Recovery becomes more difficult the greater the need for it
Various studies have shown that sufficient recovery during and after work is important to prevent health problems. Exposure to stressors at work can be associated with low levels of well-being and health.
Recovery, in combination with (psychological) distance from the negative sides of work, exercise and good sleep, on the other hand, go hand in hand with well-being and health (Sonnentag, 2018).
Logically, those who are most under pressure would benefit most from actions aimed at recovery. But unfortunately, one of the interesting findings of recent research is that recovery is more difficult the more the need is. This finding is known as the 'recovery paradox' (Sonnentag, 2018).
As mentioned in the intro, the more stressful an experience or situation is, the more difficult it becomes to not think about it, to relax, or to do something else. Worrying keeps us physiologically in a heightened state of readiness, without the need for an acute stressor to be present. This prevents the body and mind from recovering efficiently.
These findings are in line with the research of (Van Laethem et al., 2016), in which employees with chronically high job demands experienced more sleep disturbances and more work-related worrying than employees with moderate or low job demands.