Why are we so exhausted? Physical and mental exhaustion, overpowering your being. Americans are always running around, always working. Stress and anxiety-inducing tasks. Wearing yourself out comes all too easily. Many people do burn-outs with their cars for fun, many more do burn-outs with their jobs, for anti-fun. 9-5 is a way of life. Let’s face it, work takes up the majority of your time. Those long moments between doing what you actually want to do. We are all running around, but are we actually going anywhere? What are we really accomplishing when most of our days are spent devoting our time and effort towards the goals of a company? Sadly, the structure and nature of this capitalist society cannot be changed, so we must face it head on; suck it up even. Just getting by another day; looking forward to something; the weekend perhaps. Exhaustion is near inevitable, as one day bleeds into the next. Chronic sleep deprivation with nothing left to give; equally detrimental mental exhaustion from using your brain all day. What can we do about exhaustion? Exhaustion can possibly be combatted through balance.
First of all, maintaining balance is never easy. Easier said than done. True balance in all things is near impossible, except maybe for the Buddha; we were not born master jugglers. Our lives naturally become lopsided; too much work, too little sleep; an all too common ailment. To wear yourself out is almost like a right of passage for Americans; it is not really looked down upon, and many people, funnily, humble-brag about how they got, and are getting by on, four hours of sleep the night before. What is it doing to our bodies though; what is it doing to our minds? Increases in cortisol, the stress hormone, negatively affects many bodily processes. We become walking zombies, the horde of the rat race; engulfed in those moments where even the simplest of tasks at hand are a struggle.
First of all, the 9-5 should be modified. Studies have shown that working less not only does not negatively harm productivity, but it actually boosts productivity; behold, the four-day work week. Not being trapped and confined to our cubicles for most of the day also creates employees that respect the company more; there is an unwritten agreement that you will work hard in the hours you put in; instead of counting the hours on the clock that go on, and on, and on; spreading out actual work you put in, into those eight hours.
Work has the ability, like nothing else, to suck the life from you. Do not let it; you must find your own balance. Slow down, instead of always running around. Invest much of your effort in your job, but do not let it have power over you; do not let it control you. Do not count the hours; take it one moment at a time. Catch up on sleep, if you are exhausted and sleep deprived; you will thank yourself later. Studies have found that being extremely sleep deprived while driving is nearly identical to drunk driving; a sort of shocking finding. If you are always exhausted, do not let your job have power over you. Remember, they can take up half of your life, but they cannot take your soul. You are not your job, and you are worth more than your career. Work to live, don’t live to work. Remember that your job is a two-way street; respect your company if they deserve it, and demand respect for yourself, the worker.