If after working 40 hours per week, you feel tired, sleep-deprived, and battling through emotional exhaustion, then you are currently undergoing an emotional burnt-out. It is defined as a psychological state of mind where you can no longer find hope and positivity in your situation. You feel mentally drained and tired with your personal life.

There are various types of burnt out. Occupational burnout is school or work-related and emotional burnout related to relationships or socially induced stressors. Burnout can significantly affect our mental health, everyday functions, and how we handle things.

Some people may fail to recognize that they are already experiencing emotional exhaustion, but it is there. Those at high risk are mostly people undergoing major changes in their lives, grieving, workers with in-demand jobs, and patients with chronic stress or illness.

Suffering from emotional exhaustion can make you feel useless and helpless. 

If not appropriately addressed, it could easily alter one’s life balance, sleep, mood, lifestyle, and mental health. Our bodies usually give off warning signs and physical symptoms before an emotional burnout could happen, but most of the time, it gets ignored.

Understanding Emotional Exhaustion

The feelings of sadness, distress, and negative emotions brought about by emotional exhaustion are not permanent but could affect every person differently. It could last for a short period or longer depending on the cause, stressors, situation, and the person’s way of coping.

Everyone can experience emotional burnout without any exceptions. It can be caused your job, co-workers, or even your family at home can contribute as a stressor. It happens when your brain can not handle any more stress and pressure that your mind and body suddenly shut down, and you feel like you no longer have control over your entire being.

Causes of Emotional Exhaustion

Factors that cause stress around us are constant. They are everywhere, whether in the office, school, or even at home, and it is normal to feel the pressure and anxiety from time to time. Burnout creeps in when these stressors build up and go beyond our capacity to handle these challenging situations.

Signs and Symptoms of Emotional Burnout

Being emotionally exhausted doesn’t happen overnight but gradually. Early warning signs and symptoms usually show physically or emotionally that starts subtle but worsen over time. If these symptoms are not dealt with properly, it could affect your health and, worst, your life.

Emotional Symptoms of Emotional Burnout

When you feel a sense of irrational affectivity and extreme negativity towards your everyday life and job, you see yourself as a failure and trapped that you literally had to drag yourself out of bed to get to work. When your responsibilities seem to suck the life out of you, and you notice the lack of motivation to live life.

These are only some indicators that you are slowly developing emotional burnout and that you need to take action to avoid being emotionally drained. Experiencing emotional symptoms can be challenging and overlooked that you need someone close to you, may it be your friends or loved ones, to notice any changes in your behavior or outlook in life.

Physical Symptoms of Emotional Burnout

These types of symptoms are easier to identify. It dramatically affects one’s health, body, and everyday lives as well as your immune system. Physical symptoms of emotional burnout are frequent headaches, muscle pains, quickly get fatigued, weight gain, or weight loss due to an increase or loss of appetite.

In addition, emotional burnout can also cause diseases and other medical conditions related to lack of sleep and poor nutrition. These are some examples of red flags telling you to take a break, have a hold of your emotions and focus on your health and mental state.

How Can These Symptoms Affect our Professional Lives and Behavior

Emotional burnout can surely influence different aspects of our lives, especially our jobs and personal career. It can cause low professional efficacy and decrease job satisfaction. One can easily get overwhelmed with small tasks and frustrated with no apparent reason.

Emotional worn out may also result in changes in our behaviors and how we interact socially. Going through the day with these negative emotions can greatly disturb our physical and mental command over our body, including our work-life balance.

How Can Emotional Exhaustion Affect Your Health?

When we fail to deal with emotional burnout, it can inevitably affect our health. With our bodies on a constant flight-fight mode due to stress, it will cause changes in how we may feel and move. It can also affect our eating and sleeping habits causing depression and anxiety, and other medical conditions brought about by fatigue.

Ways To Handle Emotional Burnout

Acknowledging that you are experiencing the early signs of emotional exhaustion is the first step to handle burnout. Have a break from those long hours of work and examine your feelings and thoughts. Stop pretending that everything is fine and admit to yourself that you are already mentally drained out.

Focus on your needs and prioritize your physical and mental health. Allow yourself to take a break and recharge your energy. Forget about those deadlines and free yourself from social pressures and professional responsibilities. Remember that your well-being always comes first.

Try to eat a nutritious diet, have an adequate sleep, or commit to activities that can brighten up your mood. Treating your mind and body well is vital to help you recover and deal with emotional exhaustion.

Improve relationships and connect with a friend or a family member. Whenever you are suffering from sleep deprivation due to stress and burnout, find someone to talk to, preferably someone close to you. It is important to talk about your mental health to avoid emotional exhaustion. Consider your loved ones as your support group and surround yourself with people you trust and can depend on.

And finally, eliminate the stressors. Acknowledge your feelings, talk to yourself and find out what is causing the stress and anxiety. Disconnect with toxic people in your circle and set boundaries to keep your work, social and personal aspects in balance.

Emotional Burnout Affects Mental Health

Emotional exhaustion can result in serious damage to an individual’s mental state. Unable to handle the stress brought about by a heavy workload or longer working hours can lead to depression and the feeling of being “trapped” and unproductive.

Seeking help from a mental health professional could prevent you from traversing the road to mental depletion and drainage. They are trained to help you be in command of the stressors that you failed to manage alone.

How to Deal With Emotional Exhaustion

Stressors are everywhere and unavoidable, so to cope with emotional burnout, you have to commit to changing your lifestyle and habits.

  • Keeping your body healthy by trying to eat a balanced diet, drinking at least eight glasses of water a day, and avoiding too much caffeine and alcohol consumption can instantly boost up your energy and put you back on track.
  • Exercise daily and set up a goal to keep you motivated and focus on other beautiful things of being alive.
  • Avoiding the leading causes of stress when possible and doing what makes you happy and occupied can refresh your thinking and allow you to return to your usual self.
  • Maintaining an acceptable work-life balance by not letting your career gets the best of you and making sure that you always have time for yourself and your loved ones. Take time to relax and take a breather when everything around you at work gets toxic.
  • Changing your attitude by trying to achieve open-mindedness and refocusing on what is going right in your life will give you a better outlook.

Coping Mechanisms for Mental Exhaustion

There are four coping strategies that will keep your focus on your emotion and mental state.

  1. An adaptive cognitive strategy is when you make changes in what you think about the situation or the problem at hand. It is when you try to distance yourself from the main source of stress. You can also modify your goal and values and try to find the brighter side of the situation.
  1. Adaptive behavior strategy focuses on the problem that you are experiencing and trying to eliminate the stressors. It is about taking control of the situation by seeking information and comparing the positive and negative causes of the problem.
  1. Focus and awareness of your emotional state and admitting that you are in trouble and need help. Being mindful of your genuine emotions places you in a good position to take authority and make assertive decisions that could help you survive life’s challenges.
  1. Find your own support group, and talking to them can help relieve stress. Avoid being alone and sad and save yourself from falling into depression and overthinking.

When To See A Mental Health Professional

Each of us has different ways of coping with burnout. But when it seems that you are trapped in a cycle of the same situation without making any improvements, then you are not healthily dealing with stress. 

You might want to consider asking for professional advice. Mental health professionals can help you treat these physical and emotional symptoms more effectively. Book an appointment with Kentucky Counseling Center now, so you never have to feel emotionally exhausted every day. 

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