The past year has been challenging and draining and has left many people feeling less energised and motivated than they might under ‘normal’ conditions. We often tend to use words such as tired, fatigued and exhausted interchangeably but actually each one has very different implications. Could you recognise these conditions in yourself if one was happening to you? What would you need to look out for in colleagues or those working for you if it looked like they were heading into these waters?
If you’re experiencing tiredness then this is usually the result of something physical. It could be poor sleep, not eating enough or overdoing the exercise. Being tired is probably the simplest of the three to recover effectively from – you can start by identifying what’s causing the tiredness and then take steps to tackle it. If you’re not sleeping then try changing your routine and going to bed earlier. Maybe you need a more varied diet, more water, or less sugar. Or it may simply be that you need to take some time out to physically rest. A lack of energy, physical aches and soreness are all symptoms where tiredness is concerned.
The origin of fatigue is often partly physical but predominantly a mentally and emotionally driven condition. It may not be something that a good sleep and a change in diet can correct. Fatigue often manifests itself as being unable to make decisions, feeling like your emotions are up and down, feeling drained, listless and unmotivated. Fatigue is frequently the result of being in a situation where you are under a lot of pressure over a sustained period of time and this pressure just becomes too much to bear. You can help to relieve fatigue by creating moments where the pressure is off – time when you’re doing activities that are just for you and which you know will help to restore you. It’s important that you don’t think about whatever is causing the fatigue during that time so that you get a proper break from it. Fatigue is often the result of feeling like a situation is out of your control and that you don’t have the resources to change things. So, it can be worth using tools such as coaching, therapy, upskilling and stress management techniques to help strengthen self confidence and resolve.
If you don’t deal with fatigue then exhaustion is often where this will end up. Exhaustion is predominantly a feeling that you just don’t have the energy – not for the issue that you’re dealing with, the situation you’re in or even to just carry on. It can be very alarming to experience and if you – or someone you work with – is going through it then it’s important to seek help. Sometimes exhaustion requires a complete break from whatever has put you into that state in the first place. This can provide the opportunity to rethink things and perhaps start making plans for a new approach.
Tiredness, fatigue and exhaustion are all signs that something needs to change – taking any action, however small, is sometimes all you need to do as a first step. Find out more by booking onto our Mindfullness: How to Handle the Pressure with Ease training course…