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Managing Fatigue at Work

Between hectic schedules, stress, and difficulty sleeping, many people find themselves fatigued during the workday. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to reduce your fatigue levels and stay more alert at work.

Risks of Fatigue Symptoms of fatigue include moodiness, drowsiness, loss of energy, and lack of motivation and concentration. These are not ideal qualities to display at your job. Not only does fatigue make you less productive and less personable, it can also cause a serious safety risk if you work in a hazardous position

Quick Energy Boosters The following strategies can help boost your energy:

  • Eat a snack that includes complex carbohydrates and protein (like an energy bar or half a peanut butter sandwich on whole wheat bread). Avoid sugar, which will make you crash later.

  • Get moving–a short walk can be very energizing.

  • As much as your job allows, try to vary your day when fatigue sets in.

  • Have a mini-meditation session at your desk–it can help you calm down and feel more alert.

  • Drink a glass of water–caffeine isn’t the only thing that boosts your energy.

Lifestyle Changes To fight fatigue long term, incorporate these healthy changes into your life:

  • Limit caffeine to one or two drinks per day. Drink plenty of water to keep hydrated.

  • Eat nutritiously. Healthy food and portion sizes will help you stay energized. Don’t skip meals or overeat, and always start your day with breakfast.

  • Exercise regularly. This will increase your energy levels and also help you sleep better at night.

  • Manage your stress to sleep better and feel less drained.

  • Avoid smoking, as it lowers your energy level. Improve Your Sleep Habits Fatigue is generally caused by poor quality or inadequate quantity of sleep. Try these tips:

  • Aim for seven to eight hours per night, even if that means rearranging your schedule.

  • Create a good sleep environment (temperature, noise level, and lighting).

  • Try to go to bed and wake up at the same time each day, even on weekends.

  • Limit caffeine, alcohol, big meals, and rigorous exercise close to bedtime.

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