15 Signs You Have Mental Exhaustion and How to Feel Better
I was inspired to write this article after experiencing my own recent mental exhaustion episode, it happens to us all at various points but for many it’s a constant. Personally my own weakness is taking on too much and not giving myself enough time to switch off inbetween busy periods, so for the last few weeks I’ve been re-evaluating how I spend my time and made some changes. Mental exhaustion is a different experience for everyone and usually builds over a duration of time. Whether related to a special event, workload, juggling parental duties or seasonal busyness, it all adds to the burden of an endless “to do” list.
Nature is a wonderful teacher for guiding our inner landscape, just as the squirrels prepare for hibernation storing acorns, nuts and berries in autumn, they wind down and conserve their energy to ensure they survive the coming season. All animals and insects naturally prepare for downtime so they’re refreshed and full of vitality when the next season arrives. But do we do the same? Of course any season can be a nose-to-the grind kind of experience and mental exhaustion can creep up on us in any situation. Here I share 15 typical signs to look out for when you feel mentally overwhelmed:
- Feeling emotional for no reason
- Feeling tired or fatigued
- Anger outbursts or rage
- Anxiety or panic attacks
- Over sleeping or not sleeping
- Aching body
- Being consistently unwell
- Stuffing down worries with stimulants
- Overeating, not eating
- Feeling confused, lost or foggy in the brain
- Unusual forgetfulness
- Regular Procrastination/Being easily distracted
- Sacrificing personal time/down time
- Lacking energy to do things you enjoy
- Low libido
The body is programmed to bring us into physical and mental equilibrium on a daily basis and it’ll give out constant signals to help us re-balance, however often these signals are ignored. Many people are so immersed in their duties that they glaze over or deny them. This is when problems start to manifest and come disguised as emotional overwhelm, physical aching, depression and anxiety. The population of people on anti-depressants in the UK is sadly in the millions which certainly begs the question; why this is the case?
Waking up to being responsible for our own health can often come with a bang. Perhaps it comes in a breakdown, the loss of a job, the break up of a relationship or disease/illness in the body. Many things can trigger us to stop and take heed, to connect with our deeper selves so we can hear the signals that change is needed. Often the reason we get the jolt is because we’re not listening!
Below I share some tips on overcoming mental exhaustion so you can apply these in your daily life and avoid the crash and burn.
- Make time for daily inner connection. Stop and ask your body “how are you feeling today?”
- Ask your body what it needs i.e rest, relaxation, more food, vitamins and take action
- Prioritise your needs over others – although this can feel selfish, you are no good to the people around you if you’re not firing on all cylinders.
- Ensure you get a reasonable amount of sleep; 6 – 8 hours is a healthy dose. The nervous system recalibrates and recharges whilst you’re asleep as well as problem solving. The sleep cycle needs to reach all four stages in order to do its job of keeping you healthy and happy.
- Review your diet, what could you have less of or more of?
- Check your vitamins – Vitamin B, Magnesium, Vitamin D are the big 3 for a healthy nervous system. This is even more vital if your vegan or vegetarian.
- Drink plenty of water to allow your body to cleanse out the toxins from your system.
- Review your lifestyle, do you have enough down time? Do you have hobbies or activities you enjoy? When we’re hustling, joyful things can be shoved to the side, so make MORE time to do the things you love.
- Avoid stuffing down your emotions with stimulants. Emotions are moving energy and need to be released. Stuffing down emotion will have a negative impact on your health long-term.
- Talk it out – either with someone you trust or write out your feelings in a letter or a journal. It’s important to speak your truth and express yourself, even if privately with a pen and paper.
- Keep social media surfing to the minimum. The plethora of information streaming into the brain all at once is enough to fuzzy the mind even on a good day. Also the information you read could be having a negative effect on your mood as it’s easy to be triggered when you read negative content. You cannot carry the burdens of the world, just your own is enough!
- Take regular breaks between duties and make time to switch off.
Hopefully these tips have been useful and you can make some changes straight away, perhaps you know someone who may benefit from reading this so feel free to share. If you’d like any further support feel free to connect with me by filling out the form below or book a free 30 minute consultation here.
“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better.” ~ Albert Einstein