The last couple of years has taken a toll on almost everyone. We have never seen anything like Covid-19 and hopefully we never will again. As we start to resume our normal lives, more people are becoming more mentally exhausted. You’re probably asking yourself, could I be one of them? What exactly does it mean to be mentally exhausted? It’s kind of like physical tiredness, except it’s your mind instead of your muscles. It tends to show up when you focus on a mentally tough task for a while. You might also feel this kind of brain drain if you’re always on alert or stressed out. Your job, caring for children or aging parents, and other things can lead to mental exhaustion. Here are 8 signs you can tell you are mentally exhausted.
You’re Become Angrier and Impatient
Have you been in a bad mood lately? Can you sense that your patience wears thin quicker than usual? Mental fatigue can put you in a bad mood. You may be short-tempered or irritated, snapping at people more often. It’s harder to control your emotions when you’re mentally tapped out. It happens to the best of us, and this is a sign that you’ve become mentally exhausted.
Productivity Goes Down
We all have times where our productivity goes up and down. Trust me, it’s normal because let’s face it, we are all humans. If you are noticing that you’re not as productive as usual it could have something to do with being mentally exhausted. When this happens it’s hard to concentrate and even harder to find motivation. Even worse, you may start missing deadlines and become overwhelmed.
You Zone Out More Than Usual
One of my first signs of being mentally exhausted is when I’m zoning out more often. This can look like mind wandering or drowsiness. It makes it hard to pay close attention to what you’re doing, and you may not react to things very fast. That can be dangerous in certain situations, such as driving. Mental fatigue is linked to car wrecks.
Lack of Sleep
We all know how important sleep is especially as you get older. Some people tend to think it’s easy to sleep when your brain is tired. Research shows people who have jobs with a high “cognitive workload” report more symptoms of insomnia. A lack of shut eye can make mental fatigue worse. Tell your doctor if you can’t sleep or get tired during the day because treatment can help.
You Develop Some Unhealthy Habits
Unfortunately, mental exhaustion leads some people to doing things they wouldn’t normally do. You may begin to drink a little more than usual or even worse start using drugs. It may start out by doing just a little, but it gradually increases over time. Mental fatigue can take an even harder toll on those who already have a substance use disorder. Experts think that’s because drug addiction changes parts of the brain that help you manage stress and control impulsive behavior.
Depression Kicks In
At first, your energy levels begin to fade, or you may feel like you’re moving in slow motion. There have been instances where some will feel numb. This will all lead to those productivity issues that was discussed earlier. This could all lead to depression issues. Tell your doctor if you have really low feelings or a sense of hopelessness for longer than 2 weeks. That can be a sign your depression is more serious.
You may think nothing of it, but before you know it your eating habits have changed. Mental fatigue has been known to affect your appetite in various ways. You may start to snack more than normal while not paying attention to what you eat. Stress can have you craving sugary, salty or fatty foods. Some people will lose their appetite all together and not eat anything.
We touched on your productivity going down as a result in mental exhaustion. Mental fatigue lessens your ability to catch and fix your mistakes quickly or at all. That can cause serious problems in certain jobs, such as ones where you use machines, drive a vehicle, or fly a plane. Unfortunately, this is something I’ve dealt with before and it was dangerous because I’m around machinery.
There you have it, I’ve listed 8 signs of mental exhaustion. There are many more, but if you feel exhausted mentally, please take a break. You could possibly hurt others or yourself in the process. Have you or anyone you know dealt with mental exhaustion before? If so, what did you or that person experiencing it do? Leave some feedback below and hopefully someone sees this and it will help them.