Mental exhaustion can happen to anyone who experiences long-term stress. It can make you feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained, and make your responsibilities and problems seem impossible to overcome. In this article we provide tips to help you combat stress and mental exhaustion.
What exactly is stress and how does it differ or link with mental exhaustion?
According to the Medical encyclopedia Stress is a feeling of emotional or physical tension. It can come from any event or thought that makes you feel frustrated, angry, or nervous. Stress is a normal human reaction that happens to everyone which the human body is designed to experience and react to. However, prolonged stress can be very detrimental to your health. This article provides tips to help you combat stress and mental exhaustion.
Exhibiting two or more of the following signs and symptoms, may be a sign that you need a break to avoid breaking down physically or mentally. They include;
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Frequent aches and pains
- Lack of energy or focus
- Sexual problems
- Stiff jaw or neck
- Trouble sleeping or sleeping too much
- Upset stomach
- Use of alcohol or drugs to relax
- Weight loss or gain
Signs of mental exhaustion vary from person to person and can be categorized into emotional, physical and behavioral signs. Common signs include;
cynicism or pessimism
apathy (feeling of not caring)
feelings of hopelessness
feeling of dread
lack of motivation
decline in productivity
changes in appetite
weight gain or weight loss
increased illness, such as colds and flu
poor performance at work
social withdrawal or isolation
inability to keep personal or work commitments
calling in sick to work or school more often
What are the common causes of stress and mental exhaustion
As earlier stated, stress is a normal human body reaction which everyone experiences in response to internal and external situations. Common causes of stress and mental exhaustion include:
- high-pressure occupations, such as emergency responders and teachers
- working long hours
- financial stress and poverty
- job dissatisfaction
- being a caregiver for an ill or aging loved one
- living with a chronic illness
- death of a loved one
- having a baby
- poor work-life balance
- lack of social support
How to deal with Stress and Mental exhaustion.
Now that you know the signs and symptoms of stress and mental exhaustion and the common causes. It is imperative you are equipped with knowledge to help you combat or preferably avoid being stressed. A number of daily strategies can help you prevent stress. These include;
- Exercise when you feel symptoms of stress coming on. Even a short walk can boost your mood.
- At the end of each day, take a moment to think about what you’ve accomplished — not what you didn’t get done.
- Set goals for your day, week and month. Narrowing your view will help you feel more in control of the moment and long-term tasks.
- Consider talking to a therapist or a member of the clergy about your worries.
- Try relaxation activities, such as meditation, yoga, tai chi, breathing exercises and muscle relaxation. Programs are available online, in smartphone apps, and at many gyms and community centers.
- Take good care of your body each day. Eating right, exercising and getting enough sleep help your body handle stress much better.
- Stay positive and practice gratitude, acknowledging the good parts of your day or life.
- Accept that you can’t control everything. Find ways to let go of worry about situations you cannot change.
- Learn to say “no” to additional responsibilities when you are too busy or stressed.
- Stay connected with people who keep you calm, make you happy, provide emotional support and help you with practical things. A friend, family member, neighbor or member of your church can become a good listener or share responsibilities so that stress doesn’t become overwhelming.
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Stress is something everyone experiences from time to time. It’s our body’s natural response to positive and negative situations that are new, exciting, or scary. On the other hand, Mental exhaustion is usually the result of long-term stress.
It may not always be possible to eliminate the source of your stress. However, if you are overwhelmed by your responsibilities at home or work, consider asking for help with tasks or delegating some of your responsibilities to others.