Feeling exhausted at work? Don’t leap to blame yourself

If you want to feel healthy, happy and productive you can’t rely solely on good self-care to get you there.

None of us exist in a vacuum.

If the people / systems / cultures or environments that you work and live within don’t allow you to prioritise your health and wellbeing, then self-care’s ability to help you feel better will hit its limits.


You appreciate the value of taking regular breaks and notice that this helps you stay productive and healthy. But you don’t take them because you work within a culture that has an ‘unspoken belief’ that rest=idleness and it seems that the only people getting rewarded or promoted are those who work excessively long hours.

It seems that most of the wellbeing dialogue that takes place these days places a huge emphasis on individual responsibility. It’s therefore understandable that if we’re not feeling at our best then we are inclined to believe that this is due to our own personal failure. We fail to acknowledge that there may be other factors at play.

Healthy choices and habits are, of course, very important, and without them none of us are going to feel energetic, happy and productive. However, if you’re not thriving at work, take a moment to look at the bigger picture of what is holding you back.

As well as thinking about what you could be doing to help yourself, consider the barriers that are preventing you from taking action. Once you have a clear idea of what you’re dealing with then you can make sure your self-expectations are realistic. It might also highlight what you should expect from others.