Fatigue: Causes, Effects, and Tips on How to Fight it
Fatigue is one of the common conditions experienced by many and affects the quality of their lives as well as work performances. Typically, this is described as the feeling of constant weakness and tiredness and can be either physical or mental. Sadly, fatigue can stop a person from working usually and may cause various issues in health and work.
Having fatigue may sometimes hard to avoid, but with some habits like doing some exercise and taking proper nutrition, can help decrease its harmful effects. But if you’re already utilizing healthy ways but still find it hard to perform at work due to fatigue, this article will help you learn more on how to fight it.
What Is Fatigue?
According to WebMD, fatigue refers to the daily lack of energy; it’s marked by an unusual or excessive whole-body tiredness that can’t be relieved by sleep. It can be acute (lasting a month or less) or chronic (lasting from one to six months or longer).
Simply explained, fatigue is the feeling of being tired. However, it must be understood that it may still differ from the warmth of drowsiness, a feeling of apathy, and feeling lack of energy.
There are other terms to describe fatigue, such as:
- Physical or mental exhaustion
- Reduced or less energy
- Lack of motivation
Causes Of Fatigue
Various factors may cause fatigue, including:
- Medical causes. Some illnesses may trigger and cause fatigue, such as heart diseases, thyroid disorder, and diabetes.
- Job-related factors. Stress in the workplace can lead to a feeling of fatigue, as well. Deadlines, workmates relationships, and other job issues can significantly affect someone on how to deal with their work.
- Lifestyle-related causes. Other things may cause fatigue, which is related to the kind of lifestyle. This may include drugs, alcohol, lack of regular exercise, and proper nutrition.
- Emotional factors. One of the symptoms of mental health problems includes fatigue. When fatigue is accompanied by anxiety irritability and lack of motivation, this needs proper attention since this can lead to other issues.
Common Symptoms Of Fatigue
As mentioned earlier, fatigue can result in various physical, emotional, and mental symptoms, such as:
- Mild to chronic headaches
- Problems with sleeping
- A feeling of too much tiredness
- Muscle weakness and soreness
- Loss of appetite
- Obvious slowed responses and reflexes
- Problems in decision-making
- Impaired judgment
- Weak immune system
- Blurred vision
- Poor focus and concentration
- Having hallucinations
- Short-term memory issues
- Low self-motivation
- Inability to pay attention to a particular situation
- Problematic hand and eye coordination
One needs to be observant of the symptoms mentioned above to be able to take prompt actions on how to prevent fatigue from causing other issues in life and work.
Various Effects Of Fatigue
When fatigue is not prevented, this can affect people in the workplace and their personal lives. The following are some of the effects fatigue can bring; these are not limited to workplace and home only but may also reach until the way they deal with colleagues and friends.
- Fatigue can affect communication skills. When the body and mind are both not working properly, there will be a big chance that people may not successfully convey their messages with each other. In that case, bigger issues may occur. There are some cases in the workplace that employees weren’t able to send their message just because they are not in good physical condition. They feel tired, lethargic, and losing focus.
- Fatigue can also trigger issues such as the decreased ability to handle stress. As we all know, stress can bring harmful effects to health and may even cause damage to doing jobs in the workplace.
- This can also affect one’s attention to specific things or situation. When someone lacks motivation and too tired to strive effort, the ability to perform greater things will be at risk.
- Fatigue can also increase forgetfulness and may lead to memory problems. When that happens, there will be tasks that can be missed and assignments that can’t be completed.
- In a workplace, fatigue can bring increased sick time, rate of turnover, frequent absences, and rate of turnover. When an employee feels tired and doesn’t want to work due to fatigue, the company’s target for work accomplishment will not be met.
- Since fatigue is related to some medical conditions, chances are you will incur increased medical costs.
- One of the fatigue's effects deals with sleep problems. Inability to fall asleep within the right number of hours per day will affect overall daily performance. This may cause someone’s failure to stay awake during the daytime, thus, decreasing productivity at work.
- There are also studies which stated that there are increased errors in judgment and deciding due to fatigue. When a person feels tired, it’s often that he/she may not be able to concentrate well on the issue and may give an improper judgment.
- Fatigue can cause a person to have a delayed reaction time and response to situations.
- Ability to recall details can also be affected due to fatigue. Since a person’s focus and concentration can be affected, then there will be some instances where an individual may feel that details of a thing or event are hard to understand and remember.
- A person having problems physically, mentally, and emotionally may experience difficulty to do complex planning. Their mind and body will be focused on the uncomfortable feeling due to fatigue.
- Either at home and work, productivity and performance can be decreased in terms of quality since members of the team or organization experiencing fatigue may struggle in completing their tasks and projects.
- Making decisions can be complicated and confusing when someone has fatigue. Feeling tired and lack of motivation will trigger a person to let things pass instead of doing something to achieve work results.
