2020 was unrelenting, and 2021 has still not got its rhythm. The effect of it may not be as conspicuous, but you may feel emotionally exhausted. After all, so much already happened in the past year that it can be stressful. You learned to adapt to a new style of working, teaching and caring for your kids, and keeping everyone healthy and fit while ensuring social engagement virtually. Responsibilities are growing bigger, and you cannot find solace even when you turn on the TV as the news of COVID-19 deaths blares everywhere. All of this can be too overwhelming. Many people are going through the same feeling right now as the pandemic has spared nearly none. You can refer to this state as emotional exhaustion.
Emotional exhaustion drains you physically and mentally. It hampers your concentration power; it is a saturation point. Still, you cannot ignore your duties, work, children, friends, and family. You cannot get rid of your stress or think of what will happen next. Since it is not a favorable scenario, you must know what it means to be emotionally exhausted and how you should tackle this. So, let’s quickly delve into the topic for the sake of your health and wellbeing.
Understanding emotional exhaustion
As Eric J Dalius points out, it is not a medical condition, but it can cause mental health issues or make one worse by accompanying it. You use this phrase to indicate burnout or total energy loss. Such things occur when you don’t have any resources left with you to perform your tasks. You can often feel a bit stressed or anxious. However, when you experience emotional exhaustion, you suffer from chronic stress and eventually burnout. People working in law enforcement and healthcare commonly suffer from this. You can think of an emergency room nurse, for example, at this time.
So, how do you know if you are going through this phase? If you listen to mental experts, you will be aware there are numerous symptoms, such as irritability, loss of focus and motivation, frustration, nervousness, brain fog, loneliness, etc. You may believe you are incompetent or ineffective. At the same time, you can end up making many mistakes. However, its physical health impact can manifest as stomach problems, disturbed sleep, muscle tension and weariness, and headaches. A sense of pessimism and apathy can also descend upon you, says Eric Dalius.
Coping with emotional exhaustion
You can believe that if you don’t do something, you can get rid of this. But it doesn’t happen like that. You have to make thoughtful tweaks in your life to get over this. You have to set up boundaries to let everyone know you feel depleted. Don’t try to do everything by yourself. If you cannot do certain things, be vocal. It is essential to ensure proper food, sleep, physical activity, and social engagement. But it would be best if you defined the limitations. To be precise, if you cannot support a friend emotionally, you would have to tell them that you cannot do it and that you also need some space right now.
Trying to be a superhero doesn’t help if it burdens you. You need to stop and assess if you have to do this or you can stop it. Involve other family members and let them know your problem. It would help everyone come with a solution, which you may not be able to figure out at the time.
Eric J Dalius says another option can be psychotherapy, mainly if it persisted for a prolonged time. You can opt for telehealth services for online therapies. Besides, emotional depletion can take away the feel-good factor from you. So it is necessary to get back to things that fill your emotional gap. When you start enjoying it, you can slowly and gradually gain your emotional strength.
Even health practitioners suggest that lookout for things that gave you happiness even for a brief moment in these trying and isolation time. It would signal what you need to do more in life to feel good. It can be some fundamental things of life. You can listen to a piece of music of your choice or virtually connect with a friend who makes you laugh and be yourself.
An overwhelming sense can grip you so much that you can find it challenging to wriggle yourself out of its claws. You need to search for healthy means and avoid exhaustion in the first place. In essence, you have to prevent burnout. Achieving this can be less taxing for your emotional health.
In challenging situations like this, it is easy to experience physical, mental, and emotional distress. One can crave personal space and peace. That’s it is crucial not to overburden yourself. You have to realize that you cannot do everything alone. Ask for help or contribution, especially when almost everyone is at home. If you wish to lead, you can do it. However, you still don’t need to involve yourself in everything personally. Entrust responsibilities so that others also have something constructive to occupy themselves with, no matter how small or considerable these are.
The pandemic has already created a lot of disruption in everyone’s life. It is time to accept the reality and follow preventive measures. On some days, you may not want to do anything. It is perfectly okay. Give yourself a break. You have been working tirelessly, running from one corner of the house to the other. You can always pick up your tasks from where you left. And yes, if other members also participate together, you don’t have to stress.
So, please don’t allow yourself to get emotionally flushed out or ignore it to the extent where you slip into severe depressive disorder. If you are feeling uncomfortable and uneasy, you have to figure out the reason and address it. Nothing can be worse than turning your attention away from the underlying or actual concern. When you take care of your emotional health, your physical and mental fitness naturally get a boost.