As we ease into the holidays and things begin to slow down a bit, you may recognize that you’re not quite feeling yourself. Maybe you have a persistence headache, sore muscles, or just slowed reflexes. Or it could be that you are more irritable than usual, or les productive. Is it just the time of year, or could it be that fatigue has you feeling not so festive?
Fatigue is a feeling of constant tiredness or weakness and can be physical, mental or a combination of both. This could be resulting from insufficient sleep, prolonged mental or physical work, or extended periods of stress or anxiety.
Fatigue can be described as either acute or chronic. Acute fatigue results from short-term sleep loss or from short periods of heavy physical or mental work. The effects of acute fatigue are of short duration and usually can be reversed by sleep and relaxation.
Chronic fatigue syndrome is the constant, severe state of tiredness that is not relieved by rest. The symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome are similar to the flu, last longer than six months and interfere with certain activities. The exact cause of this syndrome is still unknown.
Its important to consider other factors beyond lack of sleep when thinking about fatigue. Mental workloads, demanding or stressful activities, and long periods of anxiety or monotonous tasks are also key influencers.
Workplaces can help employees feel less fatigued in many ways. This includes:
- Providing environments with good lighting, comfortable temperatures, and reasonable noise levels
- Allowing for work tasks with varying levels of interest and movement throughout the shift
- Developing work practices such as maximum hours of services or shift rotations
- Ensuring employees have access to regular breaks for meals and exercises, and encouraging them to take the full extent of their breaks as needed
If you are taking time off during the holidays, make sure you drink enough fluids to stay hydrated, practice healthy eating habits, and avoid known stressors to help ease any fatigue you may be feeling. If you are looking for more information on this or other wellbeing items, please reach out to your PEO Canada benefits contact for resources and support.