When you feel like you don’t have enough strength to survive even a work day, is it about burnout or normal fatigue?

Constant work pressure, stress, and workplace conflicts can lead to a state where the mind and body do not recover after a day of work, and a weekend and not even a vacation is not enough to recover.

Exhaustion, fatigue, and recovery from work begin to dominate your free time so that you no longer have the strength for normal everyday activities or meeting friends.

Ullamaija Keskinen from Mehiläinen, an expert in well-being at work and a specialist nurse in psychiatry, says that the line between burnout and ordinary stress fatigue is shaky.

- Before a person quotes their condition, a close circle has often noticed that it is no longer a matter of normal fatigue or work stress, but of something more serious.

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Will the body recover?

Under normal stress, the symptoms disappear and the body recovers quickly when the stress peak is over and the workload eases.

The body recovers even if the project had included moments of despair and had taken a night’s sleep.

According to Keskinen, there is always some work-related, long-term workload behind the burnout.

- There are hard demands or goals and constant time pressure, when a person feels that the resources and conditions are not enough to perform the tasks.

There may also be inappropriate treatment or inconsistencies in the workplace.

Is all the free time spent recovering from work?

Typically, burnout is associated with feelings of inadequacy and inferiority, as well as a decline in professional self-esteem.

- Work no longer produces pleasure and the joy of work is gone.

Fatigue is holistic and intense.

It also feels like rest is not refreshed and fatigue does not start with sleep.

All free time is spent recovering from work and resting.

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Difficulty concentrating, memory problems and sensitivity to disturbances are also common symptoms of burnout.

- It is quite difficult to determine at what stage stress turns into exhaustion.

It’s unique: some come across the border faster than others.

- The life situation also has an effect: if there are stressors and strains in the rest of life, it certainly makes it harder to cope.

If, on the other hand, things are fine at home and in the rest of life, the situation can endure and exhaustion can stay away for longer.

Union problems are a common reason to seek help

According to Keskinen, help is usually sought at a time when sleep problems, such as difficulty falling asleep, waking up too early, or waking up at night, have been going on for a long time and constant fatigue is clearly starting to affect other lives.

- At that point, my own coping has begun to worry and often loved ones have already expressed that everything is not well.

  • Read more: Do you feel unable to recover from work and run out of resources?

    10 ways to overcome fatigue

You should apply for examinations and treatment if ...

  • fatigue has developed for no apparent lifestyle reason

  • fatigue is not relieved despite a long night’s sleep

  • daytime sleepiness occurs or

  • in addition to fatigue, there are other symptoms such as weight loss, warmth, or abdominal pain

  • the fatigue has lasted for several months and there are no other symptoms

Source: Health Library