Emotional exhaustion or emotional burnout refers to the state of nurturing an emotional burden and feeling emotionally drained out due to stressors from personal or work lives, or both. It is an apparent sign of burnout. People experiencing emotional exhaustion feel engulfed or trapped in their lives with absolutely no control over what happens to them. Decreased motivation, lack of energy, and poor sleep can make it difficult to overcome emotional exhaustion. A chronic, stressed-out state can permanently damage your health. This is emotionally drained meaning.
Let’s move on to discussing emotional burnout symptoms, causes, treatment, and preventive hacks.
12 Possible Signs Of Emotional Exhaustion
Some possible symptoms of emotional exhaustion are:
- Lack of motivation
- Problem sleeping or disrupted sleep
- Feeling irritable
- Tiredness & fatigue
- feelings of hopelessness
- Loss of appetite
- Inability to concentrate
- Irrational anger
- Increased pessimism
12 Possible Emotional Exhaustion Causes
While experiencing stress to some extent is a part and parcel of life, extreme and constant stress can take a toll on your mental health. Whether it is stress in your personal life or the stress is related to your work life. The triggers for emotional exhaustion vary among individuals. What is manageable for one individual may prove to be a cause of stress for another.
The possible triggers for emotional burnout are:
- High-pressure career
- Working long hours
- Working at a job you dislike
- Intense education
- Expecting a baby
- Raising children
- Financial stress
- Divorce proceedings
- Death in the family or of a friend
- Diagnosis of a chronic illness
- Being a caregiver
6 Possible Risks Of Emotional Exhaustion
1. Strenuous Jobs
People in demanding jobs are at a greater risk of experiencing emotional exhaustion and burnout. Having thoughts about work during leisure hours, and long and strenuous work hours, put you at a risk of emotional exhaustion. Further, being at a job that you don’t like, a poor job fit and feelings of lack of control at work also contribute to it.
Human beings are social animals and a lack of connection with people often puts an individual under excessive exhaustion and stress. In such cases, building social relationships help reduce signs of emotional exhaustion and burnout by nurturing feelings of well-being and enhancing resilience.
3. Lack Of Self-Care
Self-care means different things for different people. While for some, it can be good sleep, exercise, and a healthy diet, for others, it can imply a skincare and haircare routine. And not being able to do what you interpret as self-care may result in burnout.
4. Taking To Drugs & Alcohol
Resorting to drugs and alcohol to overcome emotional exhaustion is likely to lead to a greater risk of burnout. Stay away from drugs and cut down on your alcohol intake to prevent yourself from feeling emotionally drained.
5. Feeling You Have A Lack Of Personal Resources
Feeling that you do not have enough personal resources like money and status makes you exert excessive pressure on yourself, leading to burnout.
6. Dependence On Perfectionism
Individuals who put excessive stress on being perfect at their work experience severe burnout. There are several studies that have seconded this.
8 Emotional Exhaustion Treatment Options
For emotional exhaustion recovery, here are a few treatment options:
1. Get Rid Of The Stressors
Whatever your stressor(s) may be, eliminate them as fast as you can to stop yourself from feeling emotionally exhausted. If the reason behind your burnout is work, consider changing your job. Or, if that’s not possible at the moment, try getting a transfer to another department,
2. Maintain A Healthy Diet
Stress makes you binge, overeat, and gorge on unhealthy food all the time. And when you do that, you put on weight – yet another factor that hits your emotional wellness. Hence, whatever the state of your mind, make sure you eat right. Have a balanced diet that contains the varied nutrients necessary for your overall well-being.
3. Maintain a Fitness Routine
Keep aside 30 minutes from your daily schedule for an exercise regimen. This improves serotonin and endorphin levels which are known for boosting your emotional state. Take up any form of exercise that you are sure you’ll be able to sustain – walking, swimming, dancing, cardio, yoga – anything that catches your fancy.
4. Restrict Alcohol Consumption
Alcohol makes you feel awakened and alive after you take it before this feeling is replaced by mood swings, anxiety, and depression. Additionally, alcohol also causes sleep problems.
5. Maintain A Healthy Sleep Cycle
Ensure that you sleep at least 8 hours a day every day. Develop a bedtime routine and preferably go to sleep at around the same time. Limit alcohol and caffeine intake to maintain good sleep hygiene.
6. Meet A Therapist
Consult a professional who can help you navigate through your stressors and use tools to enable you to work on them. He/she may use tools like applied relaxation techniques and cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT).
7. Talk To A Friend / Family Member
Your close confidant knows you inside out and won’t judge you for what you are experiencing. So, tell him/her everything that goes on in your mind and this is expected to be a therapeutic experience.
8. Practice Mindfulness
Practice being in the present and prevent your mind from hovering over to other thoughts. Especially when you’re sleeping or relaxing. Instead, solely focus on what you are doing. If this sounds like a challenge, try practising meditation to get into the groove of being mindful. Always.
12 Preventive Tips For Emotional Exhaustion
- Reducing stressors at home and work
- Maintaining a healthy work-life balance
- Participating in activities you enjoy
- Making “me-time” possible
- Exercise daily
- Eat healthy
- Restricting alcohol intake
- Following a sleep cycle
- Meeting friends and family
- Practise mindfulness
- Stay positive
In this day and age, emotional exhaustion is a very common mental health condition. And the incidences keep rising at a fast pace due to the ever-growing stressors that people find difficult to grapple with. Not that you know emotionally drained meaning and the preventive hacks, so you don’t fall prey to the medical condition, and if you do, beware of the treatment options you can take to keep the health condition at bay.
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