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Each of these twice-a-month emails contain motivating health and fitness tips, recipes and articles that cover:

 

  • Tips on managing Stress
  • Ways to stay motivated
  • The benefits of resistance training
  • How to improve your metabolism
  • Learn why "conventional" diets fail
  • How to target stubborn fat areas
  • Healthy and tasty recipes
  • What muscle soreness really means
  • Learn how exercise affects your mood
  • How to choose the right health club
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  • Mentally Exhausted
    Wondering why you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? It may be mental exhaustion. Here’s how to tell if it's affecting you, and what you can do about it. Read >>
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Health and Fitness News

Mentally Exhausted

What happens when stress gets the better of you.

You know the feeling of physical exhaustion. At the end of a long day or after a challenging workout your muscles are tired and sore and you just want a hot shower and a warm bed. But have you ever reached the point of mental exhaustion? Instead of your muscles being tired, it’s your mind.

Studying days for exams, having too much to do in too little time, caring for a loved one with special needs, dealing with chronic illness, or having to make a series of big decisions can all leave you feeling mentally, as well as physically, zapped.

When life feels overwhelming and there’s no time to relax and regroup, you may exceed your ability to cope with the stress. The end result is mental exhaustion. Wondering why you feel like you’re at the end of your rope? Here’s how to tell if you’re mentally exhausted and what to do about it.

Emotionally Fragile

Your emotional state can be a sign you’re mentally exhausted. You cry all the time or constantly try to hold back tears. You’re irritable and short-tempered. Everyone and everything gets on your nerves. Little decisions seem to overwhelm you and anxious thoughts won’t seem to leave you. It’s hard to focus on the task at hand and you keep getting side-tracked. You wonder if you’re depressed––you feel hopeless and helpless and lack a sense of motivation. All of these point to mental exhaustion.

Physical Tiredness

Mental exhaustion also manifests itself physically. You may feel fatigued and more tired than usual. Even though you didn’t do any real physical activity all day, you feel zapped at the end of the day. Heading to the gym is the last thing you feel like doing. All you want to do is lounge on the couch all evening. You may sleep all the time or feel tired but have trouble sleeping. Headaches or muscle aches and pains are also possible.

Behavioral Changes

When you’re mentally exhausted, it can affect the way you act. Some people turn to substance abuse as a way to cope with their negative feelings. You may argue more with your spouse and snap at your kids. You can’t relax and always feel on edge. If you’re experiencing a change in behavior, mental exhaustion may be to blame.

How to Cope with Mental Exhaustion

The best way to deal with mental exhaustion depends on the cause of the exhaustion. If you’re burned out due to caring for a sick loved one, you need different support than someone who’s overwhelmed from a stressful job. Here are a few healthy ways of overcoming mental exhaustion.

Take care of yourself. Yes, it’s important to put others’ needs before your own, but you can’t do that if you aren’t taking care of yourself first. Eat a healthy diet, get regular exercise, make sleep a priority, and take time out to relax and have fun. Doing these things will help prevent and relieve exhaustion.

Mental exhaustion can be a sign it’s time to make some changes. Learn to say no and cut back on the things you’re involved in. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Talk with your boss for a reduced workload, some personal time off, or use up some vacation days. If necessary, find a new job.

Make an appointment with a therapist. These experts are trained to help people in your situation. Just talking with someone about what you’re going through is helpful. A good therapist can also guide you through healthy ways of managing stress and teach you how to think rightly about anxiety or depression.