Have you heard of the term ‘emotional exhaustion’ before? Emotional exhaustion is a state of feeling emotionally worn-out and drained as a result of accumulated stress from your personal or work live, or a combination of both. Emotional exhaustion is one of the signs of burnout. Individuals experiencing emotional exhaustion often feel like they have no power or control over what happens in life. They may feel ‘stuck’ in a situation, experience lack or energy, poor sleep and decreased motivation, all of which can make it difficult to overcome emotional exhaustion. Over time, this chronic, stressed-out state can cause permanent damage to your health. Anyone experiencing long-term stress can become emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. In difficult times, emotional exhaustion can sneak up on you, but it is never too late to get help. And Thinco is here to help.
If you think you may be experiencing emotional exhaustion, then these are the symptoms to look out for. Lack of motivation, trouble sleeping, irritability, physical fatigue, feelings of hopelessness, absentmindedness, apathy, headaches, changes in appetite, nervousness, difficulty concentrating, irrational anger, increased cynicism, sense of dread or depression.
It is also important to consider the common triggers of emotional exhaustion, which include high pressure jobs, intense schooling situations, working long hours or working at a job you dislike, having a baby, raising children, financial stress, homelessness, being a caregiver, prolonged divorce, death of a family member or living with a chronic illness or injury.
Now that we have establish what emotional exhaustion is, the symptoms and triggers, we need to explore 5 tips in overcoming emotional exhaustion so that you can get back to being your amazing self!
Practice Good Self-Care
Practicing good self-care improves a person’s resilience. This may ease symptoms of emotional exhaustion or prevent its onset. Examples of good self-care include exercising, eating right, staying hydrated, have ‘me time’ and pampering yourself. If you’re like us and get a little stuck on good self-care ideas, take a peek at this list from Good House Keeping, we’re sure you’ll find something that tickles your fancy.
Mindfulness is a term you probably hear us say a lot, but mindfulness techniques are much more than just a fad. They’re scientifically recognized to reduce stress and anxiety and can be the key to balancing your emotions. Examples include meditation, yoga, breathing exercises, going for a walk or keeping a journal to write down your feelings and thoughts.
Connect with a Friend
Talking face to face with a friend is a wonderful way to relieve stress. The person listening doesn’t necessarily have to fix your issues. They can just be a good listener. A trusted friend or family member can listen without judging you. If you don’t have anyone close to turn to, check if your employer has an employee assistance program with counselling services.
Take a Time-Out
Taking a break can help you refocus the direction in which you are going. We often hesitate to take a time out because we have responsibilities to attend to and deadlines to meet, but it is important to understand that your health comes first above everything else. You are no good for your job or your relationships if you cannot fully give yourself. It’s OK to take a few days off work to recover from emotional burnout, it’s OK to take a break from your social life and relationships to focus on yourself.
Eliminate the Stressor
While not always possible, the best way to treat stress is to eliminate the stressor. If your work environment is the cause of your emotional exhaustion, consider changing jobs or companies. If your manager is causing you stress, consider transferring to a new department or asking to be placed under a different manager. If university is causing you stress, consider dropping to part time or utilising their support services.