Why Am I Always Tired
Updated: Mar 28, 2019
Monday morning and you’ve already had enough?
Or worse yet, SUNDAY NIGHT and you’ve already had enough?
If you are spending 40, 50 or 60+ hours a week at a job that no longer lights you up (or maybe it never did), you may be feeling like you have no energy, and not necessarily just at work.
When we spend time on activities that are not in alignment with who we are at our core, we feel tired, sluggish, depleted, and even depressed. In extreme cases (which are becoming less and less uncommon), it can take every ounce of available energy to get out of bed in the morning and to make it through the day.
The spillover effects of this type of career burnout can be heartbreaking. Other areas of life – the ones that nurture heart, soul and spirit – like family, friends and community, can start to fall away when all of our time outside of work is spent recovering from work.
There are many reasons underlying career burnout, and it can take time to uncover and work through them. My own experience, as well as what I’ve observed in others, shows time and again that we are never upset for the reason we think we are.
Addressing the root cause may not be a quick and easy fix. But it’s probably worth it, to avoid investing time and energy in making a change, only to find yourself back in the same situation 6 months or a year down the road.
Practically speaking, however, most people need to stick it out in their current work situation, at least for a time, while deciding what to do. If you are one of those people, this article is for you. Below I share five practical tips to boost your energy at work.
1) Stop resisting.
Without even realizing it, we resist what we don’t like. We resist the situation. We resist the people involved. We resist our feelings about the situation and the people involved. The resisting is a major energy suck, and it’s happening in the background, oftentimes without us even knowing it.
How To: Get a sheet of paper and divide it into three columns. In the first column, make a list of everything that is going on at work on that you don’t like. After you have completed your list, go back through the list, and next to each item, write down how each item makes you feel. Finally, go through each and every item on the list and next to each, write down the words, “it’s okay.” What is happening is okay. How you feel about what is happening is okay. As you write the words try on the IDEA that it really is okay. See how that FEELS.
It’s important to understand that “it’s okay” doesn’t indicate resignation. It doesn't mean we are justifying bad situations or behaviors. It’s not about giving up and never changing anything. It’s about feeling the energy of “it’s okay” and realizing how much energy you expend when you resist what is. When you can feel the energy of resistance, you can stop resisting, and free up your energy for other purposes, like actually making a change.
2) Feel your feelings.
Feel whatever feelings you have about what’s going on at work. Part of being human is having emotions. Somewhere along the way, our culture decided emotions are bad. Work culture, in particular, penalizes people for showing emotion.
How To: In the privacy of your own home, let it all out. If you are having a hard time accessing and expressing your feelings, consider finding a friend, family member or coach to help you out.
Putting energy into NOT feeling – which is what we’ve all been trained to – takes way more energy than feeling the emotion in the first place. If you can allow those feelings to be expressed, you can free up energy for other purposes.
3) Set boundaries.
It’s easier said than done. However, if you don’t set boundaries for yourself at work, who will? You need some amount of boundaries in order to protect and conserve your energy. If you are always plugged in to what’s going on at work, you can’t rest and recover.
How To: If you have fears around this, experiment with small things and see what happens. For example, stop checking e-mail after a certain time of night. Or, don’t be available on Sundays. You’ll have to use your judgement based on your specific circumstances. But I encourage you to push a little outside of your comfort zone for a week, and see what happens. Most likely your worst fears will not play out and the world of work will keep on turning even while you are unplugged.
We need to disconnect from work in order to restore our energy for other purposes.
4) Find a mentor.
All thoughts vibrate with energy. Some thoughts deplete our energy, and some thoughts restore our energy. The human brain is constantly thinking, thinking, thinking. Eighty percent of the thoughts we have today are the same thoughts we had yesterday. If our thinking is depleting our energy, we need some exposure to new thoughts.
How To: Enlist the help of a trusted mentor. A great mentor is someone who knows you (or is interested in knowing you); someone who knows the context of what you are dealing with at work; someone you look up to; and someone you resonate with. If a mentor just isn’t available to you, consider enlisting the support of a great coach who gets this stuff.
Finding a trusted mentor – if it’s the right person – can be a great way to get new perspective and get out of habitual thought patterns that are using up your energy in unproductive ways.
5) Get some rest.
For some, stress, anxiety and exhaustion are part of a normal day at the office: attempting to control the uncontrollable; feeling pressure to demonstrate our worth over and over again; trying to please a variety of people with conflicting agendas; and constantly starting over again in response to changing priorities.
How To: Make it a priority to go to bed on time. If you don’t decide what your priorities are, someone else will.
As a society we are quick to acknowledge the effort required for physical activity, and the need for
rest afterwards. Office work may not be physical, but it is mental and emotional. In order to have energy for work, we need to rest from these types of activities as well.
About the Author
Diana Calvo is a certified coach who helps people get unstuck and transform their day-to-day experience of work and life. After 20 years successfully climbing the corporate ladder, Diana experienced her own journey of healing and awakening. She discovered her true calling to guide others on their journey out of suffering and into a life of purpose and joy. Diana left the corporate world to start her own coaching business. She lives in Denver, Colorado with her dog Joey and a beautiful view of the mountains. She works with clients across the globe.