Emotional fatigue

I have known for a long time that my primary response to stress is fatigue. I’ve come to recognise the qualitative difference between emotional fatigue and real fatigue. Nonetheless, the last ten days or so have been eye opening to me.

This week I have been teaching a module on the Master of Theology program at Stellenbosch. It is the first time I have taught this module. I am teaching with a very experienced and wise colleague, but still I do need to know what I am doing!

Last week I felt utterly exhausted – the feeling of mentally moving through treacle. I recognised it as emotional fatigue, and I knew that it was associated with my stress over teaching this course. What has surprised me, is that while I have certainly found this week tiring, I am less tired than I was last week!

It makes me realise the tremendous tax of emotional fatigue. It is slightly shocking to me that the fatigue associated with anticipation and uncertainty has been so much greater than the fatigue of actually doing the job! That internally generated stress is actually more taxing the external demand!

It makes me realise the terrible cost of procrastination. In this case the time to deal with the task at hand was fixed, but when it is not fixed I so easily procrastinate and fatigue takes over.

7 thoughts on “Emotional fatigue

  1. Hi Mags
    So true and very empowering when you know what it is that is affecting you. I have said goodbye to a workmate this week after working with her for 9 1/2 years and also a good friend visiting from Australia and am feeling so tired and really drained – I can so identify right now.
    Be kind to yourself Mags!

  2. Oh so true! I am a procrastinator who does get everything done at the last minute, but at huge cost to myself. My stress levels are sky high, my insomnia unbearable. I do deliver the goods, yet the whole process is exhausting. Dealing with my procrastination which often grows out of anxiety would be a big step towards addressing my stress and fatigue levels.

  3. So true Mags! I can totally relate. And yes procrastination can definitely raise these feelings. I’m sure you’re fantastic at what you do so definitely be kind to yourself.

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