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3 Signs Of Mental Exhaustion

by Petiri Ira 6 months ago in advice

Scientists say these are the most noticeable signs.

Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash

Mental exhaustion can happen to anyone who experiences long-term stress. It can make you feel overwhelmed and emotionally drained, and make your responsibilities and problems seem impossible to overcome. Feelings of detachment and apathy can wreak havoc on all aspects of your personal and work life.(Healthline)

Mental exhaustion is something that is commonly experienced by a plethora of people who experience long-term stress. Often, we don't actually realise how mentally exhausted we are until we have completely burnt out.

Signs of mental exhaustion include both mental, behavioural and physical symptoms, such as:

  • Irritation
  • Lack of motivation
  • Anxiety and panic attacks

These symptoms shouldn't go unnoticed and we should learn to overcome the hurdle of mental exhaustion be identifying which symptoms we resonate with and learn how to deal with them as a whole.

You're easily irritated

One of the most noticeable signs of mental exhaustion is irritation. To pinpoint your irritability you'll realise that you are regularly agitated in situations of your daily routine. The irritation is the consequence of the anxiety and stress that is carried along by mental exhaustion.

When we are mentally exhausted we get annoyed by the smallest things in our every day lives and we tend to lose patience at a much faster rate than usual. You'll notice that you have a shorter temper that develops over time and as a result, the heightened frustration is taken out on those around you.

To combat high levels of irritability I find that doing some meditation, yoga and some light exercise will aid in reducing your irritability. This is because these activities have been scientifically proven to reduce stress and anxiety levels, therefore bringing you to a calmed state.

You experience anxiety and panic attacks

According to IdsMed, as a result of your over-exhaustion, you feel more and more stressed than usual. Anxiety attacks are becoming a daily routine. You get worried unnecessarily. You are anxious over the slightest of things.

You have a lack of motivation

You feel as though something is bad is going to happen and you, therefore, shouldn't invest time into a hobby, work and school life. This is a cause of a loss of faith and feeling of incapable of getting your work done. You will find that you slowly begin to lose interest in the activities you are known to enjoy the baggage of exhaustion begins to find its way to take over your daily routines.

If you’re like most people, you have to accept that in order to get something important done, you’ll have to get past a whole lot of unmotivation. ( Dr. Susan Biali, M.D. 20130

How to cope with mental exhaustion

There are various methods that help with coping with your mental exhaustion. These methods are fundamentally based on changes to your lifestyle and constant implementation to your daily routine.

1. Remove the stressor

Start by removing your main sources of stress, one by one. It will not be easy to pinpoint them all at once but starting small will definitely make a difference.

For example, consider dialling down all the tasks and responsibilities you have at hand. This could be implemented work tasks and assignments by asking for further work delegation, assistance and time extensions. This will lighten your load and relieve some stress bit by bit.


Exercise has several proven benefits for your emotional and physical wellbeing. With that being said, taking 15–30 minutes out of your day to dedicate some time towards exercise will make a tremendous difference in reducing your mental exhaustion.

A 2010 cross-sectional study of 533 Swiss police and emergency response service corps found that exercise was associated with enhanced health and protected against stress-related health problems.

You could take a walk, go for a hike and do moderate exercises from your home, all will be sufficient.

Other proven benefits of exercise include:

lowered stress levels

reduced anxiety

improved mood

a stronger immune system

3. Stay organised

Clearing out and tidying up your space can assist in clearing your physical and mental space. An effective method to stay organised without feeling extremely overwhelmed and pressured is to designate a specific place to store all your items. Another way to keep up with staying organised is to clean up after yourself right after you have finished a task.

4. Schedule relaxation time

Yes, scheduling time to just relax can seem unrealistic due to our busy schedules. But, there comes a point in time where you deserve to take some time out of your day to recuperate. Consider taking 15–30 minutes out of your day to meditate, exercise or read. Whatever suits you best will make a significant difference in reducing your mental exhaustion.

5. Spice up your playlist

Take a moment to switch up the genre's of music in your playlist. Instrumental music can be a relieving break from all the noise and disturbances you may encounter throughout the day.

Experts say that listening to non-verbal music can help with relaxation during heightened moments of stress.

Main takeaways

Mental exhaustion is something we have all faced, will face or are currently facing. Mental exhaustion is treatable and there are a variety of techniques that you could try that will aid in stopping it.

Yes, mental exhaustion is painful and hard to endure but it's important that situations can change. The most important thing is to focus on your self-care and remember to take it easy on yourself.


Petiri Ira

I am a Race, Society and Culture writer. I write opinion pieces and personal essays on the Black experience in our society. My articles provide readers with actionable takeaways they can take to aim for change and progression.

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Read next: The Battle in My Mind

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