Mental exhaustion isn’t just about stress. Because it can affect physical wellbeing, mental stress can cause feelings of physical exhaustion .
What are the symptoms of mental exhaustion?
- Low emotional resilience
- Feeling stressed or anxious
- Cynicism or pessimism, feeling like nothing is going right
- Apathy (a feeling of not caring)
- Difficulty concentrating
- Feelings of helplessness
- Physical exhaustion or fatigue
- Sleep problems (sleeping too much or too little)
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Low motivation
- Feeling distracted or on edge
- Difficulty with memory
- Drastic weight gain/loss
- Changes in appetite
- Depression/depressive symptoms
- Suicidal ideation
If you answered yes to more than 6 items on our checklist and if you’ve been noticing ANY of the symptoms for a prolonged period, it is possible that you’re feeling mental strain. To help eliminate some of the mental exhaustion you’re feeling, here are a few tips from our wellbeing expert, Craig:
Reduce the stressors in your life
If you’re overwhelmed with your tasks at work, consider asking for help or delegating to others, if possible.
Write it down
Writing can be extremely therapeutic and keeping a journal during stressful times can help alleviate feelings of stress and overwhelm. People who record gratitude exercises may have a higher sense of wellbeing, fewer symptoms of physical illness and reduced stress. In fact, we may feel more satisfied in our relationships if we keep journals.
There are many ways you can incorporate exercise into your daily activities, such as taking an extra walk up and down the stairs, waking up early to go for a walk/run or even signing up to an online exercise class.
Feeling rested from sufficient sleep is essential for your optimum mental wellbeing. Developing a bedtime routine and sticking to it – the same routine at the same time very day – can be particularly helpful if sleep has become very disordered or if you are feeling overtired. Make a point of switching off all digital devices at least an hour before you begin your routine and consider introducing a new activity to your evening wind-down time, such as reading, a craft activity or puzzle.
Book time with a doctor and/or therapist.
Mental exhaustion can be incredibly difficult to cope with. But seeking medical treatment will enable a swifter recovery but you may also want to rule out a physical cause of extreme tiredness. A wellbeing mentor can provide you with the tools you need to cope with stressors that crop up in your daily life and a doctor can talk to you about your symptoms and medications that may be helpful, especially if you’re feeling extreme emotions.
Seeking medical assistance for mental exhaustion is common. And many therapists work alongside patients to help develop healthy coping mechanisms. It’s also common for doctors to assist with treatments such as antidepressants or anti-anxiety medications where they are needed. If you are feeling exhausted mentally and if you are feeling more anxious or your mood is persistently low, please seek medical advice. This blog’s purpose is a discussion point and is no substitute for treatment that will help you better manage your feelings of exhaustion or overwhelm.
Craig is open to Discovery Calls if you’d like to know more about the work Business Mental Wellbeing does to help people-focussed organisations better support their staff. Book your time here.