“Sometimes you don’t realize the weight of something you’ve been carrying until you feel the weight of its release” ~ Unknown
Mental Exhaustion vs. Physical Exhaustion
Immediately what comes to mind for mental exhaustion is the image of either an elementary school teacher or even a college-aged student nearing the end of their semester.
Symptoms can vary for mental fatigue so let’s take a quick look at some of them—the first from an emotional feelings perspective.
Mental exhaustion can include but is not limited to:
- Feelings of being “trapped” in work/life/school etc.
- Feelings of being overwhelmed
- Feeling like you have no power or control over your current situation(s)
- Feeling a decrease in motivation
- Feelings of depression or lowered mood
- Feeling of anxiousness
Mental exhaustion can manifest in some physical ways:
- Poor sleep
- Excessive stress
- Digestive issues
Being physically exhausted can drain your mental energy, and being mentally exhausted can impact your physical well-being, so it is essential to address both aspects of exhaustion for restoration.
Sleep is King and Queen
It all starts with sleep.
Improving the quality and quantity of your sleep will move the needle the most on your mental energy.
The better you sleep, the better you will feel.
This can include more energy, focus, increased mental stamina, and capacity for work, relationships, etc.
SLEEP, SLEEP, SLEEP is essential!
Without breath, our bodies, brains, and life quickly shut down. How we breathe intensely impacts our stress response.
Most people live too fast with short, shallow chest breaths, stimulating our fight or flight response. This may propel you through the day, navigating a hectic schedule. But we need to tap on the breaks throughout the day to avoid burnout.
Slowing your breathing helps with this.
Move and Play
Daily movement will help increase your energy.
Movement is candy for your brain and body—a delicious treat to sprinkle throughout your days and weeks.
Walking, doing a few squats before your next meetings, and adding in a push-up set when you wake up are all examples of things you can do besides a 30-60 mins workout.
Add some play to your life.
You can incorporate this with movement if you like playing tennis/ping pong with someone, for example.
What are some things that bring you joy, energy, or peace? We encourage you to seek those out and add them to fight mental exhaustion.
Hobbies like kayaking, woodworking, painting, photography, basketball, and even an arcade, can be great places to start.
The “FUL” is emphasized in this subheader because we want to make our minds full after being in a depleted, exhausted state.
There are numerous suggestions for this aspect, but most revolve around clearing the mind and organization/time management.
Different meditative practices can give the mind a break and potentially stop overthinking and overanalyzing every situation.
Another suggestion to help refuel the mind is cutting electronics off after a certain period in the evening. Give yourself a break from the notifications. Don’t spend your “extra time” just doom scrolling on social media as an escape. Break away from the technology, take a breath, and move your body to help reset.
Set up your schedule for success. Many people are “putting out fires” all day at work and don’t allow enough creative processes/time to get into a flow state for the task(s) at hand.
Give yourself at least 90 minutes of dedicated, uninterrupted work time to tackle your tasks. Then set aside time for emails and communications with your team.
By breaking up your day into different blocks, you can enhance productivity and decrease the mental strain experienced daily.
Next Steps to Reduce & Eliminate Mental Exhaustion
Mental exhaustion is something many people suffer from and something that the pandemic might have heavily increased for multitudes as well. Take a few minutes to self-check in and see if you’re feeling any of the above symptoms.
If so, there are multiple physical things to do to help restore your body and mind, as well as mental items to implement to start refueling your mental energy.
Check out the following articles on our learning center for more information on movement, sleep, and breathing to get you on the path to a more significant recovery:
- What Makes Diaphragmatic Breathing Important
- What Causes Stress and Anxiety
- 3 Ways to Boost Energy and Not Feel So Tired
- What Makes Movement So Important
You have what it takes inside you to make a definite choice that will change the future trajectory of your health.
Our team at Tiger Medical has the experience, clinical skills, and coaching acumen to help you get your health and energy back.
To talk to one of our professionals, click here to schedule your call!