13 Everyday Behaviors That Can Burn You Out & How To Fix The Problem
Sometimes I’ll start my day feeling about as energized as any human could possibly be, only to hit a slump midway through the day. From there, I can’t seem to shake it. It leaves me wondering what I’m doing wrong. There are everyday behaviors that are burning you out that you and I might both be partaking in that are robbing us of our energy and making us feel like a bunch of slugs. The good news is these behaviors are most likely things we can easily quit.
We’re all grown adults at this point, but do you ever feel like you’re still in desperate need of nap time? Whether you’re feeling burnt out at an office, from chasing after your kids, or from running errands around town, the feeling seems to completely take over. I’m certain we’ve all experienced this major dip in energy at least once or twice before. Why do we feel this way, though? What triggers it? Many times it might have to do less with the actual activities we’re doing, and more with the smaller behaviors we have — like gluing ourselves to our desks and not moving all day or neglecting to drink enough water. By figuring out what behaviors are causing us to feel depleted of energy, we can make moves to change them. Here are 13 everyday behaviors that are burning you out, and how to stop.
1. Living Amidst Disorganization
Being disorganized — whether it’s at work or home — can be slowly draining you of energy, believe it or not. According to a study out of Princeton University, a messy space takes our energy away, as we’re being overwhelmed by the visual clutter around us. This leaves us with the feeling that we’re in need of rest, even though we haven’t actually done anything. To combat this, make it a habit of keeping organized, especially in the places you spend a lot of time in each day, like your cubicle, living room, and bedroom.
2. Dating A Toxic Person
According to Psych Central, we should all be mindful of the kinds of company we keep, as negative people will drain the energy right out of us. Are you dating a super negative and toxic person, but for whatever reason, just can’t seem to shake him or her? Well, make it your mission to do so — especially if you want your energy back and mood enhanced. Psych Central noted if you swap toxic people out for positive ones, you might suddenly feel more focused, too.
3. Checking Your Email Obsessively
Some people have jobs that require them to be on email at every moment of the day, and there’s simply nothing they can do about that. However, for the majority of us who have a bit more leniency in checking email, listen closely — we’re experiencing higher levels of stress and decreased energy from “workplace telepressure” like constant email checking, according to research by the American Psychological Association. This means we should avoid being married to our inboxes. If possible, try to schedule times in the day to check and respond to emails, and leave the rest of the time as undistracted so that you can focus on other projects and tasks.
4. Skipping Breakfast
If you’re anything like me, you like to get as much sleep as you can in the morning. For us late sleepers, it becomes very easy to rush out the door without eating breakfast. This can set a low-energy tone for the day, though. According to Fox News, breakfast is incredibly important for amping up our energy levels in the morning, as our bodies are hungry for nutrients after having just slept for hours. Even if it’s a granola bar on the go, make it a point to never skip your morning meal.
5. Skipping The Gym
Have you ever promised yourself you would hit the gym right after work, and then somehow instead found yourself glued to your couch telling yourself you don’t have the energy to make it there? Well, turns out, your energy level would increase from just being there, according to Everyday Health. The outlet spoke to Robert Gotlin, MD, DO, director of sports rehabilitation at Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City, who said exercise boosts energy levels as well as your mood. The hardest part might just be getting to the gym, so consider packing your gym bag with you to work so that you don’t have to stop home in between at the end of the day.
6. Saying “Nah” To Omega-3s
If you’re one to pass on a tasty salmon meal, you might just be halting some extra energy from your body. According to Health, research has shown energy can increase from eating foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, like salmon, walnuts, oysters, soy beans, spinach, and the like. Next time you’re packing your lunch, consider throwing in some omega 3s.
7. Sitting In A Cube All Day
Being locked up inside of a cubicle at work all day can feel downright boring. However, did you know it could also be zapping your energy levels as well? Sitting in your chair — especially if you’re slouching while doing it — can cause fatigue, according to Fitness. The outlet noted this is especially true in very cold offices, which cause your body temperature to drop and sends you into what the outlet referred to as “hibernation mode.” To fight this, try making a point of getting up and doing a quick walk around every 30 minutes, the outlet suggested. Also, dress in layers if your office is one of those cold spaces.
8. Watching Netflix Until The Wee Hours
Let’s say you’re incredibly sleepy and ready for bed around 10 p.m. You’re excited because this means you can get a solid eight hours of sleep. Then, you remember you wanted to watch just one more episode of your latest Netflix addiction. One turns to two, which turns to three, and so on. Before you know it it’s 3 a.m. and you’re still wide awake.
This may seem like a no brainer, but it’s worth mentioning that late-night binge sessions can kill your energy levels for the next day. According to the National Sleep Foundation, the majority of people in the U.S. are not getting enough sleep (they recommend around seven or eight hours), and this is making it hard for these people to remain properly energized. Shut that TV off, close that laptop, and put that phone away all at a reasonable hour. You’ll be thanking yourself big time the next day.
9. Holding Back The Laughter
Laughing gives you energy, according to Health. Don’t hold back whenever you find something funny throughout the day, because in a sense you’re depriving yourself of that easy-to-obtain energy. According to Robert R. Provine, PhD, author of Laughter , we’ll experience that boost of energy because laughing causes our heart rate to increase, along with our blood pressure, helping us to escape that sluggish feeling.
10. Not Drinking Enough H20
If you’re not drinking plenty of water each day, yet wondering why you’re constantly feeling lethargic, remember this… dehydration might be your mega problem. According to Psych Central, not drinking enough water will leave the body deprived of energy. According to the Mayo Clinic, we should all be drinking about eight 8-ounce glasses of water each day .
11. Wearing Tight Clothes
Who would have thought our clothes could play a part in our much energy we had? Looks like if what we’re wearing is especially tight, it could be diminishing our energy levels, according to a Psychology Today piece by Sherrie Bourg Carter Psy.D. This is because the tight clothing can restrict our breathing, and therefore lessen the amount of oxygen getting to our brains and muscles, the article noted. In turn, we’re left feeling more tired than usual. While it can be tempting to grab for your on-trend skinny jeans, try opting for a looser pair of pants on those days when you fear your energy might be questionable.
12. Having A Negative Attitude
Same as being around negative people can fight against your energy levels, your personal attitude can affect your energy, too, according to WebMD. The outlet noted having a gloomy take on things puts our minds and bodies into an energy-sucking place. To combat it, try to be as positive as you can, even if the circumstances around you aren’t completely positive.
13. Following The News Around The Clock
It’s one thing to be in the know about what’s happening around the world, but it can be quite another to live and breathe for the news. According to Prevention, if you’re one to be hooked on watching the news come in via all channels — social media, TV, radio, etc. — you might be draining yourself out. The outlet cited research out of the University of Montreal that found women were especially prone to feeling drained from following the news non-stop, particularly when there were a lot of negative news stories. Prevention suggested trying to limit your news consumption to once per day, and trying to get a dose of positive news as well.
Now that we’re all well aware of the little things we do each day that could be burning us out, we can take strides to kick the habits. By ditching these tendencies, our energy levels just might sky rocket faster than we know it.
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