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Work exhaustion

Know yourself, know your limits

Work exhaustion follows from a long-term harmful state of stress. Are you neglecting your coping?

Work exhaustion is a stress syndrome generated by long-term efforts at work without sufficient resources. Work exhaustion is not an illness, but long-term stress involves a risk to develop illnesses such as depression.

Signs of work exhaustion are the constant feeling of tiredness, which does not go away with normal rest, a cynical attitude towards work and feelings of inferiority and inefficiency. A person with work exhaustion may feel like their work does not matter and that they are inferior to the other employees.

Recognise risk factors

Work exhaustion is caused by goals that are too high, a large workload, poor possibilities to influence your work, poor support from colleagues, unclear roles at work and feelings of injustice.

The employees’ personal characteristics that make them susceptible to work exhaustion are high personal goals, conscientiousness, lacking stress management skills and neglecting breaks and recovery.

The key to preventing work exhaustion is that you have a suitable workload, clear goals and a possibility to influence your work. It is also important that you hold on to the limits of your coping and leave enough time for daily recovery.

Defend your limitstop-5-eng

  1. Be realistic in terms of your goals. Know your limits and hold on to them.
  2. Abide with working hours. You should detach yourself from work matters on your free time with things that you enjoy doing.
  3. Seize problems and bring up work-related issues with your supervisor.
  4. Ask for help when needed.
  5. Maintain a healthy lifestyle. Eat well and sleep enough.