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How To Deal With Mental Exhaustion

by | Mental Health

Aug 26, 2020

Long-term stress is the primary cause of mental exhaustion. Everyone experiences stress from time to time. So, mental exhaustion or fatigue can happen to anyone. When it happens, you feel emotionally and physically drained.

Dealing with mental exhaustion is not easy, primarily because of our lifestyle and other factors. However, there are healthy ways that can help you deal with mental exhaustion.

But first of all, let’s take a look at what causes it. Significant causes of mental exhaustion include:

  • Loss of a job and job dissatisfaction
  • Divorce and separation
  • Relocating to a new home.
  • Lack of social support
  • Our work environments
  • The death of a loved one.
  • Financial obligations.
  • Getting married or expecting a child
  • Chronic illness or injury.

Here’s what Mellisa, a woman from Belgium, has to say about feeling exhausted mentally.

I felt like a mouse spinning on a treadmill and getting nowhere. I often work about 16-hour each day, and I seldom take a weekend off. When I get home, everyone, including my young girl, is already asleep, and when I leave for work the next day, everyone has not gotten up yet.

Sometimes, the week runs out without me spending as much as 30 minutes with my kids. Stress was taking an enormous toll on me and making me sick.”—Mellisa, Belgium.

A lot of people could relate to what Mellisa said about being mentally exhausted. In this article, we have come up with the treatment prescribed by qualified mental health professionals.

Following these treatments will help you to deal with and cope with mental exhaustion.

How To Deal With Mental Exhaustion

1. Maintain a balanced and steady daily routine

A constant routine of commuting, studying, working, or caring for children or elderly parents can increase stress levels. Moreover, not doing or avoiding these activities may be out of the question.

A better way to cope with these challenges is by maintaining a balanced and steady routine. Two ways you can do this are by giving yourself some downtime and getting adequate rest. Also, by setting sound priorities and adopting a modest lifestyle. 

2. Stay physically active

Staying physically active is one way you can effectively deal with mental exhaustion. It has a lot of proven benefits for your physical and emotional health. Engaging in some moderate exercise, such as water aerobics, brisk walking, and riding a bike, is enough.

Furthermore, staying physically active also helps lower stress levels, improve mood, reduce anxiety, and promote a stronger immune system. Also, based on a study in 2010, it was proven that moderate exercise is better suited to reduce stress than strenuous exercise.

3. Get enough rest

Another way to better deal with mental exhaustion is by quietly allowing yourself to enjoy the simple pleasures in your life. A never-ending to-do list will keep you working for long hours.

It would be best to cut your to-do list into bits by bits and take breaks in between so you can get some quality time for yourself.

Do something you love and find genuinely relaxing, refreshing, and sustaining. If what you enjoy doing is watching your favorite soccer team play or looking at your favorite TV shows, allow yourself to enjoy every bit of it.

One of the best ways to get enough rest is to avoid overthinking about work or life problems—something mental exhaustion may contribute to.

4. Eat nutritious and balanced diets

Substantial evidence suggests that diet is as essential to mental health as it is to physical health,” says Felice Jacka, president of the International Society for Nutritional Psychiatry Research. “A healthy diet is protective, and a poor diet is a risk determinant for depression and anxiety. [1]

Some foods to help with exhaustion and emotional stress include: [2]

  • Complex carbohydrates
  • Soups and warm drinks
  • Foods with healthy fats
  • Foods that contain protein and magnesium
  • High fiber fruits and vegetables
  • A glass of milk at bedtime

5. Get enough sleep

The first thing that usually comes to mind when you hear the word stress, burnout, or fatigue is sleep. There is a reason for that. Sleep is vital for your emotional and physical well-being. Strive to get the recommended eight hours of sleep every night—no less.

One of the best ways to deal with mental exhaustion is by having a good night’s sleep. Not having sufficient periods of sleep can contribute to mental exhaustion or fatigue.

You can achieve this by developing a bedtime routine and adhering to it.

6. Seek professional help

Seeking medical treatment for mental exhaustion is essential. If you’re feeling so overwhelmed and emotionally drained, it would be best to speak to your doctor about your symptoms. He may recommend medications that can help manage it.

Also, he can suggest a therapist who can assist you with whatever you need to deal with mental exhaustion, and you will find them very beneficial in the long run. 

Antidepressants, anti-anxiety medications, and sleep aids are medications that may be used to treat mental exhaustion. [3]

Mellisa mentioned earlier in the article took a fresh look at her life and made the needed adjustments. “I realized that I was overworking myself and overthinking my situation, which I also have as a result of my work,”

She changed her demanding work and took on a job that gave her more time to rest and spend time with family at home. “That way, I was able to spend more time with my kids,” She admits, “Most importantly, I’m now free of continuous stress, and I have more time to spend with my loved ones. I would not swap the inner peace I now have for anything.”

Bottom Line

Based on the treatment prescribed by qualified mental health professionals and according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), Making certain lifestyle adjustments is the best start to dealing with mental exhaustion stress.

These lifestyle changes include eating a well-balanced, healthy diet and also getting enough sleep and exercise

The NIH also suggests limiting the intake of caffeine and alcohol and avoiding the use of hard drugs will go a long way to help to deal with constant stress.

Also, taking breaks from work, spending time with loved ones, learning to make things with your hands, or even learning to play musical instruments. All these can help you deal with mental exhaustion.

Not all stress is bad; however, if your body is undergoing constant stress, it may contribute to you having high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, and other illnesses, including mental disorders such as depression or anxiety. [4]


  1. https://www.webmd.com/mental-health/news/20150820/food-mental-health
  2. https://www.titanicspa.com/blog/foods-help-burnout-emotional-stress
  3. https://www.webmd.com/chronic-fatigue-syndrome/medicines-treat-chronic-fatigue-syndrome
  4. https://www.nimh.nih.gov/health/publications/stress/index.shtml

By Aleksandra Nico

Dr. Aleksandra Nico is a licensed clinical psychologist. She is in private practice in Brunswick and has experience in a wide variety of areas, including mood-related difficulties, anxiety, psychosis, trauma, addictions, personality disorders, and anger management. Dr. Nico completed a Ph.D. at the University of Nevada.

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