- The capability to respond to various changes in the environment as well as understanding the provided information may also not transparent and seamless when people assigned to the jobs are having fatigue. Instead of effectively working on them, it can also be caused by some problems because of miscommunication and lack of planning.
Also, fatigue can trigger some health issues such as digestive problems, appetite loss, depression, and other chronic health problems.
Effective Ways On How To Fight Fatigue
There are ways that we can do to fight fatigue. Let’s focus first on how members of the organization can prevent and deal with fatigue.
- Employers must have shift schedules to give their employers time to prepare and be safe in their work environment.
- Make sure that when the job requires overtime, the employers will be given ample time to prepare with activities such as eating meals, commuting, relaxing, and meeting new connections.
- A work environment must be conducive in the sense that it provides excellent lighting, enough temperature, and proper noise levels.
- Be sure that your work may have flexibility. If possible, make tasks as flexible as possible because redundancy can lead to boredom and fatigue.
- A workplace must have the proper amenities and tools. Just imagine if there are no machines in the workplace as well as the tools that may aid in working with paperwork and data processing. It will be more convenient and productive if there are those things that can help. Other things that may be put into consideration include on-site accommodations, packed meals, and facilities where employees can take a nap or rest before going back home.
The following are additional tips on how to generally prevent fatigue as well as the effects it can bring.
#1 Be aware of your health conditions. As previously stated, fatigue is one common symptom of various health conditions such as heart diseases, arthritis, thyroid disease, diabetes, sleep apnea, and others. With that being said, it’s essential to talk to a physician to check why you feel tired often. This will help to understand the underlying cause of fatigue and do the preventions needed.
#2 Rehydrate, drink plenty of water. Water is vital in maintaining a good health condition of the body. Rehydration can help prevent fatigue to avoid decreasing concentration and alertness. Drink plenty of water and juices to prevent dehydration.
#3 Do some exercises and keep moving. You might be thinking about how exercise can aid in preventing fatigue. However, exercise is proven to be useful in boosting energy levels when doing physical activities. It is also required for some people who are experiencing some medical conditions such as diabetes. Aside from that, exercise is also medically advised to help improve the overall quality of life and work performance.
#4 Do some yoga and meditation exercises. Although most kinds of exercises are good, yoga may be specifically effective to help boost zest and energy. Many yoga and meditation classes aim to bring improvements in self-esteem, mindfulness, energy, and physical performance.
#5 Have a great sleep. Get to bed early and make sure to get enough sleep. Lack of sleep may increase the chance of getting involved in accidents. This is also one of the major factors which cause daytime fatigue. When someone is at work yet feels sleepy, you can’t expect a good concentration and focus. There will be no clear thinking and worse, there can be some critical matters that may be overseen.
In case you had a not-so-good night sleep, you can take a brief nap in the afternoon. It is proven that napping can restore energy and promotes better learning and productivity. You can nap for 10 minutes, just enough to regain your energy. For some, a nap which is followed by a cup of coffee can be another excellent energy boost. Just remember to take coffee in moderate amount because too much of it can be a risk in your health.
#6 Eat healthy fish. There are certain types of fish which are rich in omega-3 oils. Choose these types of fish since they are good for your heart. Omega-3 oils also help boost alertness. A study in Italy's University of Siena, it was found out that volunteers who took a fish oil capsule for three weeks showed a faster mental reaction. Furthermore, they are also reported that they feel more vigorous and energized.
#7 Keep track and be aware of your body clock. Some people are often getting their burst of energy in the morning while some others are considered ‘night owls’ because they are more productive during the end of the day. These differences of individuals in daily energy patterns are analyzed by brain structure and genetics, both factors that are difficult to change. That is why we need to be aware of our circadian rhythms or ‘body clock.’ This will help you determine which part of the day you are most comfortable working so you can have a better schedule.
#8 Keep your weight within normal. Shedding off extra pounds can help provide a powerful energy boost. Overweight people may experience difficulties with movements and energy. Health experts and nutrition advisors will advise to eat a balanced diet, and do some basic exercises to help in weight loss journey. Even a little reduction in body fat can improve vigour, mood, and quality of life.
#9 Eat more often (in small portions). Some people are confused when we say diet and nutrition. They sometimes put themselves in a diet that plan that instead of helping them to achieve a healthy body, this can be a source of some issues.
Besides, there may be some individuals that may benefit from taking in proper nutrition by eating smaller meals yet frequently during the day. In that way, your blood sugar level will be maintained properly. Choose whole grains and healthy foods with complex carbohydrates. Always choose foods that are healthy and good for the body.
Fatigue can be part of our daily lives, but it depends on us how to prevent it from causing further issues in our life. So, make sure to get informed and work to avoid it.