Are you in a state where you have no more energy to do the things you love? For instance, you loved taking your dog for a walk. You always looked forward to it. But now, you do not have the mental capacity to do it. If you dread the things you once enjoyed, you could be having emotional exhaustion.
What Is Emotional Exhaustion?
When you feel mentally drained or worn out due to accumulated stress in your life, it could be said you are facing emotional exhaustion. You feel like you cannot take it anymore in this state, but you still have to keep pushing.
Sometimes, people think it is just a simple state of being in a rut. However, dismissing emotional exhaustion can be dangerous as it will develop into serious mental and sometimes physical illnesses.
Let’s dive deeper into emotional exhaustion.
Signs and Symptoms
First, you must understand that the signs can be either physical, mental, or both. Below are the common signs and symptoms to watch out for:
- Problems falling asleep
- Lack of motivation, especially in doing things you enjoyed before
- Lack of concentration or absentmindedness
- Appetite change
- Lack of enthusiasm even for the little things around you
- Irrational anger
- Increased pessimism.
What Causes Emotional Exhaustion?
Before trying to cure emotional exhaustion, you sure want to know what caused it. First, you have to lessen or eliminate the stressor to get a better solution. If you get on a healing journey without understanding the cause of your emotional exhaustion, you will sooner or later get back to square one.
For starters, emotional exhaustion is caused by extended periods of stress. These can be work, personal, or family stress. It’s, however, different from the daily yet short-lived stress you experience.
Remember that stress triggers vary from one person to another. This is why what causes emotional exhaustion to you will not be similar to the next person.
Here are some common causes of emotional exhaustion:
- Dealing with uncertainty
- Going through big changes in life
- Highly involving careers such as nurses, doctors, teachers, and armies
- Long work hours or working at a job you do not love
- Having a baby and not having a helping hand or generally raising children
- Intense schooling, such as law and medical schooling
- Being a caregiver for a senior or terminal loved one
- Death of a loved one
- Prolonged and stressful divorce proceedings
- Financial problems, etc.
How to Treat Emotional Exhaustion?
Of course, going to therapy is an excellent way to start. However, outside therapy, there is more you can do to get your emotional balance back on track. So, what are some of the most effective ways to treat emotional exhaustion?
#1: Manage the stressor
Eliminating the stressor is not always as straightforward as it may seem. For instance, if your source of stress is the death of a loved one, you cannot just eliminate the grief. You have to work your way around it. With such, you can attend grief management classes and therapy.
However, if your job is stressful, you can consider changing to something lenient. If raising kids is stressing you out, consider getting a helping hand. Find a lenient way to lessen the intensity of the stressor in your life. If you cannot figure a way out, take it slow as you talk to your therapist.
#2: Take a break
We are often told that we should quit if a job stresses us. But that is not always an option for everyone, unfortunately. That is what our modern life has turned into. This might be a job you like, or maybe you’re trying to manage your financial crisis; you cannot quit. A good way out is to take a break.
Just relax or go on a vacation. While on a break, be sure to make it restful yet meaningful. People go on vacations and are caught up trying to adhere to a tight itinerary. Eventually, you discover that you did not relax by the end of such a vacation.
Plan a relaxing and meaningful vacation if you do not want to end up even more exhausted during your break. A good option is going on a retreat rather than visiting touristy sites.
#3: Practice mindfulness
Mindfulness has been proven to be a stress and anxiety reliever. When stressed, your mind keeps wandering off to the past and future. You keep having a lot of regrets and what-ifs, which end up stressing you even more.
Practicing mindfulness allows you to focus on the present. This is a sure way of redirecting your attention to what matters. Mindfulness also helps you manage your emotions better.
Take a break daily and sit silent or take nature walks. While at it, let go and focus on the present.
With yoga, you enjoy both physical and mental benefits. Remember that emotional exhaustion comes with physical fatigue too. Yoga stretches and poses can help you fight this. Also, such physical exercises boost serotonin and endorphin levels in the body. These hormones are great for boosting your emotional state.
Besides, yoga focuses on deep breathing. This means that you take in more air which helps calm your nerves and reduce anxiety and stress. Furthermore, yoga comes with deep meditation and spiritual connection. This can help you reconnect with your Higher self and feel divine support in your life.
#5: Get Enough Sleep
One of the signs of emotional exhaustion is the inability to get enough sleep. It, therefore, may seem ironic that one of the cures to this is getting enough sleep. How will you get enough sleep if you can barely fall asleep? Start by limiting things that affect your sleep quality.
Here are tips to help you fall asleep faster:
- Keep off your mobile phone at least 2 hours before bedtime; the blue light makes you more active and, therefore, less sleepy
- Lower your bedroom’s temperature
- Take a warm shower shortly before bedtime
- Listen to relaxing music
- Exercise during the day
- Use aromatherapy. Lavender and peppermint have shown positive effects on sleep quality
Aim at sleeping for 8-9 hours. However, it is not just about the quantity but also the quality of sleep. Deep sleep helps your body rest and rejuvenate, a critical aspect of fighting emotional exhaustion.