we've all heard it. We probably said everything. "I'm just emotionally exhausted today!" Rarely, however, do we speculate where the phrase comes from and how literal these symptoms and sensations may be. According to English, emotional exhaustion is the condition of being severely emotionally drained and exhausted, from building up stress from work or personal life, or both.((English: emotional exhaustion: what is it and how to treat it?)) Sometimes the term can also be used to describe "burn out", and the feeling is just too much jittering and feeling the effects of not having enough energy to continue. When we think about how fast paced our culture and society is, it's no big surprise that we can all fall prey to these symptoms and ailments.
Who Experiences Emotional Burnout?
We see these symptoms easily in overly complex jobs, whether in offices or in manual labor. However, emotional exhaustion can arise from any variety of professions, from parenting to creative work to entrepreneurship. No one is relieved of feeling emotionally drained, but there are ways to see it coming and arm yourself against it.
Signs of emotional exhaustion and what to do about them
Below are some signs of feeling emotionally drained and what you can do to help yourself and your loved ones.
1. Feeling "stuck" or "trapped" in life or a particular situation
When we feel emotionally drained, we have a hard time changing and expanding the problematic in a given situation. If we are struggling and trying to find a way out of a job, relationship or problem that doesn't feel emotionally healthy, it can act as a strong deterrent in creating and maintaining a fresh, positive mindset. At some point, we will all feel stuck in a problem in life; this becomes a sign of emotional drain when you start to feel like you are essentially stuck in this situation with no energy or outlet. It can also manifest as a lack of motivation to look for new solutions, or a feeling that we have decided to drag ourselves through our problems and simply accept that things will not change for the better. As a result, we may develop depression, anger, and irritability, which may manifest as physical diseasesuch as headaches, physical fatigue, muscle pain, lack of sleep, and poor appetite. ((VeryWellMind: burnout symptoms and treatment))
One way to get through this sign is the feeling of emotional emptiness, to seek help. This may be in the form of a close friend or family member, or he may present himself in the form of the help of professionals such as a therapist, doctor, or alternative medicine healer. In many cases, when we feel stuck in life, we find it very difficult to get out of this constant, negative cycle in which our mind plays to the end. This is really where the good of the community can come into play. Seeking help not only takes the pressure off of feeling and experiencing this problem alone, but it also allows you to get input and perspective from an outside, neutral source that could be the breakthrough you need. Other people can have a huge impact on our problems by showing us an alternative solution we would never have considered or found on our own.
2. Lack of Motivation to Work, Create, and Achieve Goals and Freams
Too much stress can burn out even in the most joyful plans and initiatives. It makes us feel like no matter how hard we try, there just isn't enough emotional or energetic capacity to do anything at all. This attitude and these mental and emotional states can make it very difficult for us to finish a job, enjoy the process of creating something, or accomplish goals and plans that we have taken on. On a physical level, stress and lack of motivation can interrupt our energy levels to the point where we feel tired, lethargic and lack of appetite. We may feel sleepy during all periods of the day and show a clear disinterest in performing or being productive. We may also show a disdain for things that would normally bring us happiness, making plans with friends, or caring about our physical, mental, and emotional health.
One way to energize ourselves when we feel a lack of motivation to get started is to understand why we lack in the first place. ((Betterhelp site: the main causes of lack of motivation and how to overcome them)) Maybe it's because we aim too thin and our lists have become seriously overwhelming. If that's the case, perhaps we can look at prioritizing our work, what's most important, and addressing those issues first. ((Mel Robbins: Create and Grow: Top Tips for Success at Work)) Another reason could be that you're falling down the "People Pleaser" rabbit hole. It's when you commit your time and energy to get things done for everyone, without first checking with yourself. Can you actually complete this task or fulfill this promise? You have want to receive? These are important questions to ask and honestly about the answers! Once you take these steps, you can re-adjust and re-evaluate where you want to spend your time and effort, therefore picking up your emotional energy again.
3. Irritability and "break down"
When our emotions are out of control, we have a hard time controlling what can be perceived as irrational anger and sudden outbursts. In reality, when we are in the midst of this "burn out" sensation, we are desperately trying to remain calm and continue our work and tasks from falling apart. It is exhausting, exhausting, and just unpleasant! In these moments when our emotions are fried and desperately seeking relief, it is easier for us to give in to anger or irritability, or to sudden outbursts of rage. Emotional exhaustion is just looking for a way out, and it does not matter to him who gets the most. We may feel regret later, but at the moment we have lost the opportunity to test ourselves.
One powerful way to dissolve that anger is through breathing. When we are angry and frustrated, our breathing and heart rate speed up, all leading to the activation of the fight or flight response in our systems. When this is internalized, it is harder for us to think rationally and make informed decisions. Instead of acting, we act again, and not always for the better. When we tap back into our breath, we allow it to calm down and restore that fight-or-flight so that the body can return to homeostasis. ((Mind: Anger Management Relaxation Techniques)) Check out the gif below to help you tune back into long inhales and exhales. Follow along with the animation, and notice how, after a few moments, you'll start to feel more relaxed, grounded, and centered. Read more about breathing exercises: 3 deep breathing exercises to relax and reduce stress
4. Constant fatigue and poor sleep
Some may think that the feeling of emotional emptiness wanted to fall asleep immediately, but otherwise. Insomnia has been linked to a complex number of emotional and mental disorders, but because all of the body-mind-spirit connections are inextricably linked, it's not surprising that if one is turned off, the entire system is affected. ((EveryDayHealth: relationship between insomnia, anxiety and depression: it's complicated)) Getting enough sleep is of the utmost importance for the health of your entire being. Without it, we are, in fact, running idly, and exhausting the body, which is already draining effort. Pay attention to your sleep, and pay attention if you're having a hard time letting go of the day or list before heading to bed. Are you working on unfinished tasks while trying to sleep? Do you struggle with emotions and thoughts at night? Everything can be emotional emptiness that carries over to the next day, with constant fatigue throughout the day and week.
One way to test and eliminate these symptoms is to start creating a sleep ritual routine. A few hours before bedtime, begin to wind down any use of electronics or work. Anything you didn't finish that day, write it down to start first thing in the morning, but start cutting ties with it before getting ready for bed. This will ensure that you are not rummaging through your mind for some other ideas or work when you need to give your mind and body a much needed rest. If it helps, start selling some essential oils to ease your rest. Lavender, eucalyptus, peppermint is very soothing, and can even help with sinus problems and congestion.
Emotional exhaustion, or feelings of emotional emptiness, is a by-product of anything in our daily lives that is crooked—be it work, play, family, or anything in between. It is necessary to narrow down the cause, and reconsider how you spend your time, how you prioritize work, and how you process your mind-body-spirit connection for optimal well-being.
More self-service resources for you
- The 5-Step Self-Care Guide for Busy People
- 30 Self-Help Habits for a Strong and Healthy Mind, Body and Spirit
- 40 Self-Help Techniques to Rejuvenate and Restore Yourself