In today’s increasingly remote, yet always-on, culture, mental fatigue and burnout are on the rise. According to a recent survey from the American Psychological Association, a whopping of 79% of respondents said they had experienced work-related stress the month before — with over a third also reporting “cognitive weariness” and “emotional exhaustion.”
So, for better or worse, know you’re not alone if you’re experiencing mental fatigue. And even better: There are several ways you can start to take control of your day to manage the information overload that’s so common in our world today.
1. Get enough sleep.
Sleep gives your mind a fighting chance. According to a study conducted at the University of Pennsylvania, subjects who were limited to only 4.5 hours of sleep a night for one week reported feeling more stressed, angry, sad, and mentally exhausted. When the subjects resumed normal sleep, they reported a dramatic improvement in mood. Like your legs after too many consecutive days at the gym, your mind can get exhausted. And like an overworked set of legs, your mind needs rest.
Explore advice on how to get the restorative REM and deep sleep that your mind craves in the following articles:
- REM Sleep: What Is It and How to Get More
- Stressed? Anxious? REM Sleep Can Be Your Mind’s Reset Button
- Deep Sleep: What Is It and How to Get More
2. Take control of your notifications
Allow _____ to send you notifications. This phrase is something we all see at most app installations. Hit Yes on their request only if it will be beneficial to you, and remember you always have the power to change your mind in your phone’s settings. If you’re starting to feel overwhelmed by the number of notifications hitting your phone screen or watch face, disable notifications or use Focus mode. Does that third pop culture news alert really deserve your attention anyway?
Oura members can learn how much Restorative Time they are getting in the Oura App. This helps you visualize when your body and mind have been able to relax over the course of each day. By measuring your body temperature trends, Oura can detect when you’ve been in a relaxed state throughout each day and reflect these periods back to you. Learn more about Restorative Time.
3. Create a new (calming) routine.
Something as simple as choosing to start your days with a casual walk down the street and not with a sprint through your email inbox, or halting your daily information consumption a couple of hours before bed, can really help your mental and physical state. Learn more about the benefits of meditation and breathwork in the following articles:
- 10 Simple Breathing Exercises for Relaxation
- Try Oura’s Guided Sleep Meditations for Deep and Restful Sleep
4. Use your tech to schedule breaks
One of the most frequently used phone features today is the alarm, but it doesn’t just have to trigger you to wake up from a peaceful night’s rest. Instead, use your phone to set a Break Time Alarm. Carving out some time where it’s okay for you to stretch, walk to get lunch, or just grab a cup of tea in silence gives your mind and body some time to rest and reflect. And it doesn’t just have to be your phone, if you have an online shared work calendar, try putting your break times on there to make sure your break times are truly for you.