Emotional exhaustion, by definition, is the state of feeling worn out or drained as a result of stress. People who are experiencing emotional exhaustion may feel “stuck”, or that they have no control over what happens in their life. Exposing yourself to long-term stress can cause you to become emotionally exhausted, and in some cases may even cause permanent damage to your health.
Everyone stresses sometimes, but if you are feeling these symptoms, it might be time to talk with your doctor or practice some lengthy self-care:
You Have a Lack of Motivation
Trouble getting through the day paired with feelings of hopelessness are common signs of being emotionally drained. Similar to depression or pessimism, feeling unmotivated in your work or personal life causes negative self-reflection. You may feel a general sense that nothing is going right, or that no matter how hard you try, you cannot make yourself feel better. However, Dr. Gregory Jantz, Ph.D. says it’s important to remind yourself that you have value. Taking responsibility for yourself, respecting your personal timeline, and taking each daily task one step at a time will help you finish the things you need to get done.
You Have Trouble Sleeping
Sleep is very important for emotional health, and sleep patterns can often be affected by large amounts of stress. Because the body is constantly trying to cope, you cannot physically rest. In the early stages, Dr. Sherrie Carter, Psy.D., says you might have trouble sleeping for one or two nights throughout the week. As things progress, insomnia becomes persistent. No matter how tired or drained you feel, you may dread what lies ahead in the day. Eliminating stress and improving your sleep schedule are the first steps to restoring emotional balance.
You Have a Change in Appetite
Skipping a few meals here and there might not be as noticeable in the beginning. Nonetheless, it can be a sign of something deeper. In its progressive stages, skipping meals becomes losing your appetite completely and possibly losing mass amounts of weight. Eating a healthy, balanced diet can help you get the vitamins and minerals that you need. It will also help you get your energy levels back where they need to be to help you tackle the day. As a plus, improving your appetite will do wonders for your sleep!
You Get Annoyed or Irritable Faster
Irritability is a normal emotion that we feel as humans. Certain people or circumstances can cause fluctuations in everyday emotions. However, if small feelings of discontent suddenly turn into angry outbursts and serious arguments, emotional imbalances may be the cause. Walking away from situations and taking some time for yourself to reflect and take care of personal needs is the solution to this. Your personal health is more important than any argument that may occur.
Some other signs of emotional exhaustion to look out for include:
- difficulty concentrating
- increased cynicism or pessimism
- sense of dread
- increased illness