Mental exhaustion is a serious problem for workers in the modern workplace. It can have negative impacts on your health, productivity, and even your career. But fortunately, there are some simple ways to prevent mental exhaustion and keep yourself feeling energized at work.
A big problem for many companies is that the modern workplace just isn’t designed to be helpful when it comes to mental exhaustion.
The modern workplace is a challenging place to live, work and thrive. It’s full of long hours and high pressure, which can lead to burnout. The problem with burnout is that it isn’t just a personal issue—it’s also an issue for the company.
When people are mentally exhausted from working in a hostile environment, they’re less productive at work and more likely to leave for greener pastures (or simply because they’re miserable). It’s no surprise then that some companies have resorted to treating burnout as an epidemic: according to a recent survey by the American Psychological Association (APA), 50% of workers said they felt burned out at least once per week due to stress-inducing factors like “work overload” or “not enough time off.”
Here are some things you can do to start changing the culture at your office.
- Be proactive about making sure your employees aren’t mentally exhausted at work.
- Give frequent breaks between tasks and encourage employees to take time away from their computer screens and go outside or nap.
Instead of using standing or sit/stand desks, try using walking desks.
Walking desks have been proven to improve your health and productivity. These machines are designed to help you walk while you work, which is much better than standing or sitting at a desk all day.
- How it works: A walking desk consists of a treadmill that sits under the surface of your existing table or desk. You can either walk on it with both feet or one foot at a time, depending on how fast you want to go and whether you’re using an adjustable height desk or not.
- Benefits of using these devices include:
- Increased energy and improved moods by exercising more throughout the day
- Decreased fatigue since walking requires more effort than sitting down in front of a computer screen
- Improved circulation due to increased blood flow throughout the body (as long as users aren’t wearing restrictive clothing)
- Better posture because users have no choice but to sit up straight when they’re working like this
Give frequent breaks between tasks and encourage employees to take time away from their computer screens and go outside or nap.
When you’re working on a project, give yourself frequent breaks between tasks. For example, if you’ve been writing for an hour straight without a break, take a 15-minute walk outside or nap for 20 minutes. Other types of breaks include doing something different: reading a book, doodling at your desk (which can help with creative problem solving), or taking a walk around the office so that you can get new ideas from seeing how other people work in their spaces.
If you are stuck on an important task and find it difficult to move forward because of mental exhaustion, don’t try to force yourself into finishing it right away. Take another short break from the computer screen and come back later when your brain is fresh again. This way, your energy will be restored so that you feel more confident about tackling this important project than if had pushed through it earlier when mental exhaustion was setting in.
Promote healthy snacks in the lunchroom, including fruits and vegetables, nuts, and whole grains.
Another way to keep your lunch healthy is to look for snacks that provide vitamins and minerals. Snacks like fruits and vegetables, nuts, whole grains, and fresh salads are all great alternatives to the standard bag of chips or candy bar. These options provide extra nutrients that can help you avoid overeating throughout the day. Further, when these snacks are readily available in the office environment rather than just junk food, it becomes easier for you to choose a healthier option when hunger strikes.
Last but not least (did I use that correctly?) we come down to sugar! Sugar has been shown in study after study as being one of the biggest culprits behind overeating at work—and this isn’t just because we crave sweets after a long day; it’s also because eating simple carbohydrates such as sugar spikes our blood sugar levels making us feel hungrier faster than if we had chosen an alternative source of energy (such as complex carbs found in whole grains).
Encourage team bonding activities that don’t involve social media or technology, such as going out for a hike together.
- Take the time to bond with your team. Team bonding is important for building trust and solidarity among coworkers, which can help prevent burnout and increase productivity.
- Make sure that team-building activities happen regularly. If you only do one activity a year, people aren’t really going to get too invested in the process (or any specific activity). Instead, encourage your employees to take turns organizing different activities throughout the year; this will make it feel more like an ongoing part of their lives instead of something isolated from work.
Set a good example by taking care of yourself. Get enough sleep and exercise regularly. Eat healthy foods. Delegate tasks whenever possible so you’re not taking too much on your plate.
- Sleep is important for mental health.
- Exercise is important for mental health.
- Eat healthy foods.
- Delegate tasks whenever possible so you’re not taking too much on your plate. Being proactive about taking care of yourself will help you maintain a healthy work-life balance, which in turn can make the difference between burning out and thriving in the workplace
Recognize when you’re feeling stressed or overwhelmed so you can take action before burnout happens.
The first step to fighting mental exhaustion is recognizing when you’re at risk for burnout. If you feel stressed or overwhelmed by work, then your body and mind are telling you that it’s time to take action.
The most common signs of burnout include:
- Feelings of being overloaded or unable to keep up with demands
- Constant worry about your workload
- Feeling irritable, upset or angry about something in the workplace
- Not having enough time to get everything that needs to be done
Be proactive about making sure your employees aren’t mentally exhausted at work
Mental exhaustion is a serious problem that can cause burnout, depression, and even heart disease. It’s common in the workplace, where many people work long hours or are under constant stress. But companies often don’t do enough to prevent it because they don’t realize how important it is to take care of their employees’ mental health.
This makes sense when you consider that only two percent of all workplace absences are due to mental health issues—compared with 20 percent for physical problems and 50 percent for medical appointments (source).
As an employer who wants his or her employees to be at their best, you should take steps now to ensure that your team isn’t burning out mentally by taking care of yourself first:
There are a few things you can do to get started on changing your office culture. The first thing is to take some time for yourself and evaluate how you’re feeling. If you feel like something isn’t right or that you need to make changes, then do so. If not, then don’t worry!
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