“And all of a sudden I felt really tired. Like the world had drained me of everything that I had.”
“I need a vacation from my emotions!” My brother texted this to me in December of 2020 after being overwhelmed with, well—life!
Emotional exhaustion is a thing! Going through a significant life change, such as a divorce, death, financial stress, work stress, children stress, or a global pandemic—can lead to emotional exhaustion. So can pushing ourselves too hard all the time and not letting our bodies and our minds rest.
Stress is a part of life, but over time it can wreak havoc on our bodies. Emotional exhaustion is caused by extended periods of constant stress.
Everyone has experienced some degree of emotional exhaustion at some point in their lives. We push ourselves to work harder, push through the pain, wipe away the tears, drink more coffee, go-go-go.
More often than not, it’s not until it’s gotten “bad” that we take action.
What are signs of emotional exhaustion?
- Lack of mental focus
- Tired all the time
- Tossing and turning in your sleep
- Decreased motivation
- Physical fatigue
- Irrational anger
- Feeling drained and worn-out
Nearly two years ago I hit an emotional wall. Having gone through a divorce, a job loss, the stress of finances, starting my own business, working 80 hours a week, family issues, physical injuries, and then COVID—I was exhausted.
I didn’t recognize the signs and it took me getting sick and having surgery to FORCE me to slow down and take care of my physical and mental health.
How do you treat emotional exhaustion? Or better yet, how do you prevent it from creeping in?
The answer, self-care—and not just every now and again—I’m talking about daily self-care!
Self-care refers to actions and attitudes which contribute to well-being and personal health. True self-care is figuring out what resonates with you, honoring what your needs are and working on those needs within your boundaries.
Self-care is different for everyone, and it doesn’t have to be over the top such as buying yourself a gift every Friday or lavish days at the spa! It can be spending five minutes to deep breathe before you get out of bed, or taking a long shower and listening to your favorite song. I talk about 7 Self-Care Tips in my free e-book.
Eliminating the stressors that are playing a part in your emotional exhaustion is not always possible. Remove them when you are able to, but for those things that are contributing to your emotional exhaustion that you have no control over; utilize your personal self-care techniques to help you cope.
Making small changes in your daily routines can also help prevent emotional exhaustion.
- Take a break, if you can—take a vacation. Even a short overnight trip that is away from your bed, your kitchen, your couch, your “routine”. If a vacation isn’t an option at this point, start by going on a drive, go on a long walk, get away from your “routine” for even a bit.
- Talk to someone. A friend, family member, therapist, emotional coach. Keeping things bottled up can take an emotional toll on you. You don’t have to overload someone with EVERYTHING, pick one thing and get it off your chest.
- Move your body. I talk about this a lot because it really works! Read my e-book for details.
You can’t put your emotions on the shelf and deal with them next week when it fits better into your schedule. Well, you can try…but not dealing with them as they are presented is what leads you to becoming emotionally exhausted—so how about you don’t go that route.
Instead, you can take care of yourself on a daily basis so when life just does its thing—you can manage a little better.
Just like when you have a physical injury, you have to adjust and modify things while you heal. Emotional injuries require you to adjust and adapt as well so it doesn’t lead to emotional exhaustion.
If you have five different things all blowing up at once, causing you stress, taking time for self-care is not selfish—it’s commendable and helps prevent emotional exhaustion!
Remember, You Got This!
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