If you find yourself tired, even after eight hours of sleep and don’t know why, you are not alone. Without our daily commute, carpools, shuttling kids to after school activities, and additional errands, we should have plenty of energy. Right? Wrong.
COVID-19 has fundamentally changed our lives and the way we work. We are no longer getting up to get the kids ready for school, commuting to the office, walking from the parking lot to your desk, or spending time socializing at the water cooler. What this has been replaced with is a more sedentary life filled with Zoom meetings, more time spent scrolling through social media, less exercise, and little to no socialization.
What Can Be Causing Your Fatigue
Below is a list of reasons for your 2020 fatigue. This is by no means a comprehensive list, but it’s a good starting point.
- Feeling Overwhelmed – The coronavirus is not the only thing to worry about these days. In 2020 we are also dealing with racial tension and other societal issues; homeschooling; keeping you and your loved ones safe from illness; and abundant natural disasters. All of this can be overwhelming, which can lead to exhaustion.
- Solution – Allow yourself to feel the reality of what you are going through. Reach out and talk to someone or journal your feelings.
- Missing Social Interaction – Lack of social interaction is like a battery missing its charger. Introvert or extrovert, we all crave social interaction to some extent.
- Solution – Reach out via other means like phone, email, text, or various social media platforms.
- Overworking – In April 2020 BlueJeans conducted a 2020 Remote Work Survey and found remote workers are working an additional 3.13 hours per day.
- Solution – Try to keep your “normal” work schedule before “shelter-in-place” and make sure to take mini breaks throughout the day.
- Videoconference Fatigue – This is caused by many different factors like the pressure to be “on”; video chatting requires extreme focus; not having natural cues we normally rely on during conversations (hand gestures and body language); video or audio not working; and interruptions that would not happen in a normal work environment (children, pets, and family members). This can take a mental toll making us feel worn out faster.
- Solution – If you can, limit the number of videoconferences in one day. Spread them out throughout the week. Pick up the phone, if possible.
- Eye Strain – This can result from looking at something at one set distance for long periods of time. During the stay-at-home order we are often spending longer periods of time watching TV, gaming or on videoconferences which leads to eye strain.
- Solution – Try taking breaks from the computer during the day. Find a hobby that doesn’t require screen time.
- Lack of Exercise – Physically going into work is more active than working from home for most people. Little steps add up. Such as walking from your car or public transit to the office; going out to lunch with co-workers; getting up to chat with a co-worker; going to the print room to get copies; even taking a bathroom break.
- Solution – Get moving! Go online and find a motivational workout video, take a walk, play catch with the kids or the dog.
Often there is a solution that you may not have considered as to why you are feeling tired while working from home. Hopefully after reading this you gain some clarity as to why.