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Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Fatigue

I cannot recall the word "stress" from my youth. Back then you were just "doing well". Many years ago, everybody was suddenly "busy, busy, busy". Today, everybody is "tired". It's hard to miss as "tired" pops up in nearly every conversation. Both words are connected but in a different way than you would expect. The connection relates to the trinity Body, Mind & Soul.

Back in the 1970s, tiredness was physical and related to daily hard labour (Body). Subsequently, tiredness became mental following too much stress (Mind). Today, there is a new kind of tiredness: existential (Soul). I have heard people say out loud that they are tired of living. Remarkably, it's not only the old people who claim this.

I cannot recall that fatigue was ever a disease. Today it is. Mayo Clinic: "Chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS) is a complicated disorder characterized by extreme fatigue that can't be explained by any underlying medical condition. The fatigue may worsen with physical or mental activity, but doesn't improve with rest. [ ] The cause of chronic fatigue syndrome is unknown, although there are many theories — ranging from viral infections to psychological stress."

In case of bodily fatigue, the 4 dimensions of such issues are well-known: (1) cause, (2) effect, (3) prevention and (4) remedy. The answers are familiar: hard labour (cause) and exhaustion (effect). Adequate sleep was advised for both prevention and remedy. 

Mental fatigue arises from emotional rather than physical stress. Its cause(s) may relate to (a lack of) family, health, kids, relationship, study, sports and/or work. The tiredness is in your mind rather than in your body. A better work/life balance is often advised as prevention. Time will tell that it's about setting priorities in life. No one can have it all (eg, Indra Nooyi video).

Relatively new areas of mental fatigue are information fatigue, "impairment caused by excessive information", and voter fatigue, "public apathy about elections" (Wiki). A "Donald Trump Fatigue" might be considered a combination of both.

Existential fatigue is about a tiredness of the Soul and a lacking willpower to continue living. This final step may be triggered by a burnout and/or depression. I have mentioned "the road to recovery from a burnout or depression" in my blogs of 12 June 2015 and 4 November 2016. The Atlantic: "Exposure to nature has been shown repeatedly to reduce stress and boost well-being." Based on my own experiences, the prevention of a burnout might be an illusion.

Fatigue is not a human-only issue as material fatigue results from "the weakening of a material caused by repeatedly applied loads". Metal fatigue "is a weakening of metal due to stress, resulting in an accumulation of small cracks." Prevention and remedy also seem related to "rest".

“The reason many people in our society are miserable, sick, and highly stressed is because of an unhealthy attachment to things they have no control over.” Quote by Steve Maraboli

Tired (2017) by Alan Walker ft. Gavin James - lyricsvideo, Wiki