Hyper fatigue in the workplace poses significant challenges to both employees and organizations.
In today’s fast-paced work environment, where individuals are constantly juggling multiple responsibilities and deadlines, a phenomenon known as hyper fatigue has emerged as a significant challenge.
According to Mintel, a market research firm, 2023 has been dubbed the year of “hyper fatigue”, a term that refers to the ongoing state of physical, emotional and mental exhaustion. Hyper fatigue has emerged due to various factors, including the pandemic, escalating living expenses, energy concerns, geopolitical tensions and the climate crisis.
The combination of these factors has left people feeling overwhelmed and stretched thin. They constantly try to meet expectations, keep up with a constant news stream and navigate the overwhelming digital landscape. As a result, hyper fatigue sets in, leading to uncertainty, stress, financial issues and major life shifts encompassing various changes, such as career transitions or job loss, strain or breakdown in relationships, health challenges, lifestyle adjustments and social withdrawal. This state makes it difficult for individuals to perform at their best and maintain overall well-being.
However, there are effective strategies that can help combat hyper fatigue and rejuvenate workplace energy levels. By implementing them, organizations can create a healthier and more productive work environment, ultimately improving employee satisfaction and overall success. Here, we explore a roster of such strategies for both employees and employers.
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Embrace the power of nature
Based on the Mintel Report, a significant 55 percent of individuals in the UK claim to use outdoor activities as a means to alleviate stress, which has been substantiated as a practical approach to maintaining one’s mental well-being.
Research has demonstrated that walking in a forest-like environment led to a notable decrease in cortisol levels, as opposed to those who walked in a controlled laboratory setting. Cortisol is a hormone that is released by the body in response to stress. It is often referred to as the “stress hormone” because its levels tend to increase during times of stress or anxiety.
This finding is significant because it suggests that spending time in green spaces, such as forests, can have a direct positive impact on reducing stress levels by influencing cortisol production. Lower cortisol levels indicate a reduced stress response in the body, contributing to a sense of relaxation and improved mental well-being.
Journaling offers a space for self-reflection, allowing you to gain insight into your fatigue patterns and potential triggers. It serves as an emotional outlet, providing a safe space to express and process your emotions, ultimately reducing stress levels. It also allows you to track your progress over time, noting improvements, setbacks and effective strategies.
According to Penny Weston, an expert in fitness, wellness and nutrition, a great way to begin journaling is by reflecting on three positive things that occurred during the day. These don’t have to be significant events; even small accomplishments can be meaningful, like walking to work instead of driving or finally sending an email that has been pending for a while. Remember, small successes can have a significant impact on overall well-being.
Maintain a healthy diet
Maintaining a healthy diet is essential in combating fatigue in the workplace. When you nourish your body with the right nutrients, you can significantly enhance your energy levels and overall well-being.
According to Melissa Majumdar, a registered dietitian and certified obesity and weight management specialist based in Atlanta, it’s important to assess the energy you’re consuming if you’re feeling low in energy. She suggests starting by incorporating an extra 1 to 2 ounces of lean protein, half a cup of whole grains or 1 tablespoon of healthy fat into your diet and then reevaluating how you feel. This approach allows you to adjust your nutrient intake and determine if additional fuel from these sources improves your energy levels.
Find inner calm through breathing exercises
Breathing exercises serve as a gateway to profound relaxation, enabling you to alleviate stress, clear your mind and invigorate your vitality. By centering your focus on the breath and practicing intentional breathing techniques, you can foster harmony throughout your mind, body and spirit.
During stressful times, shallow breathing becomes common, resulting in insufficient oxygen intake. Typically, this limited breath remains confined to the upper portion of our lungs. However, this poses a challenge as the lower part of our lungs is responsible for supplying the majority of oxygen and vital nutrients to our bodies. Consequently, employees may experience diminished alertness, increased fatigue and decreased cognitive ability.
To counteract these effects, incorporating mindful breathing exercises into your daily routine can be transformative. By consciously taking deep breaths, you ensure oxygen reaches the lower lungs, optimizing the nourishment delivered to your body and promoting revitalization.
Strategies for companies to boost workforce vitality
To effectively combat hyper fatigue on the organizational front, it is crucial for companies to take proactive measures. This includes prioritizing rest and recovery as a fundamental aspect of employee well-being. Encouraging employees to maintain a healthy work-life balance, promoting regular breaks throughout the day and discouraging excessive overtime can help prevent burnout and improve overall energy levels.
Additionally, organizations should cultivate an environment that values open communication, teamwork and recognition of employees’ achievements. When employees feel supported and appreciated, it positively impacts their motivation, engagement and energy levels, leading to increased productivity.
Implementing wellness initiatives within the organization is another effective strategy. This can involve offering wellness programs, such as physical activity challenges, mindfulness sessions and stress management workshops. Encouraging employees to engage in regular exercise, maintain healthy eating habits and practice self-care can significantly improve their energy levels.
Lastly, optimizing the physical environment also plays a critical role in battling hyper fatigue. Organizations should ensure proper lighting, ventilation and ergonomic workstations to enhance comfort and reduce physical strain. Creating designated spaces for relaxation or incorporating natural elements, such as plants or access to outdoor areas, can provide employees with opportunities for rejuvenation and help alleviate fatigue.
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