Complete

Exhaustion – a modern day plague

If we are feeling exhausted at the end of the day, how we do what we do in our day may be the reason why.

Filed under

ExhaustionWork stressAppreciationFeelingsStressWork life balanceVitalityHarmonyWell-being

  • Photography: Iris Pohl, Photographer and Videographer

    Iris Pohl is an expert in capturing images with a natural light style. Little to no time is needed for photoshop editing and the 'original' moment captured to represent your brand and remain in its authenticity.