There are several key determining factors for job dissatisfaction. Often an employee can find themselves feeling drained. Here I will discuss this feeling and how to mitigate its effects.
While it can be normal to feel sleepy after lunch, or feel some afternoon laziness, some employees feel this way all day long. Arriving to work at 9am already wishing the day were over is a symptom of not only job dissatisfaction but also depression. It’s important to recognize these feelings honestly and take an inventory on our true sensation of happiness. Some ways to combat this feeling of being drained:
- Identify changes you can make yourself – Maybe you feel too worn out after your shift to do anything except relax in your favorite chair with your phone. You regularly stay up late to give yourself more time to relax, but you find it hard to drift off when you finally make it to bed.Nutritious meals, better sleep, and physical activity won’t make stress magically disappear, of course, but small changes can still be key to reducing fatigue and preventing burnout. Improved sleep can certainly help you feel less tired, but regular exercise can also make a difference, as backward as this might sound.
- Leave work at work – You might feel more informed and prepared to deal with challenges when you leave work devices on throughout the evening and weekend or if you continue check your email after clocking out for the day. When coworkers or customers know you can always be reached, however, it often becomes close to impossible to fully “leave” work, especially when you’re working from home. If you’re always on the clock, you’ll never find the time to recharge.
- Ask for help – When you have too many tasks to realistically complete without support, it never hurts to ask for help.You might worry that requesting support suggests weakness or incapability, but remember: Your employer likely wants you to do the best job possible. They can’t support you in achieving that goal unless they know how you’re really doing.When you have too much work to complete alone, an informed supervisor can help by reassigning certain tasks or finding a coworker who can assist you.
- Spend your free time on rewarding hobbies – After a long workday, you might lack the energy for anything beyond a night of Netflix. Still, challenge yourself to do something different from time to time, particularly when you feel the most drained.Watching TV or playing video games might feel relaxing, and there’s nothing at all wrong with catching up on a show or two. Yet more purposeful hobbies can often feel more rewarding and leave you with a sense of deeper satisfaction.To feel more rejuvenated by your time off, consider starting a garden, picking up a book, or doing one thing to improve your living area every day.
- Make a self-care plan – Prioritizing physical and emotional needs is an important part of creating balance between your work and personal life.Taking good care of yourself can improve resilience and strength, making it easier to manage challenges as they come up.When you feel physically and emotionally sound, it usually becomes easier to maintain a positive outlook and fend off the feelings of irritability, hopelessness, and pessimism that often accompany persistent exhaustion and stress.
- Talk with loved ones – Keeping stress to yourself can isolate you and make you feel worse.You might worry you’re burdening others by talking about what’s going on, but think about how you’d feel if a loved one were in your position. You’d probably want to help them however you could, right?Friends and family might not have the ability to directly relieve your fatigue, but they can still offer support by listening and helping out in small ways, especially if you’re vocal with them about what you need.
- Break up the monotony – Just as repetitive tasks can lead to yawning and zoning out, an easy but monotonous workday can leave you feeling drained and mentally numb. Changing up your typical routine can make a big difference. Some things to try: Switch the order of your daily tasks. Work on less challenging tasks in the morning, when you feel freshest and less likely to zone out. Save more stimulating tasks for the afternoon to keep you out of a post-lunch stupor. Be mindful. Take a few minutes of each break for a quick meditation, walk, or breathing exercises. These can help you feel more refreshed than other break activities, like catching up on social media or scrolling through the latest news.Consider alternative workstations. You could try using a standing desk or replacing your chair with an exercise ball. If possible, vary your environment throughout the day by working outside or near a window on sunny afternoons.Talk with your supervisor about flexible scheduling. Some people find they work better at certain times of day and prefer an earlier or later start. Other prefer to work 4 longer days in order to take a 3-day weekend.
- Evaluate options for the future – You’ve taken steps to address your tiredness, but workplace circumstances continue to drain you, and your employer has been less than supportive of efforts to create change. What next? It may be time to consider another job or career, one that allows you to maintain a healthy work-life balance. Without this essential balance, the situation will likely only get worse.
- Get professional help – Sometimes, lingering tiredness is just a normal outcome of working, but exhaustion — physical or emotional — can have other causes, too. If you have other unexplained symptoms, including pain, changes in appetite, or stomach distress, it’s a good idea to talk with your healthcare provider to rule out other concerns.