Just tired or in the early stage of burnout?
You don't feel like doing anything today. You didn't feel like doing anything yesterday, either. Your body feels like lead or rubber, and your mind doesn't even have the strength to signal it to get out of bed. Your fatigue has reached such a stage that you can practically not force yourself to do anything. Will it ever end?
What is fatigue?
Fatigue is when the body and mind feel exhausted, even if you are not doing anything physically or intellectually demanding at that time. The only wish you have is to lie down and rest. It is a feeling where the body's energy seems to be completely drained away, and you cannot imagine being able to do any further activity, either physical or mental.
Fortunately, physical fatigue can be easily combated by resting longer and stopping energy-draining activities. Just relax fully, for example, by sleeping, reading, doing some minor mental exercise, or even staying in front of the TV. Mental fatigue, on the other hand, can be effectively relieved by engaging in sporting activities, walking, jumping rope or playing football with friends.
The problem arises when fatigue persists. First, and most importantly, you lose the desire to do something about it. That's when it's crucial to pay attention. Instead of the usual fatigue, you may be experiencing symptoms of burnout.
However, it's important to remember that fatigue and exhaustion are not always symptoms of burnout. Anyone can experience periods of high workload that cause temporary fatigue and exhaustion. However, if these symptoms are recurrent and last for an extended period of time, they can indicate overload and the risk of burnout and mental health risks.
Burnout syndrome is a condition that occurs in people who feel overwhelmed, exhausted and frustrated for long periods as a result of work stress. Symptoms include chronic fatigue, reduced performance, inability to concentrate, irritability, low mood and loss of motivation. It is a diagnosable disease.
Differences between normal fatigue and burnout syndrome
- Fatigue usually subsides after a day off or a well-rested night, whereas burnout syndrome requires a longer period of rest and a change in work style.
- Fatigue can be caused by physical exertion, whereas burnout is more likely to result from mental strain and stress.
- Common fatigue does not usually cause mood and motivational problems, whereas burnout can affect overall mood and job satisfaction.
Do not hesitate to contact a professional if you're unsure whether your symptoms are caused by normal fatigue or burnout syndrome.
For further information about burnout syndrome, please read our article.