Are there days you just can’t get up from bed no matter how hard you try or do you spend your day at work staring at the clock waiting to clock out? If you are feeling fatigued, irritable, angry, have zero motivation, can’t eat, or are isolating yourself, then you may be suffering from mental exhaustion.
This post looks at mental exhaustion in detail – what it is, what are the tell-tale signs and when to seek help. I also have a FREE downloadable journal prompts for mental health that you can download down below.
Here are more posts you might want to read,too:
- How To Be The Most Confident Person in The World.
- How To Build The Best Self Care Routine That Sticks.
- 13 Self Care Night Routine Things To Do Before Bed.
- 7 Healthy Self Care Habits To Do Every Morning.
- 11 Things You Should Never Apologize For
- How To Journal For mental Health.
- 13 Benefits of Journaling Daily.
- How To Mange Stress In Ten Easy Steps
- Meditation Guide For Beginners.
What is mental exhaustion?
Mental exhaustion refers to a feeling of extreme fatigue, where your brain is overwhelmed and drained. It is often a result of long-term stress or prolonged periods of work or study without getting adequate rest. It could also be as a result of a very demanding lifestyle for instance, being a mom, working a 9 to 5 and studying for your degree.
The brain is a muscle. And like other muscles it needs rest. When you overwork your brain and don’t get enough rest or relieve it from stressors then you end up getting mentally exhausted. It is a result of overuse of the brain.
Mental exhaustion should not be confused with emotional or physical exhaustion. Physical exhaustion is extreme, persistent tiredness, where the body lacks energy. Emotional exhaustion, on the other hand, is a state of feeling worn out as a result of grief, anxiety or dealing with emotionally draining situations.
It is important to note that mental fatigue may cause physical health. You may notice headaches, changes in your appetite, and sleep issues such as insomnia.
What are the signs that you have mental exhaustion?
So how do you identify mental fatigue? You may notice mental, physical, emotional and behavioral changes. Below are signs you may notice when you are mentally drained:
1. You get irritated easily
Mental exhaustion tends to put someone in a bad mood. You might find yourself snapping at people easily from what they say or do. It’s harder to control your emotions when you are mentally exhausted. Its like so many things are happening around you that you seem to have out of control of.
With the changing sleeping patterns, decreased productivity and efficiency and constant fatigue you become easily irritated. You often get bothered or angered by things you would normally not mind. For example, loud chewing or loud music during a family gathering. Basically, everyone and everything seems to irritate you.
2. You are experiencing insomnia
You find it hard to fall asleep because your body is exhausted. Its like the moment that you get into bed a million thoughts start racing through your mind. You start remembering how stressful your workplace is because of your colleague or what you need to buy but you don’t have money for.
This is one of the most common signs of brain fatigue. When your mind is exhausted, you have trouble falling asleep or lack sleep completely. Being under constant pressure and stress makes it difficult to get a good night’s sleep.
The effect of these changes in sleep patterns is reduced productivity and efficiency.
3. You have a feeling of hopelessness
Sometimes, you feel so overwhelmed with everything that is going on in your life that everything seems hopeless. You start focusing your mind to all the things that are not working out and negative.
With mental fatigue, you often feel hopeless. Your thoughts are hopeless and your feelings are hopeless. You don’t look forward to work or school or meeting with family or friends. You keep telling yourself that nothing you do is going to be successful and that things won’t get better.
Such feelings should ring an alarm that something is wrong.
4. You experience anxiety
It seems that there’s always something to be worried about. The anxiety from your job, relationship keeps you wide awake or night or your heart racing all the time just from thinking about it.
Anxiety is described as an intense, excessive and persistent worry and fear about everyday situations. It is another common symptom of mental exhaustion. Anxiety develops since extended mental fatigue triggers the sympathetic nervous system responsible for the flight or fight mode. The result is a constant state or worry or panic.
This causes you to be in a constant state of panic or worry about the future.Anxiety is a strong indicator that something is a miss.
5. Your relationships have began to suffer
With the anxiety, irritability and negative feelings, you start drawing away from your friends and family. You find it difficult to stay around people, so you keep to yourself more, and spend less and less time with your loved ones. Naturally, this puts a strain on your relationships – be it platonic, romantic or family relationships.
6. Sometimes you cry for no reason
Crying can express sadness, pain, anger or even happiness.
When you are experiencing mental fatigue, you may find yourself crying for no reason or at the slightest inconvenience. For instance, if someone shouted at you then you would keep calm. But with mental burnout you may find yourself bursting into tears in a situation like this
7. You have no motivation to do the things that you used to love
Exhaustion is infamous for stealing away your motivation. It leaves you unable to do work, study, dance or do the things you love to do. If you are a violinist, for instance, you may not feel like even holding up a violin, let alone play it.
This lack of motivation leaves you unproductive, disinterested and hopeless, unable to manage the simplest of tasks.
8. You are experiencing health problems
Mental fatigue may affect your physical health. The relationship between mental fatigue and your physical health is not yet clearly understood.
You may notice physical signs such as:
- Persistent physical fatigue
- Headaches and body aches
- Changes in appetite and weight
- Stomach or digestive issues
- Frequent colds or flu
- Sleep issues such as insomnia, sleeping too much
9. You are exhausted all the time
Chronic fatigue is another indication of mental burnout. This type of fatigue doesn’t go away even with rest. With such exhaustion, you go from a high energy individual to mostly wanting to stay in your bed with fatigue that just doesn’t go away.
10. You are detached from the reality
Detachment is a common indication of mental fatigue. It often begins as losing interest in work or studying and progresses until you find nothing exciting. Eventually, you become detached from reality, avoid people as much as you can and find that you prefer to sit alone with your thoughts.
Mental exhaustion is a result of poor self-care. When you are dealing with a lot of stress, an overwhelming job, family issues or any other commitments you may have, you need to take care of yourself. This way you can avoid a mental burnout.
Ensure you get enough rest – sleep for at least 7 to 9 hours every night. Eat whole, nutritious meals and drink lots of water. Also, exercise for at least 30 minutes daily, get some sunlight and try some yoga if you are open to try it.
Try relaxation techniques such as meditation, deep breathing or art and music therapy. And if you feel too overwhelmed and no intervention you try seems to help with the exhaustion, talk to a professional. I also have a FREE downloadable journal prompts for mental health that you can download down below.
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