Mental Fatigue: Our Minds are Like a Battery

Colorado CACmindfulness, stress & anxiety Leave a Comment

Everyone can feel overwhelmed from time to time. When the news cycle repeatedly exposes us to negative and distressing stories, it can be easy to feel overwhelmed and emotionally exhausted. This continuous exposure can make us feel like our batteries are being drained, a concept known as mental fatigue.  

Signs of mental fatigue

Mental fatigue can happen to anyone who experiences long term stress. It can also make your problems and responsibilities seem impossible to overcome. When all of your resources are used up throughout the day, your battery runs dry and you could have difficulty concentrating or remembering important details. You may be experiencing mental fatigue if you feel like there is too much going on all at once and you rarely have time to relax. Mental fatigue causes emotional symptoms which include depression, anxiety, pessimism, irritability, and feelings of hopelessness.

Mental fatigue can affect our behavior. Poor performance at work or school, social withdrawal, inability to keep commitments, calling in sick often, forgetting little but important things, difficulty concentrating, and a lack of motivation are all common signs that we are experiencing mental fatigue. Stress and mental fatigue can also cause physical symptoms including headaches, stomach discomfort, chronic fatigue, and a weakened immune system. 

Reduce mental fatigue and recharge your “mental battery”

Although mental fatigue can feel overwhelming, there are steps that you can take to help cope with stress and recharge your mental battery. 

Organizing your day and life is an effective way to combat mental fatigue. Creating a workable pattern (making your bed after waking up or washing dishes after eating) can prevent little tasks from building up and feeling overwhelming. Making a to-do list, putting events in your calendar, and setting reminders for yourself can also effective strategies. You could try to keep an organized home and living space to reduce the number of things on your to-do list and your stress levels. Building time management skills can also help reduce mental fatigue. Allowing yourself to take time to rest and recharge by taking breaks throughout the day is an effective strategy to reduce mental fatigue. 

Being mindful about self-care can be helpful as well. There are many helpful relaxation techniques and self-care strategies that you can use to recharge your mental battery. Mindfully listening to your favorite music, cooking your favorite meal, taking a relaxing bath, or being creative are all ways you can practice self-care. Engaging in moderate exercise, even a 5-minute walk, can also do wonders for your mental health. Another important strategy is trying to get more sleep. There are many helpful phone applications, such as the Calm app or Headspace, that you can download on your phone that play calming music, guide you through deep breathing and meditation exercises. 

As more of our lives are moved online, practicing social media health is important. If possible, limiting the amount of news you read and social media you consume can help you feel less overwhelmed by the state of the world. Oftentimes, social media profiles present only the most positive aspects of ourselves. Taking a step back from social media can also help reduce the amount of time that you compare yourself to others. Forest – Stay Focused, an app available on the Apple App Store and Google Play, allows you to plant a virtual garden where every tree represents time spent away from your phone and your effort in practicing social media health. 

Need support?

If you are overwhelmed by your responsibilities, consider asking for help. We have an amazing team of counselors and psychologists to help you and your family navigate stress and anxiety. Just reach out to schedule an appointment. 

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