Emotional exhaustion is a type of mental fatigue that can affect many areas of your life. Not only does exhaustion of this magnitude affect you emotionally and mentally, but physically as well.
It makes it hard to focus and concentrate, hard to spend time with others, hard to do just about anything. Here are some signs of emotional exhaustion that you should be aware of.
1. You Have Trouble Focusing
Do you find that your ability to focus and concentrate on a task worsens? Maybe you can focus for a little bit, but not nearly as long as you used to. This might be a sign of emotional exhaustion. Having trouble focusing can come in many forms, so it’s not always as straightforward as not being able to get anything done.
You might find that you can focus for a few minutes at a time, but then your mind starts wandering. You may be able to get your work done, but when it comes to anything around the house, you cannot get anything done. If you are in school, you might doze off constantly when trying to study or do homework. Regardless of how it is happening, this could be a sign of emotional exhaustion.
2. You Are in a Constant State of Irritation
Being irritated and annoyed is a normal human emotion, but you can probably tell when it gets worse or never seems to go away. From exhaustion or burnout, that irritation tends to be a constant state of moodiness. Every little thing bugs you, whether it is from your spouse, kids, pets, co-workers, friends, or neighbors.
You never really feel settled and relaxed, and you can’t let anything go without it bothering you deeply. It is often a more severe form of just being very touchy.
3. You Have Regular Aches and Pains, Headaches, and Other Pains
Believe it or not, mental and emotional issues can develop into physical aches and pains. When you are experiencing mental stress, you start experiencing physical problems, like not being able to sleep, neck pain from tension, headaches from the neck pain, and just overall body aches and pains.
The same thing can happen when you are struggling with emotional exhaustion. It tends to create much tension and pain in your physical body. If you have aches and pains and no idea what is causing them, consider emotional reasons.
4. You Can’t Handle Any Amount of Stress
Everyone will go through stress regularly, though the amount of stress you experience varies quite a bit. However, how you can handle that stress is what can determine healthy emotional well-being or deal with emotional exhaustion.
You probably know the difference between everyday stress that is uncomfortable but you can deal with and stress while you have emotional exhaustion. Even if the situation causing your stress is similar, it seems worse. It is an instant reaction of your mind and body, which you absolutely cannot handle.
5. You Have a Lack of Motivation Due to Emotional Exhaustion
In addition to not focusing or concentrating very well, you may also notice that you don’t have much motivation. You might be able to do what is mandatory, like going to work every day, but your efforts are minimal, and you typically can only do the bare minimum.
You might suddenly have no motivation to exercise, run errands, or do self-care. You have no desire to do anything that isn’t working or sleeping and possibly taking care of some of your more essential needs, but nothing else sounds interesting. Either that or you feel so physically exhausted that you can’t manage it.
6. You Cancel Most Plans
Canceling plans once in a while might not be a big sign of exhaustion or burnout, but balancing every schedule or even most of them can be a warning sign. A big sign of this is when you have weekly commitments with friends, such as Sunday brunch or going to the movies every Friday with your significant other, and you suddenly don’t want to go and keep canceling.
Any time something seems unusual for you, it could be a sign of exhaustion, burnout, or another emotional issue you are dealing with.