Your job is essential as it’s what pays the bills, but you’re tired of overworking and missing out on life. However, have you ever wondered if the chronic exhaustion you feel everyday ties to burnout? You may be experiencing work fatigue, and all this overworking is starting to take a toll on your body.

According to a study conducted by Occupational Health and Safety, more than 47 percent of Americans admit that they’re too tired to function on their job. Could it be the long hours each day or the fact that there’s not good work and life balance for many? Whatever the reasoning, it’s time to make changes to increase happiness and alleviate worry.

Fifteen Signs You Struggle with Work Fatigue

If you think you’re one of the millions who suffer from work fatigue, you need to know the signs. Being too tired on your job can have grave consequences, primarily if you operate machinery or do other dangerous tasks. Here are the most common symptoms of overworking as observed by the mental health community.

work fatigue

1. Work Fatigue Causes a Decrease in Productivity

Your energy is down, and so is your productivity. You were once a top performer for the company, and now you seem like it’s all you can do to get the bare minimum done. Maybe you’re in a slump. But if this has been ongoing for some time, you may be suffering significant fatigue from overworking on your job.

2. Susceptibility to Illness Has Increased

It doesn’t matter what bug is going around; it seems that you catch it all. You’re not usually a sick person, but these days that you pick up a virus if someone even sneezes in your direction. When your body is exhausted, your resistance is low, making you more susceptible to illness.

3. Tired All the Time

If you sleep ten hours or a standard seven, you still feel exhausted. Your sleep doesn’t have anything to do with how you think because you’re tired all the time. You can’t do the things you love to do anymore because your energy level is nearly zero. Is it possible that you lay in bed at night and are overthinking every little thing?

4. Calling Off a Lot

While you’re thankful for your job, there are many days you cannot muster the strength to go to work. You’re not one that usually calls off, but here lately, you’ve called off more than your share. You may have been reprimanded for calling off so much or even written up.

You’ve also become very good at making excuses to stay home, but the real reason is you’re so overworked and exhausted that you can’t imagine facing an eight-hour workday.

5. Work Fatigue During the Day Can Cause Poor Sleep at Night

You’re so tired, but you can’t sleep from overthinking. You stare at the ceiling, counting sheep and praying for the sandman to come to visit you. According to the American Psychological Association, when you’re under stress, the HPA axis comes into play.

The hypothalamus gland tells the body to increase the production of cortisol to handle the stress load. The overproduction causes your system to be on high alert, as it’s your body’s way of getting you through a tough challenge. While that’s good if you’re running from danger, it makes for a miserable night when you’re trying to sleep.

6. You’re Constantly Looking for Another Job

You know your job is the center of your problem, so you’re doing your best to find something else. You feel trapped because you can’t find employment with the benefits and payment you need, but you don’t know if you can stand one more minute at this job.

7. People With Work Fatigue Feel Annoyed and Irritated

You feel tired and irritable and prefer to hang by yourself these days. You’ve probably had many people tell you that you’re grouchy and not your usual self. You’re just miserable and can’t imagine staying eight hours in a place when you’re so tired all you want to do is go to sleep.

work fatigue

8. Headaches and Muscle Tension

When you worry, and you add exhaustion to that, you’re going to have headaches and tension. Tension headaches are among the worst, and they can be just as bad as a migraine. According to the Mayo Clinic, these headaches don’t come with vomiting or light sensitivity, but they can make you feel miserable.

It feels like a band around your head, as well as tenderness in the shoulders, neck, and back area. Though you can experience these a couple of times a week, some people have a chronic condition that occurs each day.

9. Disgruntled with Fellow Workers and Managements

When you’re overworking, you tend to have plenty of time for overthinking too. You worry about management and your other coworkers and what they think about you. Your work fatigue is taking over your life, and it’s causing you to be petty.

Have you ever heard that you should never wake a sleeping bear? They’re pretty fussy when they’re disturbed. When you’re tired all the time, you may feel like someone woke you from hibernation, and you’re not in the mood to be there.

10. Making Too Many Mistakes May Stem From Work Fatigue

Since your mind isn’t on your work, you’re making all kinds of mistakes. The blunders can happen on the job, which can get you reprimanded, or the forgetful fog you feel can extend to other aspects of your life. You may forget to get your kid from daycare, as all you’re focused on is getting home and sleeping due to your exhaustion.

Many times, exhausted people are guilty of overthinking unimportant things and messing up the important stuff.

11. Have a Negative Attitude Towards Work

Talking about work has become taboo as people know how you feel. They know that you’re at a place where you can’t stand your job, but your negative attitude doesn’t just stop there. You’ve become very pessimistic about anything and everything, and part of this is from overworking and not getting the rest you need.

12. You’re on Autopilot

Have you ever got in your car and driven somewhere without knowing the roads you turned on or anything about the trip? You remember putting the keys in the ignition, and you remember arriving at your destination, but everything in-between is just a blur. This phenomenon happens because you’re on autopilot.

According to Psychology Today, being on autopilot can have some advantages, but it means that you’re missing out on things right in front of you. You’re not being present in the moment, and you’re missing out on so much. Autopilot can be dangerous, too, so you need to stop overthinking and quit worrying and focus on being present.

13. You Dread Going to Work

If you’ve raised kids, you know that getting them to clean their room is nearly impossible. Have you ever tried getting them in the car when they didn’t want to go? They will kick and scream as you guide them towards your automobile. However, these days, you’re like that child when it comes to working.

You’ll keep hitting snooze on your alarm clock, and you will do anything to get out of it. When you dread going to your job, it’s probably in part because you’ve developed work fatigue.

14. Concentration Issues

Your mind is here, there, and everywhere, and you can’t seem to focus. You feel like a child with ADHD, even though you’ve never received a diagnosis. Whether at home or work, you can only concentrate on overthinking things and the exhaustion you feel.

You feel scatterbrained, and there’s no way to stop the worry and dread of your job. This lack of focus might also spill into your daily routine.

15. Little to No Motivation

If you lack motivation, your feelings and overwhelming stress may have led you to depression. While you can have one or the other, they often overlap. It’s important to remember that when you feel exhausted and can barely lift your head off the pillow in the morning, the exhaustion is wearing you both physically and mentally.

How many times have you uttered the words “I just don’t have any motivation to do anything?” This can all be a product of your worry and exhaustion caused by work fatigue, or it could be an underlying mental health condition. Either way, it’s essential to investigate further.

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Final Thoughts on Coping With Work Fatigue

While overworking and excessive worry can cause you significant fatigue with your job, the causes of the way you feel may go beyond the workplace. If you feel so overwhelmed with your job, maybe it’s time for a change. When changing jobs isn’t possible, it’s time to sit down and talk to management.

Maybe some things are happening at your job that management isn’t aware of. How can they fix things if they don’t know they’re occurring? They might be able to do some shift changes to remove troublesome people from your work hours, or they may need to rebalance the workloads and add additional staffing.

Overthinking and ruminating about the situation will only tire you even further. Be proactive about the issues of work fatigue, and you can keep yourself from being overwhelmed to the point of exhaustion.