Exhaustion and burnout ... let's take responsibility

Exhaustion and burnout ... let's take responsibility

Burnout and exhaustion from the demands of the workplace are affecting us worldwide.

It is now commonly accepted that working life, especially full-time work, goes hand-in-hand with being exhausted and drained.

This doesn’t paint a picture of a very satisfied workforce ...

So, if we’re living in stress as a very common event, then what effect is that having on us, and what are we doing as a result?

  • First, it means that work is not fun – who can say that they enjoy being under almost constant stress?
  • Second, doesn’t it mean that most of us are pretty much constantly exhausted?

Let’s admit it – without the coffee, pep-up drinks and the sugar hits, would we really be able to make it through the day?

What do we do with all this stress and exhaustion? Do we find that it is compounded by the demands of family life, and the ‘everyday’ things we squeeze in around work commitments? When this happens, where do we go?

It’s easy to blame the fast-paced demanding job for how bad it all feels.

And isn’t it a common picture these days for many of people’s lives outside work to revolve around takeaway meals, a few glasses of wine and then a stupor of a few hours sleep before we’re on the go again?

But ... let’s ponder on the following:

  • So we’re exhausted from our working day and then our choice is to grab a processed meal, invariably high in sugar and have a few glasses of wine before bed.

What does this actually do to us?

We don’t have to have a medical degree to know that processed foods and alcohol are high in sugar, which will exacerbate any exhaustion we’re already feeling.

It’s also commonly known that going to bed with a heavy processed meal and alcohol will affect the quality of our sleep, which will already have been compromised by the accumulation of the stress in our bodies from our busy day. And, of course, the quality of sleep we have will affect how we wake up and our readiness for what lays ahead the following day.

Are we starting to build a picture? Do our choices possibly have a part to play here that we have not been prepared to admit?

And so, when we feel the stress, and the exhaustion, and it all piling up day after day, and we blame it on work, is that really the truth? Is the culprit to all of this exhaustion really work itself?

Or could it be the lifestyle choices we choose, that do not support us during and after the demands of our working day – and in fact compromise us? What if, in knowing that our working day and week will be demanding, we chose differently?

What if we chose first and foremost to nourish and care for ourselves so that the body we took to work was:

  • Well rested from an early night’s sleep
  • Well nourished from a nutritious meal
  • Free of stimulants found in sweet treats, caffeinated drinks and alcohol

When we start to take even the smallest steps in taking greater care of ourselves, we are taking responsibility to be well prepared for what we know may lie ahead in our busy working day. This then affects how we come home from that day, how we go to sleep, and then how we feel the next morning ...

Taking care of ourselves is an investment in us – an investment in how we will feel today, tomorrow, the next day, and so forth, on and on – for as long as we choose to care ...

What if we said: You are worth it?

The amazing thing is that, if we bring self-care into the equation, we are no longer a powerless victim of our working environment engulfed in high burnout rates, stress and exhaustion. We may well find that our levels of tiredness drop away, and we start to feel alive and on-track. Wouldn’t that be great? Who doesn’t want that?

This has an obvious benefit for us – we no longer tug around a heavy, exhausted body and a being who has simply had enough of it all, but we start to feel vital again.

Imagine what it would feel like, bringing vitality into work!

What if that was not only possible, but something we can all very simply do?

What a blessing for our bosses, too, to have at least one employee who is not falling asleep – where most employees would be asleep were it not for the sugar and caffeine we are pumping into ourselves ... imagine a workplace where people were actually focused, on-purpose, and who were not having to deal with the excess onslaught on our bodies caused by pretty much constant stress and exhaustion.

When we start to see the importance of self-care, we can come to see that we do in fact have a choice, and that choice can start with something very simple – yet the result may have an enormous impact on our day, and beyond.

Filed under

LifestyleWork stressVitalityExhaustionStressSleepBurnout

  • By Katerina Nikolaidis, MA Hons PG Dip

    Change management professional and health & well-being practitioner, with a love for people and a fascination about life. There is so much more to us than we realise.