We’ve all been there: the sleepless nights, the pounding headaches. You simply wouldn’t survive another demand on your precious time, another person who requires your emotional support. You struggle to simply care for your own needs, while the weight of the world leans on your crumbling shoulders. If this experience sounds eerily familiar, you may be emotionally drained. Here are 6 tell-tale signs you’ve depleted your emotional resources (plus some tips to get you back on track!).
1. You are easily irritated.
Even the small things bug the living sh*t out of you. You easily lose your temper, dwelling in a hive of negativity and anger. As you recognize your inability to control your emotions, you grow more hopeless and despondent.
2. You struggle to sleep through the night.
Despite your emotional exhaustion, your anxiety keeps you wide awake at night, further deteriorating your mental condition. An overwhelming sense of exhaustion fuels your mind, as you ruminate upon your angst. Emotional exhaustion is like a self-fulfilling prophecy: the more you have, the more you create.
3. You feel unmotivated in your daily life.
Without any extra energy reserves, you completely lose the will to work. Prior goals and ambitions fade into the background, as you turn your focus toward simply surviving. This can result in failed classes, lost jobs, broken relationships, and lots of other problems.
4. You are always on the verge of tears.
One small inconvenience, and you are ready to burst out crying. When exhausted, your mind loses the ability to cope with the normal ups and downs of everyday life. You are thrown headfirst on a rollercoaster of emotions, as you struggle to navigate daily stressors.
5. You feel detached from the world.
It may feel like a thin veil stands between you, and everyone around you. While you sense your surroundings, they appear distant, as your mind copes with overwhelming emotions by turning numb. While this isn’t a permanent condition, it is cause for concern. Emotional engagement is one of the greatest benefits of life. Without it, your days recede into apathy and depression.
6. You feel physically ill.
The mind and body are intimately intertwined. Any deviation from the regular, and your system goes haywire. If you constantly feel dizzy, nauseous, or generally ill, you need to take a step back, and prioritize your mental health. Different people carry stress in different areas of their body. It may manifest as a pulsing headache, shaky fingers, night sweats...basically anything!
The best way to liberate yourself from emotional exhaustion is to avoid the stressor, of course. Stress may be induced by a toxic work environment, a negative person, or general day-to-day obstacles. If avoidance isn’t possible, try practicing mindfulness in a practical way, to continue engaging in the present. Ruminating upon an emotionally distressing topic will further increase your suffering, and provide no solutions. There are so many ways to practice being mindful, and it’s important to find the right one for you! Perhaps you can try a yoga class, repeat affirmations, journal your thoughts, or go for a nature walk.
When dealing with emotional exhaustion, it’s critical to have an outlet to unburden yourself of these heavy emotions. Whether that be a close friend, or a mental health professional, you will need someone to turn to during this distressing time. Seeking help does not make you weak! Human beings are not meant to function as solitary vessels. Absorbing and exchanging energy is necessary for a happy and healthy life. If you are searching for emotional support, beyond the scope of what a friend can provide, reach out to your medical provider or click here. As you climb out of the deep hole of emotional exhaustion, please remember that this is merely a blip in the expansive timeline of your life! There was a before, and there will be an after.
Written by: Brianna Rauchman