Emotional Exhaustion: How to Act?

Updated on 12/27/2022 by Dr. Iratxe Lopez. clinical psychologist

In this article we talk about it emotional exhaustion, a feeling that unfortunately is present in many people today. We’ll go over what constitutes emotional exhaustion, its causes, signs to look out for, what to do about emotional exhaustion, how to prevent it, and finally we dedicate a section to people who can emotionally exhaust us.

1. What is emotional exhaustion?

He emotional exhaustion It happens when we feel mentally exhausted due to accumulated stress. This stress can come from work, family, or other aspects of our lives. In addition, it influences how we function in our everyday lives and how we interact with other people.

You feel like you’ve broken down inside and you can’t take it anymore.

For this reason, it is important that you pay attention to the signs, because before you reach your limit, your body and mind have warned you that you are on the path that will take you to the limit. emotional exhaustion. Whether you could see the signs or whether you have already immersed yourself in them mental exhaustion, It’s important that you work to find out what that is causes or the people who contributed to your burnout. That way, you’ll have a clearer idea of ​​what to do if you’re already suffering from it, what lifestyle habits you can follow to prevent it, or if you need professional help. Let’s start at the beginning.

2. What are the causes of emotional exhaustion?

The first thing I want to tell you is that the causes They are not always the same for everyone. That means a situation that can be enormously stressful for some, but a manageable situation for others. Emotional exhaustion usually occurs after a long-term stress. And like I said before, the source of stress varies from person to person.

Having clarified the above, there are some common themes that act as Causes of emotional exhaustion for many people. For example, situations in which the person feels out of control can lead to exhaustion. Or if we lead a lifestyle where self-care is conspicuous by its absence.

Some of the most common triggers of emotional exhaustion contain:

  • Jobs where there is a lot of pressure and demand
  • Very long working hours
  • Having a baby or being immersed in parenting
  • caring for a person in need of care
  • have a chronic illness
  • having financial difficulties

You end up getting used to living like this and you mechanize your entire routine believing that everything is normal. Anything but taking care of you. In the midst of so much stress, how can you recognize that you are suffering or on the path of suffering? emotional exhaustion?

3. Warning signs of emotional exhaustion

Often we think that emotional exhaustion is something that pops up in us without warning. But that’s not true, our body (which usually sees things before our mind) gives us Warning signals this exhaustion is near. Normally we don’t pay attention to our signals and ignore them. Therefore, it is important that we pay attention to our body and what it transmits to us.

He first symptom what the face gives is most evident: tiredness, weakness and heaviness in your daily activity. That should get you to turn on the emergency red light.

Symptoms can vary from person to person depending on their level of fatigue, but usually it carries a burden frustration in exhausted people. You lose interest and enthusiasm to do things; especially the ones you used to like and liked. Maybe that’s why you don’t devote any more time to yourself because “totally for what” or “when I don’t have time”.

The lack of energy it makes it difficult for you to engage in normal activities and makes you more irritable with everyone, even those around you. Constant anger is very common without getting to the point, but you’ve broken down so badly that you’re unable to cope. When you get to that point, ask yourself, “What have I become to be like this?

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4. What to do if you are emotionally exhausted?

The first step is barn And relax. At some point you have to do it. It is necessary to think about what brought you to this exhaustion and how to avoid falling into the same pattern in the future. Look in and not out. Be aware of yourself and your needs. That said, it sounds simple and it isn’t. It’s not that easy to say, change your mind and that’s it. If so, you would not have reached fatigue. I share with you some questions you can ask yourself to keep the focus on you:

  • What do I need right now? Here and now?
  • What tasks or activities can I cut out of my life that are useless to me but tire me a lot?
  • What things give me peace?
  • What is the worst that can happen if I delete this particular task? Or if I forget something?
  • Can I create a priority list and cross out what is not a priority for me?
  • Is there someone who uses a lot of energy?
  • What is my body asking me?

Here are some more questions that can help you focus on yourself. The idea is that you print out the picture and answer.

Questions to answer when suffering from emotional exhaustionQuestions to answer when suffering from emotional exhaustion

On the other hand, our body is wise and often sees things before our minds. For this reason, watch your body, that can be a very good idea. Just doing a few relaxation or breathing exercises will draw your attention to it and it will help you connect to it.

Ask for help. It seems easy, but sometimes it’s not. Many people find it difficult to ask others. If this is the case for you, try to find out where this difficulty is coming from. What happened to me or what experiences have I had that make it difficult for me to ask for help now? Maybe you can start small. You may find it easier to ask for a little help from someone close to you than to ask for help from someone you don’t trust as much.

set limits it is essential for all people. In fact, it is very likely that the lack of boundaries is what led you to this situation. Saying no is important and a way to take care of our mental health.

5. Prevention of emotional exhaustion

The ally of emotional exhaustion is the Multitasking. So one by one. It’s not a good idea to bring many to the front, and you can’t be in all places at once. If you’re having a hard time concentrating on just one thing, try practicing it meditation or the mindfulness. They are disciplines that teach you to work in the present moment.

So rest, get about 8 hours of sleep and stay away from anything that overstimulates you. Try to enjoy every moment and eat well, because although it may seem insignificant, food and mental state are closely related.

6. People who are emotionally distressed

I couldn’t end this article without talking about the people who drain us emotionally. Often the state of exhaustion you reach is caused by people around you whom you cannot avoid (family, coworkers, or your own partner), and no matter how hard you try to do any of this, they create it Level of Exhaustion Absorption of energy that cannot be compensated for by any method like the previous ones. The only way to do this is to take it emotional distance.

Mentally exhausted people are known as emotional vampires. They are manipulative people who want their behavior to cloud your optimistic state. In fact, they understand. They appear to you as victims, but in reality you are the victim. What happens is that these types of people need a victim who will blame them for their problems. They tend to have a disastrous vision of life, so whatever you do, they will always have drama accompanying them.

Too bad it will always be worse than yours. Because of this they need a container (ie you) where they can dump their garbage even if you are worse off than him but he won’t see it that way because he always sees himself as a victim. Hence the requirement to always be there for everything. If you don’t, they blackmail you with comments like you’re selfish, they’re always alone, etc. And that’s where your exhaustion begins.

Forget telling them or talking to them to talk sense into them. Remember that they will always see themselves as victims and will not acknowledge anything but their drama. Go away emotionally.

On the other hand, it is also important to consider that we can sometimes put ourselves in a situation where we try to save others by taking responsibility for others’ problems but forgetting to care for ourselves. This is commonly referred to as Savior Syndrome.

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7. How to emotionally get away from an emotional vampire?

To distance yourself from these people, you have to be company and lay limits so it doesn’t cost you your health. It’s a largely in-house job where, if you don’t have the right tools, you can go to a psychologist to help you work on it. Because emotionally distressed people have strong power and do not usually give up.

8. Bibliographic References

  1. Hülsheger, U., Alberts, H., Feinholdt, A. & Lang, J. (2013). Benefits of mindfulness at work: The role of mindfulness in emotion regulation, emotional exhaustion, and job satisfaction. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(2), 310-325.
  2. Ito, J. and Brotherridge, C. (2003). Resources, coping strategies, and emotional exhaustion: A resource conservation perspective. Journal of Professional Conduct, 63(3), 490-509.
  3. Michielsen H, Willemsen T, Croon M, de Vries J, & Van Heck G (2007). Determinants of general fatigue and emotional exhaustion: a prospective study. Psychology & Health, 19(2), 223-235.
  4. Moon, T & Hur, W (2011). Social Behavior and Personality: An international journal, 398, 1087-1096.

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