If You're Exhausted All The Time, It Could Be 'Hyper Fatigue'

The trend is a symptom of our modern lives, say experts.
Sean Anthony Eddy via Getty Images

From the cost of living crisis to climate change to worrying about whether you’ll ever be able to buy a house, plus juggling work, school, socialising and more, it’s easy to feel totally whacked out all the time.

If that’s you, you’re not alone – according to a YouGov study, one in eight of us always feel tired.

If you’re feeling fatigued more often than not, you could be experiencing something experts have coined ‘hyper fatigue’.

The hyper fatigue trend, predicted by market research agency Mintel, is said to be a result of a combination of the pandemic, rising cost of living, energy crises, geopolitical unrest and social media, and feeling like you’re being stretched in so many directions that you it exhausts you mentally, physically and emotionally.

I can relate. Sometimes after a busy day, I’ll go on my phone to unwind, only to come off it hours later feeling just as (sometimes more!) stressed than before and like I’ve lost out on essential ‘me’ time.

A 2022 Mintel survey of internet users aged over 18 found that 49% had experienced stress in the previous 12 months, while 38% had experienced anxiety, 22% mental exhaustion, and 20% burnout, showing that everybody is feeling the strain of our modern digital lives.

The problem is so bad that two in five people said they would rather sleep an extra hour than spend time with friends or family, making us even more insular.

The NHS says that, “in today’s 24/7 ‘always on’ world, we often try to cram too much into our daily lives”. The service suggests feeling tired all the time can be caused by psychological issues such as stress, anxiety, depression and an emotional shock such as a bereavement or job loss.

But it can also be caused by iron deficiency, sleep apnoea and an underactive thyroid, so it’s best to get it checked out if you’re concerned.

What’s the solution to hyper fatigue?

According to the Mintel Report, 55% of people in the UK say they use getting outdoors as a way to de-stress, and that’s a well-proven way to stay mentally healthy.

In test subjects, levels of cortisol decreased after a walk in the forest, compared with people who walked in a laboratory setting, showing that green spaces have a marked effect on reducing stress.

“Consumers will find meaning and solace in reconnecting with their surroundings, their communities and themselves,” agrees Matthew Crabbe, director of Mintel Trends, APAC.

If you’ve been going at things at a million miles an hour, maybe consider taking time off work or cancelling some social plans to recuperate – unless socialising recharges your battery, of course.

Spend time doing things that make your soul happy, be that reading, exercising, cooking or simply slobbing around on the couch.

And try not to carry the weight of the world around on your shoulders. Sometimes admitting you can’t control everything can help you feel lighter and more positive. Go easy on yourself.