Feeling Mentally Drained? 8 Tips For Mental Wellness

By BetterHelp Editorial Team|Updated August 11, 2022
CheckedMedically Reviewed By Laura Angers, NCC, LPC

Is life feeling overwhelming? Do you feel like your brain is on overload, and you just don’t know how to handle it anymore at the moment? It may not just be stress that you’re dealing with. It could be that you’re mentally drained. Mental exhaustion can have a negative impact on your life, but there are things that you can do to correct it.

Mental Exhaustion Can Develop Into A Serious Condition

So, if you feel like you’re mentally tired and you can’t take anymore, the tips below could help you start to feel better.

What Does It Mean To Be Mentally Drained?

Mental exhaustion is more than just daily stress. It leaves you feeling physically drained and emotionally fatigued. According to Medical News Today, it can impact your concentration, ability to sleep, relationships, and physical health, among other things. When left unchecked, it can also cause you to struggle with mental health challenges such as anxiety and depression.

Many things can lead you to the point of mental exhaustion. It typically builds up over time when stress is left untreated. However, it can be something that comes on quickly due to challenging and stressful situations like divorce or caring for the declining health of a loved one. Other situations that can lead you to the point of feeling mentally drained can include financial stress, health concerns, working in a high-pressure job, or juggling many tasks at once, such as school, work, and family.

The situation can be different for each person. So, if you’re feeling drained but don’t fit into one of those categories, it doesn’t mean that this doesn’t apply to you. The good news is, there are things you can do, and steps you can take that can help you turn your situation around.

Tips To Help With Mental Exhaustion

  1. Talk to your doctor

One of the first things that you may want to do if you’re feeling mentally exhausted is talk to your physician. There are physical health conditions that can impact how you feel mentally. It could be that you have problems with your thyroid, anemia, or a number of other health conditions.

Talking to your doctor can help you rule out if there’s anything more serious going on instead of mental exhaustion. Your physician can also help recommend strategies that you can use in your daily life to help deal with mental fatigue. Or, they may be able to refer you to a mental health specialist that can help as well.

  1. Reduce your sensory input

Sometimes when dealing with mental exhaustion, it can help to give your brain a break. Go into a quiet room, turn the lights down, and block out noise. This can help you to recharge and come back into your day in a calmer state.

With access to technology, it’s easy to feel like you’re always connected and that you always need to be responding. The notifications on your phone may constantly be going off. This can add to feeling like you are mentally exhausted because there is something constantly demanding your attention. An article on Harvard Business Review addressed the fact that even keeping your notification on vibrate can distract you from your task at hand by causing you to think about what the notification is and if you should check it.

Taking a break to get away from all of this for a short period can be beneficial in helping you to overcome that feeling of being mentally drained.

It can also help you going forward to turn off notifications on apps that you don’t need on your phone. For example, many people don’t need notifications tied to social media accounts dinging on their phones all day long. You can turn these notifications off and then just view any updates and activity on your account when you log in at certain times of the day. This is a simple change that could help with mental overload.

  1. Cut back your schedule

Sometimes mental exhaustion can be because you have overcommitted your schedule. Many people struggle with taking on more than what they’re really able to do.

If you feel like you’re constantly running and you don’t have any time to relax or recharge, it can help you to look at your calendar. See what you have committed to that you don’t really need to be doing. Look for activities that you can cut out of your schedule, even if it’s just for a short period.

If you have children, consider limiting the number of activities that they participate in at one time. This can help to free up more of your time and stop you from constantly feeling like you’re running from place to place nonstop.

  1. Exercise

There are multiple ways that exercising can help when you feel mentally drained. When you exercise, there are chemicals released in your brain that help to boost your mood and help you to have more energy.

The exercise can also help you to sleep better at night, which can help you to feel mentally more rested in the morning. However, Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends that you pay attention to what time of day you exercise. Some people struggle to fall asleep if they exercise too close to the time they’re trying to go to bed.

To get the benefits from exercise, you don’t need a rigorous exercise schedule. Even going for simple walks outside can help your mental health. And the fresh air and sunshine can also play a positive role in helping you overcome your mental exhaustion.

  1. Use a relaxation technique

There are many relaxation techniques that you can use when you’re feeling drained. Things like yoga, meditation, and deep breathing can help you to pull away from the busy-ness of your day and calm yourself physically and mentally.

Mindfulness meditation and deep breathing are techniques that you can use anywhere you are once you’re familiar with how to do them. So, even if you’re feeling mentally exhausted in the middle of your workday, you can sit at your desk and spend a few minutes in meditation or deep breathing to help re-energize yourself.

  1. Journal

Journaling during your day can help you to release some of your worries of the day. If there are things that you’re worried about that you don’t need to be, this can help you to let go of that worry.

And, as you see your thoughts written down on paper, it can help you to organize them and walk away with a clear understanding of any actions that you need to take. Trying to keep all of your thoughts in your head can add to the overwhelm that you’re feeling. Getting them out onto paper can help free up some of your thinking because you’re not worried that you’re going to forget about it.

Some people find it helpful to journal first thing in the morning or before going to bed. Try different times of day to see what works best for you.

  1. Work on your time management skills

Along with cleaning up your calendar, working on time management skills can also help if you’re dealing with mental exhaustion on a regular basis. It might not be that you’re taking on too much; you may just struggle with knowing how to make the best use of your time.

Identifying common time wasters in your day, such as scrolling through social media for checking emails multiple times a day, can help you to get more work done in a shorter amount of time. If you’re feeling mentally exhausted because you feel you don’t have enough time in your day, learning time management skills can help address that.

  1. Focus on getting enough sleep

It’s hard to feel rested physically or mentally if you’re not getting the proper sleep at night. Getting too little sleep or too much sleep can impact your physical and mental health.

If you’re struggling with getting enough rest at night, you can talk to your doctor or a mental health professional to work on addressing the root cause of the problem. It can also help to make sure you’re sleeping in a dark room with a cool temperature. Using white noise can also help you to fall asleep and stay asleep by blocking out other sounds that might make sleeping hard.

When Should You Talk To A Therapist

Mental Exhaustion Can Develop Into A Serious Condition

Mental exhaustion is not something that should be taken lightly. It is not the normal stress that everyone’s going to feel from time to time. Mental exhaustion can turn into anxiety and depression if left unaddressed.

If you’re struggling to handle your day, emotions, and other things coming your way because you feel mentally exhausted, talking to a therapist can help you learn important coping strategies to move forward in a healthy way. BetterHelp offers therapy online, which can be helpful if you already feel like you have too much to do and not enough time in your day.

Mental exhaustion is something that many people are going to deal with from time to time in their life. However, if you start to notice the symptoms of it, you must take steps to correct it so you can remain as healthy as possible.

Below are commonly asked questions on this topic:

What is mentally drained?
What causes mentally drained?
How do you know if you are mentally drained?
How do you fix mentally drained?
What does emotional burnout feel like?
What are the 5 stages of burnout?
What do you say to someone who is emotionally drained?
How do you heal mentally?
How do I get more mental energy?
How long does a mental burnout last?

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