Have you ever had one of those days where you just can’t muster the strength to get up and begin your day? Have you ever felt like getting out of bed in the morning might just be the most challenging thing you’ve ever had to do? Ever felt this crushing exhaustion take over you for days on end, not only making you lose focus but also making you lose interest in your daily activities? If you have experienced these behaviors then you are suffering from chronic mental fatigue and this article is written for YOU!
This article will address:
- What is Mental Fatigue (or Mental Exhaustion)
- How to identify the warning signs of Mental Fatigue
- And, tips to overcome and prevent mental fatigue
So read on…….
What is Mental Fatigue or Exhaustion?
Mental fatigue or mental exhaustion occurs when your brain goes into overdrive after being exposed to stress and anxiety for a prolonged period of time. As a result, a person may feel physically and mentally tired, lethargic and unproductive. It is more common in people working in stressful environments and is increasingly being reported among teenagers and students. Luckily, mental exhaustion is usually not harmful and can be easily identified, prevented and treated.
Warning Signs of Mental Fatigue or Exhaustion
Mental exhaustion may come on suddenly, and It occurs when you feel overwhelmed, emotionally drained, and unable to meet constant demands of your day to day life. According to the National Security Council, NSC, fatigue impacts most Americans and can lead to disaster all too often. However, you can easily prevent it if you’re aware of the symptoms of burnout so you can identify them and prepare for it beforehand.
Here are the 7 signs of mental fatigue exhaustion to look out for!
- You Feel Detached
A feeling of detachment, apathy and indifference is a common indication that you may be mentally fatigued. Mental exhaustion, or as some people like to call it, ‘burnout’, usually causes people to lose interest in things they normally enjoy doing. It may begin gradually as you begin losing interest in work, slowly progressing until nothing excites you anymore. As a result you may begin feeling detached from reality leading to frustration and helplessness.
- You Feel a Headache Coming
It is commonly believed that mental exhaustion is something that only affects the mind. However, that is not entirely correct. Signs of mental fatigue are not just limited to emotional and mental changes and disturbances. Physical and behavioral symptoms usually accompany emotional changes as well, hence, random body and muscle aches are the most common indication of mental fatigue. If you feel an onset of a headache coming, in addition to other signs of burnout, there is a good chance you may be suffering from mental exhaustion.
- You Feel Unmotivated
Mental exhaustion is notorious for sucking the motivation out of you, leaving you tired and dispassionate; unable to work, study or do things that you normally do. For instance, someone who loves to paint may not feel motivated to paint anymore. And, even if they do force themselves to do so, they may find that they’re having a hard time concentrating. Lack of motivation isn’t just feeling detached and unconcerned. It goes beyond feelings of disinterest as your motivation takes a nosedive, leaving you unproductive and hopeless.
- You Have Trouble Sleeping
Insomnia is among the major signs of mental fatigue. It is a common sleep disorder that affects your ability to go to sleep, stay asleep or affects the quality of sleep you get each night. Such changes in sleep patterns can result in restlessness throughout the day which can greatly affect productivity and efficiency. Luckily, there are numerous self-care tips and remedies that can help you improve the quality of your sleep.
- You Feel Overwhelmed
When you’re tired and aren’t feeling your hundred percent mentally, the littlest of things tend to overwhelm you. When insomnia doesn't allow you to rest, your body aches and your interest is lost, it becomes difficult to focus. As a result, you find yourself mentally drained and overcome with exhaustion, as everything seems like an overwhelmingly massive task.
- You Are Irritable
As you feel unproductive and lethargic along with the body aches and sleepless nights, you’ll want to stay away from people. You might notice that you’re pushing your social life away and you’re turning into an isolated person who doesn’t seem to want to talk to anyone. No matter if you’re at work or in a social setting with family or friends, it’s as if everything and everyone exists solely to irritate you.
- You Feel Stressed and Anxious
Although mental exhaustion is not the same thing as stress, chronic exposure to stress can exhaust the body. Increased stress and anxiety is one of the most common signs of mental fatigue. High levels of anxiety over a long period of time can cause serious issues as well, for example, you’ll be more likely to experience panic attacks and suffer from diarrhea, nausea, jitters and nervousness.
How to Overcome and Prevent Mental Fatigue
Mental exhaustion can happen to anyone when stress accumulates overtime with no outlet to let the steam out. It drains you emotionally, rendering you unable to perform even simple tasks without feeling overwhelmed. But, it can be easily prevented and treated. Here are some tips on how to overcome mental exhaustion:
Most of us tend to be indifferent towards our personal well-being, especially when it's our mental wellbeing at stake. Many people consider self-care to be a nuisance wedged into their hectic schedules. That’s where we go wrong. Self-care is not selfish and incorporating self-care practices into our daily routine is crucial for a healthy mind.
The best part about it? It’s easy and not definitely not rocket science. It can be anything from eating healthy and mindfully to expressing gratitude, exercising and even reading a book!
Take frequent breaks
Have realistic expectations of yourself and do not push yourself to overachieve. Remind yourself that you’re human who can only do so much. Take frequent breaks — instead of pushing yourself to the edge of being burnout — take time out of your busy schedule to rejuvenate your mind so you can stay fresh and on top of your routine.
Learn To Meditate
Meditation is incredibly underrated. It can help you stay fresh, focused and motivated along with helping you de-stress. Even 15-30 minutes of meditation can do wonders for your mental health and help you prevent and overcome mental fatigue.
New to meditation? Don’t know where to start? Try guided meditation programs! Guided meditation makes it easier to get started, helping to relax your mind and you don’t need to worry about finding a technique, your meditation teacher will guide you through the entire process.
Try CBT Exercises
According to experts, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT) can aid in reducing symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome. CBT is as good and as effective as other psychological therapies. It helps solve problems by modifying the way one thinks and behaves.
You can easily find various CBT exercises and courses at Mooditude. Just download the mental health app for FREE to get access to a number of features including guided meditations, CBT activities, journaling, mood tracking and more!
Even though mental fatigue can be a pain, it’s usually benign and definitely not life-threatening. Once you’re aware of the warning signs of mental fatigue, you’ll know where to strike to overcome it. And, of course, never hesitate to seek professional help if the symptoms persist for a long time.