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The library of essays of Proakatemia

Chronic Illness Burnout + Proakatemia

Kirjoittanut: Meri Murtonen - tiimistä Kaaos.

Esseen tyyppi: Yksilöessee / 2 esseepistettä.

Uuvuksissa-Kirja sinulle joka tahdot voimasi takaisin
Liisa Uusitalo-Arola
Esseen arvioitu lukuaika on 4 minuuttia.

Your own well-being is something not to lose for a job. You can always find better places to work but not able to find new well-being, you have only one and make sure to cherish that. Also, how Proakatemia supports people with different kinds of chronical health issues or an illness that affects everyday life, in which case you are basically only partially able to work.

Attacks slowly

“Burnout” typically refers to a state of chronic physical and emotional exhaustion, often accompanied by feelings of cynicism and detachment from work or other responsibilities. It can affect various aspects of a person’s life, including their job, studies, or personal relationships. It is a gradually developing tangle of disturbances in the mind, body, and functioning, the symptoms of which become more apparent the further it progresses. (Uusitalo-Arola 2019.)

Burnout can result from various factors, such as a demanding work environment, lack of support, prolonged stress caused by overload and conflicts, or a mismatch between personal values and the demands of the job. It’s important to address burnout early to prevent more severe consequences, such as chronic health issues or a complete breakdown. (Uusitalo-Arola 2019.) Feels like burnout and exhaustion attacks you quickly, at the time when you least want it. When you start thinking what has happened during the past months, when was the last time you keep totally free day from work and have you felt happy or just trying to get things done, you may realize the reasons behind your current feelings.

Signs of starting exhaustion. The same signs can warn of exceeding resources during the recovery phase and even afterwards.

  • Fatigue that doesn’t seem to get better with rest. The weekend is not enough to recover from the work week.
  • Fatigue is not related to load peaks but continues after the situation eases.
  • Negative emotions are accentuated.
  • Working feels like performance, the joy of working disappears.
  • The ability to enjoy things disappears.
  • You get less done, it becomes more difficult to start, as well as to finish the work.
  • You can’t concentrate and creativity disappears. (Uusitalo-Arola 2019.)

Even though you really want to do something somehow you cannot get your body into it. That feeling is devastating especially when no one understands what you are going through, it’s not like a headache that is similar with many people. Everyone experiences burnout differently and mostly it’s hard to put those feelings into words to explain others who hasn’t experienced anything like that. It’s crucial to recognize the signs of burnout early and take proactive steps to mitigate its effects on both mental and physical health. Still too often we don’t notice or don’t want to sign the symptoms and we continue in the same way until it’s too late or a loved one notices a change in you. Once you’ve gone through exhaustion or burn out it is easier to address the symptoms and make the correction moves.

Preventing burnout often involves creating a healthy work-life balance, managing stress, and addressing underlying issues contributing to the burnout. Employers can also play a role by promoting a positive work environment, encouraging open communication, and providing resources for employee well-being. (Uusitalo-Arola 2019.)

Chronic illness burnout

Living with chronic illnesses often involves periods of burnout, marked by exhaustion and a diminished ability to cope, according to experts. Managing a chronic illness can feel like a full-time job, with the responsibilities of handling appointments, manage under medication, and dealing with financial stressors, all while balancing daily life and contending with physical discomfort. While chronic illness burnout isn’t formally recognized as a diagnosis, it can lead to tangible issues, such as procrastinating on seeking necessary medical care. (Vita 2022.) Several chronic diseases are not even always visible on the outside. I’m talking about migraines for myself and even though it’s not visible to others, it’s extremely limiting and stressful. Migraines and burnout can be interconnected, as stress and burnout can act as triggers for migraine attacks and, conversely, frequent migraines can contribute to the development of burnout.

Chronic illness burnout is essentially a stress response to the overwhelming demands of managing various aspects of life with a persistent health condition. When individuals perceive everything as a disadvantage, burnout becomes a risk. The key to building resilience and countering burnout lies in finding something that sparks passion and purpose amid the challenges of living with a chronic illness. This sense of purpose can serve as an antidote, offering a source of motivation and helping individuals navigate the complex landscape of chronic illness management. (Vita 2022.)


Challenges at Proakatemia

“You get as much as you sign up for at Proakatemia” is said a lot. And that’s true but also the system requires a lot of different kinds of mandatory tasks such as pajas 8h a week (if you miss two, you must ristipölyttää: make up the missing hours), projects 810 hours in less than 3 years, 20 essay points per semester when 1-point equals about 9 hours of work depending how fast you do the essay. Without mentioning all the company requirements and meetings plus all the extra if you want to participate or do something else with your studies.

Proakatemia is compared to be a workplace without collective agreements. That’s the core of the problem: having chronic health issues (I’m speaking about migraine from my behalf, but others might have something else) you should be able to get sick day when not able to work. Normally you leave the work undone in that part/cross it off from your to do list and continue with other things the next day. For us those tasks just get postponed until you return, or you’ll do it even though you shouldn’t work but rest. The “squirrel’s wheel” is ready and there seems to be no end in sight.

How is this taken care of? It is a learning opportunity for you to bring it up at your team and find a way as a company how to deal with it. Should a student be leader, HR, occupational health, and entrepreneur at the same time while doing her studies. Too many things to take care of in an already mentally and physically difficult situation. It is kind of part of the study program that coaches don’t give you answers but, in some situations, it really feels like you are left alone.


Uusitalo-Arola, L. 2019. Uuvuksissa: Kirja sinulle, joka tahdot voimasi takaisin. Jyväskylä: Tuuma.

Vita. 2022. 5 ways to manage burnout. Web article at CSL.com. Referred to 3.12.2023.


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