Staying in Motion to Avoid Exhaustion

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A previous post laid out approaches to addressing exhaustion, a core aspect of burnout.

Measures ask people how energetic they feel. The basic assumption, and likely a sound assumption, is that people have a good idea of their energy levels, whether it concerns physical, mental, emotional, or social energy. What they report is fairly accurate.

Focusing on the overall energy level acknowledges the fluctuating nature of subjective energy. People get tired. That is not the problem. The question is how people maintain their energy over the course of their days and how they recover from fatigue. Recovery is a curious mix of activity and rest. Sitting at a desk all day interacting with computers is so tiring. Frequent bouts of activity, walking around doing things, will increase one’s energy level. While sleep is essential, sitting or lying about seems less so.

For example, a BBC radio documentary explored the negative impact of too much sitting on health and wellbeing. The Mayo Clinic concurs. The point is that sustaining one’s energy does not mean maximizing rest and minimizing activity. It is much more active than tha.

In the course of writing this post I’ve twice gotten up to play the flute. Inspiring to be sure. Another reason I prefer writing at home in the afternoons. Activity is essential to maintaining energy, but it is critical for the method to fit the time, place, and colleagues.

What is your most enjoyable and effective strategy for keeping in motion through your work day?

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