Do you ever feel drained out of all your energy? Do you feel exhausted and unable to get your tasks done? There are chances that you are experiencing mental fatigue. Mental exhaustion is a common phenomenon. A Deloitte survey revealed that nearly 77% of employees experience burnout in their current employment. Furthermore, 83% of the respondents said that burnout affected their relationships.
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Feeling stress and a little fatigue from time to time is common. However, when your experience unmanageable levels of stress and fatigue chronically, it could lead to mental exhaustion and burnout.
Keep reading to find out what you can do to help the situation and deal with mental exhaustion.
Defining Mental Fatigue
So what does it mean exactly, the term mental fatigue? To put it simply, it is similar to physical tiredness but instead of your body muscles, it is your brain muscles that are exhausted. It is a state of extreme tiredness where you feel irritable, cynical, and aloof.
Mental exhaustion can occur if an individual has undergone extreme levels of stress and can result in loss of focus, lack of interest in activities, apathy, and detachment.
Symptoms of Mental Exhaustion
People often find it difficult to distinguish between stress and mental exhaustion. The two can have overlapping symptoms, which can lead to confusion. It is best to reach out to a mental health professional if you feel mentally exhausted to know for sure. However, here are the most common symptoms of mental exhaustion you can look out for.
- Lack of sleep
- Physical tiredness
- Variety of health problems (frequent headaches, muscle aches, digestive issues, etc.)
- Eating disorders (eating excessively or eating very less)
- A sense of lost purpose in life
- Irritability and apathy
- Cynicism and extreme self-doubt
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Coping Mechanisms for Mental Exhaustion
Here are some tried and tested ways of dealing with mental exhaustion
Devising a Self-Care Plan
A Self-care plan simply entails adding a few activities to your routine, which are aimed at enhancing your physical and mental well-being. Many of us are stuck in a nine-to-five rut, which leaves us very little time to work towards improving our mental health.
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However, by devising a careful self-care plan, you can sneak in a few activities in your routine that can help you deal with the stress and exhaustion you are experiencing. These do not have to be elaborate, grand gestures that require a ton of planning or investment.
Your self-care plan could simply involve a walk in the park or going out for fresh air. The idea is just to consciously include activities that help you feel better.
People at times do not go to therapy or seek help from a mental health professional because they do not have the time or the investment. Well, you no longer have to go to a therapist or spend hefty amounts on therapy. Several online platforms offer inexpensive therapy options to those who cannot afford them. These platforms have certified mental health practitioners that you can get help from the comfort of your home. Betterhelp, Talkspace, and Cerebral are a few examples.
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Working On Your Sleep Schedule
If you have a messed-up sleep schedule, it could add to your mental exhaustion. Sleep is crucial for your physical and mental well-being. People skip sleep to get work done or complete school assignments, but this could turn into a habit and lead to you feeling fatigued. Remember, you can only perform your best in your work or academic institute if you are healthy.
If you have trouble sleeping, try meditation, exercise, and a well-balanced diet. Several apps on the market can help your track your sleep cycle and provide guided meditation routines to help with your sleep. Muse, Headspace, and Sleep Cycle are a few examples.
Taking Time Off
There is nothing wrong with taking some time off work to help focus on your mental health. If you feel swamped and unable to focus, the time off can help your rewind and re-shift your focus. You will come back feeling healthier and ready to take on your responsibilities.
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The Bottom Line
Mental fatigue and exhaustion often go unnoticed or ignored. People do not consider it a big enough problem to take action. This could lead to burnout. Follow the tips we mentioned to deal with mental health in a better way. These tips can help you keep mental exhaustion at bay and improve the quality of your life.