drowning in mental exhaustion

Mental exhaustion or burnout is a common occurrence which results from overworking the brain. It can stem from overwhelming responsibilities at work, at home, family commitments, and any other task that you spend a lot of effort on.   Although mental exhaustion is manageable if noticed earlier, it can impair your focus and make you angry at those who seem happier. When you are mentally exhausted, you will find it difficult to concentrate on your work and make more mistakes which will lead to mental stress. Mental exhaustion can lead to poor health, stress, and depression and it is most likely to affect the people around you.

What are the causes of Mental Exhaustion?

Mental exhaustion takes time to build up and it may not be recognized immediately. It can be caused by any activity which causes overworking of the brain. Too many responsibilities, family commitments, overworking at work, or handling many things in your life can cause a meltdown making your body and mind exhausted. Lack of sleep is a top cause of mental exhaustion. If your sleep is constantly interrupted or you have a sleep disorder, you are highly likely to suffer from mental exhaustion. You mind needs proper sleep to keep it refreshed. Mental exhaustion can also be caused by nutritional deficiencies and dehydration. Lack of magnesium and amino acids can lead to fatigue. Health issues are also a culprit of mental exhaustion. Conditions like depression, autoimmune disease, heart disease, anemia, and diabetes are highly likely to cause physical exhaustion which will ultimately lead to mental exhaustion.

What are the tell-tale signs of mental exhaustion?

So, how do you recognize mental exhaustion? The brain is the recipient of all mental stressors and the signs of the mental exhaustion may occur in the form of physical, behavioral or emotional symptoms. Mental exhaustion symptoms may be mild at first, but if nothing is done, they become worse with time. The signs of mental exhaustion can manifest in the following ways:

  • A feeling of tiredness or lack of energy
  • Falling sick easily
  • Lack of or too much appetite
  • Lack of sleep or sleeping too much
  • Headaches, backache, and muscle aches
  • Feeling restless and irritated
  • Lack of interest in things you usually enjoy doing
  • Feeling helpless, self-doubt and resentment towards other people
  • Isolation from friends and family
  • Using alcohol or drugs to cope with the increased stress
  • Feeling tearful

Remedies of Mental Exhaustion

The first step towards recovery from mental exhaustion is admitting that you are mentally exhausted and you need remedy. You don’t have to feel guilty about it. You need to put in place simple adjustments to lead you on a mental rejuvenation path. The following are some of the things you can start doing to help you recover from mental exhaustion faster.

Find the time to unwind

One of the most compelling motivations for stress gathering is the absence of time to unwind. Once you lack an outlet to release pressure, it will continuously develop into stress-related complications. When you are feeling overwhelmed, it is good to increase your mindfulness. This is done by paying attention to any physical sensation like standing and moving.

Take time to relax

It is easy to get caught up in the endless daily activities and even feel guilty when you rest, yet you’ve got a lot to accomplish. Take time to relax and get your mind off your work. Have fun by doing what you enjoy and what you find relaxing.

Be realistic about what you can accomplish

Set realistic goals. In today’s world, our to-do list is longer than it has ever been and getting everything done in a single day is not easy. There is always the temptation to do one last thing. Decide on how much you can accomplish in a day and stop once that is done.


Once you recognize that you have mental exhaustion, taking no action will cause further damage. As soon as you recognize any warning sign of mental exhaustion, seek help and build resilience by taking care of yourself. Reach out to those closest to you and limit your contact with the negative-minded people. You can join a group of like-minded people like a religious or social group to help you cope on a daily basis and make new friends.


  • Doreen Kisuli

    Freelance writer

    A freelance writer, covering health and wellness, online business and general content creation. A contributor in various publications on general issues affecting the society.