Everyone likes to feel that their day is spent productively and that they are able to maintain their motivation throughout most of the workday. Time passes quickly, our mood is better, and even routine tasks can bring us joy. However, by the end of winter, our resources can become depleted. At this time, we may notice several symptoms in ourselves that go beyond the usual winter-spring fatigue.
It's like we have become a bit rusty.
In the mornings it's increasingly difficult to get up, and sometimes we even have lunch in our pajamas during a day spent working from home. If we have to go to the office, getting ready in the morning is a slow and painful process. We do our tasks out of routine, feeling listless and exhausted even if we slept well the night before. There can be several reasons for this feeling, but they are often unclear even to ourselves. We attribute it to spring fatigue, lack of light, or too much work. But it's worth finding out the exact cause of why we don't feel like doing anything, why we just wander around during our free time, and why we always feel tired.
Stress is part of our lives and cannot be avoided. Chronic fatigue is often caused by prolonged stress. Stress itself is a natural phenomenon, according to the WHO definition it is a change in the body that causes physical, emotional or psychological strain. In this form it can even be beneficial. The problem arises when a negative stress source is present in our lives for a long time. Because long-term stress has a slow and insidious effect. Not to mention that we can get used to a long-term stressful situation. This can come from work expectations, communication difficulties or misunderstandings with colleagues, which can be difficult to resolve if we only communicate virtually. Our reactions to stressful situations greatly determine our general mood, so if we find it difficult to cope with long-term stress, it may be worth seeking help in addition to identifying the causes.
More than apathy
The spring fatigue, although it affects many people, is a natural but temporary phenomenon - as the spring months progress, it quickly becomes a 'healing' state. However, there may be a longer-lasting depression, lethargy, when we cannot really identify the cause - but we feel that something is wrong. If this state only lasts a few days, it may be the result of a deadline task or a more difficult period and it is not worth giving it too much significance. However, if we feel for a longer period of time that something is wrong and we cannot name any special cause, it is worth following the symptoms.
Neither depression nor burnout: anguish
In 2021, during the Covid pandemic, the so-called languishing phenomenon became widely known, which literally means suffering. It is not easy to describe it accurately, as it is not a mental illness. Its most characteristic symptom may be a prolonged feeling of emptiness, apathy, as if we were just wandering in our own lives. At such times, we cannot name any particular triggering factor or stressor that would cause this dullness and apathy. Yet, as if there were a 'gray cloud' constantly present in our lives, as if we had to mobilize more energy than before for everything. Nevertheless, we still manage to do our daily tasks, just without enthusiasm, in autopilot mode. Languishing, or suffering, can best be described as a lack of mental well-being. The general apathy can have a negative effect on our family life as well as on our work. It may happen that we are less able to concentrate or we forget important things or meetings. The symptoms are similar to depression, but much milder. However, they are enough to make it difficult for us to cope with everyday life and to react worse to a work challenge than before. In short, we can get into a negative spiral that can lead to burnout and depression if it persists.
What can we do?
As a first step, it can help a lot if we start consciously taking care of our physical and mental health. We start exercising, get out more and spend more time doing activities that recharge us. However, if the fatigue and apathy does not go away, it is possible that deeper causes are hidden in the background. In this case, it is worth asking for the help of a professional, as even a few psychotherapy sessions can help us manage stress better and recognize that even in a more difficult life situation, we can do a lot for ourselves.