What Is Emotional Exhaustion?

Emotional exhaustion is a state of feeling emotionally worn-out and drained as a result of accumulated stress from your personal or work life. Emotional exhaustion is one of the signs of a burnout.

Anyone experiencing long-term stress can become emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. In difficult times, emotional exhaustion can sneak up on you. Highly empathetic and sensitive people are usually the ones who suffer from this kind of fatigue. It exhausts all of our emotional resources, leaving us with nothing to give other people.

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Symptoms And Triggers Of Emotional Exhaustion

How can you diagnose a state of mind, especially one that takes a toll on your physical state as well?

Physically your emotional exhaustive state will appear as:

  1. Loss of appetite.
  2. Feeling tired all the time.
  3. Lack of peaceful sleep.
  4. Stomach and abdomen related problems.
  5. Heart palpitations.
  6. Headaches.

Mentally you experience the following:

  1. You cannot concentrate on your work.
  2. Everything seems difficult or impossible.
  3. Lack of creativity or imagination.
  4. Work can seem very very dull.
  5. You do not want to listen or pay attention to anything.

Common Triggers Of Emotional Exhaustion

  • High-pressure jobs, such as nurses, doctors, police officers, and teachers.
  • Intense schooling, such as medical school.
  • Working long hours or working at a job you hate.
  • Having a baby.
  • Raising children.
  • Financial stress or poverty.
  • Homelessness.
  • Being a caregiver for a loved one.
  • Prolonged divorce proceedings.
  • Death of a family member or friend.
  • Living with a chronic illness or injury.

Treating Emotional Exhaustion

Get Adequate Sleep -Sleep is absolutely crucial for emotional health. Do yourself a huge favor and plan your bedtime for roughly the same time every night. Aim for eight to nine hours of sleep every night. Developing a routine at bedtime can help you relax and ensure better quality sleep. Limiting caffeine can also have a positive impact on your sleep schedule.

Limit Alcohol -Alcohol may temporarily boost your mood, but the feeling will quickly wear off, leaving you more anxious and Depressed than before. Alcohol also interferes with your sleep.

Connect With A Close 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 just have to be a good listener. A trusted friend or family member can listen without judging you.

Take A Break -Everyone needs a break at some point. Whether you take a vacation, or simply find the time to take yourself out to the movies, every little bit helps.

Limit Your Contact With Negative People –Hanging out with negative-minded people who do nothing but complain will only drag down your mood and outlook.

Exercise -Any sort of physical activity raises endorphins and serotonin levels. This can improve your emotional state. Exercise also helps take your mind off your problems. Try to exercise for 30 minutes per day, even if it’s just a long walk.

Healthy Diet -Eating healthy means choosing a balanced diet rich in fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean meats, while avoiding sugary snacks and fried or processed foods.

Re-evaluate Priorities -Emotional Exhaustion is an undeniable sign that something important in your life is not working. Take time to think about your hopes, goals, and dreams. Are you neglecting something that is truly important to you?  Rediscover what really makes you happy and to slow-down and give yourself time to rest, reflect, and heal.

Practice Mindfulness – Mindfulness is simply the act of engaging with the present moment. This can help direct your attention away from negative thinking. There are many ways to practice mindfulness. Examples include:

  • daily meditation.
  • yoga.
  • breathing exercises.
  • go on a nature walk.
  • keeping a journal to write down your feelings and thoughts.

Meet With A Professional -Along with making lifestyle changes, it’s important to seek professional help to treat emotional exhaustion. A professional, such as a therapist, can give you the tools you need to work through a stressful period.

The Takeaway

Emotional exhaustion is a broad term we use to describe the effects of Chronic Stress. Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and usually occur over a long period. It can affect us physically, emotionally, or behaviorally, and it is often a combination of the three that cause us the most distress.

You can make certain lifestyle changes to help alleviate symptoms of Emotional Exhaustion. These techniques won’t be easy to carry out at first, but they’ll get easier as you begin to form healthier habits.

Making just small changes in your daily habits can help manage your symptoms and prevent total emotional exhaustion.

Contact us to make a free appointment!

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About DocChristine Coaching

Dr. Christine is the founder of DocChristine Coaching. As a Certified Holistic Brain and Mental Health Trainer and Professional, a Licensed Neuroencoding Specialist, a "Mental Health Thriver", she is an expert in designing Strategies to Help People to Feel Better and Get Healthier by Optimizing their Brain and Mental Health.

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