Psychic fatigue: methods of combating mental exhaustion
Do you always feel overwhelmed? Emotionally and mentally exhausted most of the time? If so, then you may be suffering from mental fatigue. Mental fatigue is a condition triggered by extended cognitive activity. Basically, you overload your brain, leaving you exhausted, impeding productivity and general cognitive functionality.
The most common symptoms are mental blockage, lack of motivation, irritability, eating on a nervous basis or loss of appetite and insomnia. Mental exhaustion can affect you both in the short and long term.
Untreated, it can lead to all kinds of serious health problems, including anxiety and burnout. Research suggests that constant mental fatigue can also affect physical endurance.
Causes of mental fatigue
Mental fatigue is not necessarily the result of personal failures or a distressing event. Rather, it is an accumulation of too many: Too many decisions. Too much work in a short time. Too many interruptions, requests and changes in concentration. Too many things happen at the same time, without the possibility of taking a break.
This type of mental fatigue overwhelms us when the volume of tasks and activities we have undertaken exceeds our ability to cope with stress in a positive way. Sometimes mental fatigue can be a result of health problems: depression, heart disease, chronic disease and autoimmune disease can lead to insomnia or sleep disorders, which can lead to mental fatigue. We advise you to check this with your doctor.
The more mentally tired we are, the less able we are to cope with our daily routine. It becomes harder to make healthy decisions, to stay focused on tasks and calm. It can also be difficult to control our emotions. Long term mental fatigue leads to burnout, physical problems, and stress-related illnesses. As soon as you understand why you feel so tired, you can take steps to get your feet up faster.
Signs of mental fatigue
Mental fatigue can manifest in many ways:
- Physical fatigue. The body feels tired and you prefer to lie down on the couch, with a glass of wine in your hand, rather than running out in the evening. Even if you spent most of your day sitting at the desk.
- Impatience and irritability. Feelings of anger and upset are easier to trigger.
- Inability to concentrate. It’s harder to finish your work and tasks. It may be harder for you to make decisions and find the right words.
Methods to deal with mental fatigue
We face dozens of decisions every day and by the end of the decision-making process, our psychic energy and self-control may reduce. Then we tend more to make unhealthy decisions and choose an easy and fast way. For example, you will choose to sit on the couch instead of going to the gym or go for a burger instead of cooking a healthy meal. One way to compensate for this decrease in mental energy may be to limit your decisions during the day. Order the same coffee every day. Eat the same dish every Tuesday. By keeping simple basic decisions, we have more energy to handle the rest of the tasks in one day.
Make a list of important tasks that you must complete the day before going to bed. Build a simple and realistic list. This will prevent you from over-requesting, allowing you enough time to complete all the items on the list. Similarly, set realistic personal and professional goals.
Whether it’s a 15-minute break, a weekend getaway or a mini-vacation at home, your free time for relaxation can make wonders for mental health. Take small breaks even at work; a walk outside the building. Taking breaks helps unlock the brain. You will easily find simple solutions to various problems and you will not waste time on unnecessary tasks or processes.
A 20-minute daily meditation has major long-term beneficial effects. Studies show that meditation not only improves concentration and memory but also changes the way the body responds to stress.
Acceptance and self-care
Practice self-care daily, no matter how selfish it sounds. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel truly happy. Another way to unlock mental and emotional blockages is to practice acceptance. This could be accepting certain traits of your life partner, occasional personal mistakes, changes in the workplace, or something as simple as a child’s indecision when discussing breakfast.