Out of energy

I’m tired. You’re tired. Here are some tips on staying energised when everything just seems a little bit much

Sleepy cat
Getty/Chris Winsor

It’s hardly a new phenomenon, but over the past few weeks it feels like a slight sense of exhaustion has settled over the country: a looming sense of sleepiness, at a time of year when making the most of it and being outside should (allegedly) be a priority.

As we head towards the final weeks of summer, we could all be forgiven for feeling a little bit fatigued. It’s late August, after all. In the media world (and maybe elsewhere? I don’t know about any other worlds) it’s colloquially known as silly season. This is largely because there is no politics to report on, leaving us to track down light-hearted stories about local charity fun runs and business summer fairs to fill our virtual column inches, rather than grappling with any significant policy decisions. So far, so normal.

Something feels different this year, though. There is a lot of politics to report on, to start with, although not many actual solutions being offered.

Is that why I’m spending every evening lounging around on the sofa with a paper fan like an 19th century depiction of ennui? What is the reason for this particular bout of malaise?

I’m not sure. Maybe it’s the whole pandemic that we’ve just lived through. Maybe it’s the abject lack of leadership from those cloistered (although not currently as they’re all on holiday) in Whitehall. Maybe it’s war in Europe, the cost of everything going through the roof, or the fact that half the country seems to be either striking or planning to down tools in the very near future.

Maybe it’s just very warm, all the time, and it’s sucking the momentum out of us.

Whatever the reason, I’m not going to feel bad about it. After all, we’re not the ones figuratively sleeping on the job (ahem Boris.) I’m still at my desk for a solid eight hours daily, sandwich break aside, and I’m fairly sure you are too – whatever your version of the laptop, notepad and dining table set-up is.

I gathered some energy this week to wander around the AOP office and find out what our staffers do to keep going when the days seem very, very long. Then I gathered them here, in case you find them useful. Next time you feel like locking the door and putting your head on the desk, maybe take some advice from team OT.

(To note, my tip to regain energy is to immerse oneself in a medium sized body of water, for example a lido, ideally at a time of day when summer holidaying children have finally gone home, minimum once a week.)

Selina Powell, OT features editor

“Watch the squirrels in the garden with an ice cream in hand. Friendship, deception, posturing… it’s like a really low-fi reality show with the bonus of absorbing some vitamin D at the same time.”

Kimberley Young, OT senior reporter

“If I can, when I hit a wall I try to take myself out for a quick walk. Unfortunately, that doesn’t write my articles for me, but getting fresh air and moving about does help me to come back with a clearer head. Failing that, a massive cold coffee does the trick.”

Leah Boyle, OT web content and social executive

“Combined with a leisurely stroll, pop on your headphones and listen to your favourite summer playlists. When no one else is around channel your inner Beyonce or Mick Jagger, adding in the odd dance move here and there. However far you decide to take that I always find that music has the ability to put a spring in my step.”

Ian Beasley, AOP head of education and OT clinical editor

“Singing out loud, skipping, or tequila.”

Phew. I think it’s about time we all logged off for the bank holiday, don’t you? I have some Attenborough-esque squirrel watching to do.

OT  asks...

Are you experiencing similar levels of late summer ennui?
  • Yes

    76 82%
  • No

    7 7%
  • What is ennui?

    9 9%