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Learn the signs of mental exhaustion and how to fight through it.
Life can sling many arrows at us, and sometimes it does so all at once. With each problem or setback we may feel stress, worry, and emotional pain. Over time, as these problems or stressors compound, we might find our selves spent. This is called mental exhaustion.
When our reserves are empty and there is no more ability to deal with hardship we become distressed. This can lead to other problems, such as over-eating, substance use, or social withdrawal. Finding healthy ways to overcome mental exhaustion is key.
What is Mental Exhaustion?
During the COVID-19 era many of us have discovered mental exhaustion. We have born the brunt of daily stress and worry like never before. People have become tired and weary from all the chaos caused by the virus.
As well, over half a million families in the US are grieving loss of a loved one to Covid. It is easy to see how fear and worry add up and cause us to feel so distressed.
Mental exhaustion refers to a mental state that involves feeling overwhelmed by feelings and stress. This can happen when a series of hardships occur one right after the other, or with chronic or long-term stress. At some point, it is hard to manage the feelings and you become fatigued. Sometimes mental exhaustion is used the same way as the terms “burnout” or “emotional exhaustion.”
Signs of Mental Exhaustion
Because the reasons that lead to mental exhaustion will vary, the signs and symptoms will also vary. While some people just become listless and tired from the emotional overload, others may feel angry and hostile.
Here are some classic signs of mental exhaustion (or burnout):
- Loss of interest.
- Getting easily fatigued.
- Lack of patience.
- Feeling unworthy.
- Feeling anxious.
- Mood swings.
- Feeling depressed.
- Being less productive.
- Sleep problems.
- Trouble concentrating.
- Body aches
- Upset stomach.
- Weight changes.
- Social withdrawal.
- Being unable to keep commitments.
When the signs of mental exhaustion are present it is time to reach out to a mental health expert for guidance. Mental exhaustion is highly treatable. Delaying treatment can make the problem much worse later.
6 Ways to Cope Better
If you are showing signs of burnout, it is a good time to try some new coping techniques. These can help relieve the stress and help you feel better:
- Rest your mind. In our culture we are over stimulated. We rarely have a chance to allow our minds to just be quiet. This can take a toll on us, especially when we allow the news to get us worked up and angry. Take a break from social media and the news each day and let your mind relax.
- Learn to relax. Learning to relax will also involve certain actions that relieve stress. These skills should become part of your routine, so you can access the tools as needed during the day. These might include mindfulness, yoga, deep breathing techniques, massage, reading, or soft music.
- Get some exercise. An easy way to de-stress is by being active on a daily basis. Exercise is our friend. By being active we allow our body to produce hormones that will help reduce stress, improve our sleep, and boost our mood.
- Remove stressors. This one seems plain as day, but is harder than you think. If you can, try to remove the things from your life that are causing the stress. Not always possible, though. Try to figure out what or who is causing the stress and begin to find ways to avoid these stressors.
- Get organized. Much of our stress has to do with being out of control. We feel overwhelmed by our daily tasks. Take control by starting each day with a plan. Write down a list of tasks to be done, and then tick them off one by one. This gives you a feeling that you are able to manage your life.
- Seek out help. When these tips do not relieve the anxiety, it is time to reach out for expert treatment. There are retreats that provide a program that is focused purely on helping clients relax and chill out. They offer therapy as well as a mix of holistic activities to help you.
Treatment for Anxiety
Anxiety is a very common mental health complaint. In fact, about 20% of U.S. adults struggle with an anxiety disorder. The COVID-19 crisis has only increased levels of stress for all of us. But there is help out there for people who are feeling the signs of mental exhaustion.
Anxiety treatment involves three basic parts: Therapy, meds, and learning how to relax:
Psychotherapy. Therapy consists of talking with a mental health expert about what is troubling you. This can be in a one-on-one session, or therapy can also be in a group format.
During the sessions you will be asked to think about the sources of your stress. This may involve a deep dive into relationships, work, family issues, money problems, or trauma. Once the therapist has some basic knowledge of your issues they will select the types of therapy that will work.
Drugs. Sometimes a client will get better with the aid of medication. The type of drug prescribed will depend on the unique features of your diagnosis.
Holistic Mental Wellness. As noted above, there are certain actions to add to your routine that will help you relax. These will be added to your treatment plan.
If you are feeling the effects of too much stress, you may have mental exhaustion or burnout. Don’t suffer in silence; get the help you deserve.
Mental Health Hope Provide Guidance for Mental Exhaustion
Mental Health Hope is an online mental health resource that provides free and confidential phone assessments. The team at Mental Health Hope will then provide you with some treatment options and guidance. If you are dealing with mental exhaustion and are in need of expert help, give us a call today at (877) 967-9274.