Mental Health

Feeling Mentally Drained? (4 Practical Ways to Stop Feeling Mentally or Emotionally Drained)

Table of Contents

How do you know when you're emotionally drained or mentally exhausted?

Ok, that's an easy one.

There are basic signs that show up in your life--like not caring about anything anymore or starting to resent other people.

The better questions to ask are:

How do you know when it's time to make a change due to emotional exhaustion or mental exhaustion?

And what do you actually do to feel better?

After reading this, you're going to, A, know if you're emotionally drained or mentally exhausted, and, B, you'll come away with crystal-clear ways to improve your emotional health.

How to Know When You're Feeling Mentally Drained or Emotionally Exhausted

To understand the stress symptoms and signs of mental and emotional exhaustion, there's something you should know.

Emotional exhaustion and mental exhaustion are brutal, but they're totally valid responses to a chaotic world.

It's just one symptom, but it saps you of your energy and time, and it does this from the inside out.

When you're emotionally exhausted, you can feel it in your bones.

What once was enjoyable now feels like a chore.

And forget actual chores--you're just trying to get through the day.

If any of the previous statements describe you, you're likely dealing with emotional or mental exhaustion.

But, seriously, what does emotionally drained mean?

To give you a complete picture, let's review a few common experiences that indicate it's time to make a change for the better in your life.

1. Drained - You're Experiencing Emotional Burnout, Mental Exhaustion, or Physical Exhaustion (Spotting Exhaustion Symptoms)


A word that gets tossed around like a hot potato. But what does it actually look like?

Burnout can be job burnout. It can be family burnout. It can be taking-care-of-your-child burnout. It can even be spending too much time around someone who is an energy vampire.

What it comes down to is this: you're experiencing burnout when you're dealing with chronic stress, whether you're aware of that stress or not.

Burnout is a massive depletion of energy levels.

It's physical symptoms as much as it is emotional symptoms, behavioral symptoms, and mental symptoms.

To put it plainly: it's mental and physical exhaustion, as much feeling mentally drained as it is feeling emotionally drained.

If you have a medical condition that is getting worse, it could be a warning sign that you're heading into dangerous territory.

2. Your Time is Not Your Own

This is what happens when you no longer have control of your life.

It's what happens when other people's agendas creep into your brain and dictate what you must do.

By the time this happens to you, emotional exhaustion has moved into your life and set out a welcome mat for mental exhaustion to follow.

If you feel you no longer can control what you have to do, you're probably mentally or emotionally exhausted.

3. You're Not the Person You Aspire to Be

This is a tricky one because not everyone sets goals for their personal development.

But let's look at it this way. You know when you're at your best, and you know when you're deviating from that in your everyday life.

If you consistently find that you are not the person you know you can be, it's time to make a change.

Now, it's totally normal to go through challenging situations from time to time. That's how you grow and get stronger.

What I'm talking about is enduring a state of constant and total emotional exhaustion.

That's not living. You deserve to have a personal life that is both nourishing and uplifting.

4. Your Anxiety Has Anxiety

Your mental health is at the center of who you are. It's your mental and emotional operating system, and it's directly related to your physical health.

And emotional exhaustion brings with it a frustrating foe: anxiety.

Anxiety makes you doubt yourself. It makes you rehash past events. It also makes you question if you are really experiencing mental fatigue or physical fatigue--and if you even have a right to feel the way you feel in the first place.

It's maddening.

But this is simply the natural result of long-term, chronic stress.

5. Your Sleep is Suffering and Your Energy is Non-Existent

And it brings me to my final point. 

Long-term stress leads to mental exhaustion and emotional exhaustion.

It's not just having a "difficult time."

It's asking yourself all the time, "Why am I so tired??"

We're talking about being completely drained of your emotional energy.

It's at this point that sleep starts to suffer. It can be hard to fall asleep and stay asleep because your body is so amped from being tired all the time.

That sounds oxymoronic, but the only moronic thing about it is that it can happen to hard-working, well-intentioned human beings in the first place.

How to Overcome Emotional Exhaustion and Mental Fatigue (Understanding the Emotionally Drained Meaning)

Here's what to say to someone who is emotionally drained, including you.

First, you're not stupid.

You know there are no easy answers when it comes to maintaining your emotional and mental health.

But there's good news.

Because our lives are determined by what we repeatedly do.

And if we take action that leads to emotional exhaustion, we can take action to free ourselves from emotional exhaustion.

If you've determined that you are experiencing emotional exhaustion, use the following list to inspire you to take new action to help you deal with and recover from emotional and mental exhaustion:

1. Make a list of your top stressors.

This could be as simple as taking five minutes to write down everything that is draining you of your precious energy. Don't overthink this.

When doing this, it can be helpful to think through your common symptoms such as depressive symptoms, behavioral symptoms or ever performance symptoms in the workplace or your family life.

2. Look at your list of stressors and identity the top 20% that are causing you the most trouble.

One of the best ways to make big changes in a short amount of time is to do an 80/20 analysis of your life, which is built off the truth of the 80/20 principle. The principle is a natural phenomenon that shows up repeatedly and across many areas in life. It states that 20% of something produces 80% of the issues. For mental health challenges, that means that it's usually a handful of issues that are causing most of the problems. Figure out what those are.

3. Take action.

To stop feeling emotionally drained and mentally exhausted, you can't keep doing what you've been doing. You need to take new action. What got you here won't get you there. If you think you can't take action, break the actions down into the smallest possible pieces until you can. No one is saying you need to change your life in one day. Start small. Improve by one percent each day. And if you need extra help, it might be wise to reach out to a mental health professional.

4. Zoom in on the fundamentals.

Yes, I know talking about doing the basics is boring. But I obsess over them because they work. The fundamentals are the 80/20 of life. Getting enough sleep. Eating healthy, whole foods. Drinking enough water. Taking time to reflect, meditate, or pray. You've heard it all before. But you know what? It's the basic stuff that will change your life. If you look at the list you created in step one, you'll probably realize that you're neglecting some pretty basic areas of your life. What are they? And how can you give them the attention they deserve?

In Conclusion - Achieving Mental and Emotional Health is a Lifelong Process

Maintaining emotional health is a process each person must figure out on their own.

Now, I'm not saying you're alone in this.

I'm saying that you know your life best, and only you can take corrective action to manage your stress and improve your mental health.

Your family won't do it for you. It's up to you.

This is the sign you've been looking for.

Emotional exhaustion can have a devastating impact on a life.

If you're struggling to get through the day or if your daily tasks are overwhelming you, then it's time to make a change.

The answer is not "more motivation" or give all your money to mental health professionals, although pursuing both can help.

The answer lives inside of you.

You know it, and I know it.

You don't have to feel drained and exhausted all the time.

You have the ability to feel better.

Take these resources and put them to work.

Because at the end of the day, your energy is one of the most precious gifts you have.

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