Wednesday 24 July 2019

Tips for reducing mental fatigue at work

Many of us will have experienced mental fatigue at one time or another in our lives and it’s no wonder with so many pressures from work. Continual strain can leave us feeling drained both mentally and physically, which can affect our motivation and energy levels as well as causing mental block, irritability and insomnia. If we ignore the signs of mental fatigue, it can eventually lead to stress and anxiety and, in some cases, depression or heart problems.

There are, however, a number of ways we can help prevent mental fatigue by taking a few simple measures.

Clear your workspace

When we’re busy, it’s easy to neglect our workspace, but the mere act of tidying and decluttering can have a positive effect on our minds. Not only will you be able to find things more easily, you will start to feel less stressed.

Allocating time

We all have different times of day when we feel that we're most productive and motivated, so try to allocate the right times to the right tasks. Completing the more mentally demanding tasks when you feel you're at your peak and leaving the simpler, more monotonous jobs for when you've less mental energy can massively increase your productivity at work.

Create achievable to do lists

Making lists is a great way to prioritise your workload and gain perspective on the tasks ahead. However, we can sometimes overdo it and cause ourselves more stress by trying to overachieve. Create realistic goals so that you actually see your list decreasing rather than increasing. By writing a new list each day, you're more likely to see your accomplishments rather than your failings and you will leave work feeling positive.

Pay attention to your sleep patterns

Getting a good night’s sleep is vital for avoiding mental fatigue and for refreshing your mind so that you're more alert and focused. Try to get into a bedtime routine where you give your mind time to wind down and quieten before you actually go to sleep. Switch off your mobile devices or the television and spend half an hour perhaps having a bath or reading before you attempt to sleep.

Take regular breaks at work

We're all entitled to breaks at work so it’s important to take time out when you feel like your mind is getting weary. Even if it’s just for five minutes to refill your water bottle and rest your eyes from the computer screen, these little breaks will work wonders.

Eat healthy snacks

Choose healthy snacks such as bananas, seeds and nuts to munch on throughout the day. As well as being a great source of energy, they will stop the temptation of grabbing a bag of crisps or a bar of chocolate, which will inevitably result in a slump in energy. Try to drink a couple of litres of water each day to help keep your brain sharp.


Make time for some form of relaxation every day when you're at home. Even ten minutes meditating, practising yoga or even just going for a walk can lower your heart rate, reduce blood pressure and calm your mind.

Take a proper holiday

Although an exotic holiday in the sun may be our idea of heaven, this isn’t just what taking a holiday is about. Taking a proper holiday means switching off from everything that could be damaging to your wellbeing. Turn off your phone, put your out of office on your emails and totally escape anything that may cause brain drain. If you let those closest to you know that you will be unavailable for a weekend or a week, hopefully you can switch off without feeling guilty.

Forbes offers more advice on how you can overcome mental fatigue but if you feel that need further help, speak to your GP or health professionals like First Psychology.

Wednesday 10 July 2019

Perfecting a work-life balance

We’ve become so used to juggling a hundred things at once, such as demanding jobs, family life and finances, that we can become tied in knots and forget to make time for ourselves.

How often does a mealtime get interrupted by an urgent call from work or how much time do you spend trawling through emails hours after you’ve left the office? Sometimes, because we lack the confidence to say “no” to our boss, our workload becomes so impossible that time management completely goes out of the window.

For the sake of our sanity and our health, it’s so important that we take some time out to assess the situation, otherwise it could result in serious health issues.

We have some useful tips that can steer you in the right direction and help you take control and get back on track for achieving that positive work-life balance.

Stop to think

Before you can move forwards and begin to make changes, you need to pause for a moment and clear your head so that you can gain perspective on your life. Whether it’s at a quiet spa, in a local park or in your bedroom with the door closed, some initial alone time is highly recommended.

Make a list

Once you’re feeling a little more relaxed and your mind is quiet, think about all the things that cause you stress or anxiety and make a list. Just by putting pen to paper, you’ll feel a weight lifted and it will help you to prioritise and put a plan into action.

Organise your workload

Once you can see everything in front of you, allocate realistic amounts of time to each task and try to stick to them without being distracted by the next task on the list. If your workload is a serious concern, speak with your boss and see if there is something they can do to help. Remember, it's okay to say “no” sometimes.

Don’t neglect your home life

Unless it’s absolutely necessary, leave your work at the office door and ensure that once you're at home, you switch off. It’s important to make time for your friends or family as this will help you clear your mind. When you feel happy and more relaxed, this will have a knock-on effect in all areas of your life. You’ll feel your stress levels start to drop and your mind will become clearer, which will help you to focus better on each task at home or work.

Take up a hobby

Whether it’s some form of exercise or a leisure activity, occupying your free time with something that you enjoy can improve both your physical health and mental wellbeing.

The Independent looks at a study that shows two thirds of British employees are unhappy with their work-life balance. Although it can appear daunting to make initial changes to your life, once you have established a better routine, you will become more productive and happier in the long run.