Experiencing some daily stress and anxiety is normal, but over time, chronic stress can take a toll on the body.
When taking care of yourself becomes your lowest priority, you will end up feeling burned out, resentful, frustrated and feeling isolated.
Emotional exhaustion is a state of feeling emotionally worn-out and drained as a result of accumulated stress for a long period of time.
What are the symptoms of emotional exhaustion?
- no energy for doing things, lack of motivation
- trouble sleeping
- physical fatigue
- feelings of hopelessness
- absent mindedness
- change in appetite
- difficulty concentrating
- irrational anger
- increased cynicism or pessimism
- sense of dread
Some more common triggers include:
- intense schooling, such as medical school
- high-pressure jobs, such as nurses, doctors, police officers, and teachers
- working long hours or working at a job you hate
- having a baby
- raising children
- financial stress or poverty
- being homeless
- being a caregiver
- prolonged divorce proceedings
- death of a family member or friend
- living with a chronic illness or injury
How to treat yourself:
In any cases, a chronic sense of fatigue is caused by that your own needs have been neglected.
You have had to suppress your true feelings because of the reasons as stated above.
People who experience chronic fatigue often find it hard to relax. They feel guilty.
The mind constantly stays vigilant.
If you are in this fight-flight-freeze survival mode in brain over the long period of time, it can exhaust you.
What’s important is to help your brain and your body to learn to relax.
The following are some tips:
1. Give yourself a permission to rest!
This is very important!! You don’t feel relaxed if you feel guilty about resting.
Fatigue is a message from your body: “You are neglecting your own need. You cannot keep going like this. It’s ok to put your need first and have some rest.”
2. Warm your body
A body of people experiencing chronic fatigue is often cold. As a result, the immune system gets weakened.
Anything to warm your body is great. For example, having a hot bath or lying in the sun for at least 30 minutes, wearing 2 socks, eating and drinking warm things.
3. Schedule your rest
You should take scheduled breaks throughout the day and make time for things you enjoy at least weekly.
I sometimes create a day with no agenda. “Today’s agenda is no agenda”!
4. Connect with others
Social disconnection is both a symptom of and a risk factor for emotional exhaustion.
To avoid emotional exhaustion and other mental health issues, people should try to connect with others whenever possible.
5. Change your attitude
Changing a person’s thoughts can help alter their moods and behaviors.
These small changes can have a big impact on physical and emotional well-being.
Examples of ways to change negative thinking include:
- focusing on what is going right in life rather than what is not
- avoiding comparisons with others
- accepting that sometimes negative feelings occur and not fighting them
- staying in the present rather than being preoccupied with the past or trying to anticipate the future
- remembering that these unhelpful feelings will pass
What triggers emotional exhaustion differs from person to person. What might be stressful for one person can be completely manageable for another person.
Please don’t stress yourself even more by thinking “Other people can cope, but why not me?” It’s perfectly OK not to be OK. Self-judgement leads to emotional exhaustion, too.
I hope you can better take care of yourself from today.
Your need matters.
Feel free to contact me 🙂