Have you ever noticed your emotions the day after a very stressful day running errands, meeting people, supporting family or friends, working, and meeting deadlines?
Have you awakened wondering if you could have done something better the day before?
In this article, I will discuss the signs and impact of emotional exhaustion.
You mostly feel tired, have physical pain, desire time alone, or want to sleep. After a full day, you might feel emotionally drained, foggy, or even depressed. I call this the emotional hangover. If you are like me, you desire to take time out of your day to reflect, to experience life at a more authentic level. You become sensitive to the world around you and experience everything with your God-given senses. But you never have enough time!
An “emotional hangover” is like a typical hangover, you remember certain details from the day before, you might feel guilty (even if you didn’t do anything wrong), your body may feel stressed or tired, and you would rather do nothing but rest. This state of emotional existence can last all day or even a few days. The only remedy is rest and some pampering.
I have tried 5 self-care tools that you can use after an “emotional hangover:”
- Exercise: Exercise is extremely important for people under chronic stress. Stress, at very high levels, reduces the body’s ability to cope. Our stress mechanism turns on when we need to act quickly (fight or flight) and turns off when we don’t need it. While under chronic stress, the stress mechanism turns on for no apparent reason. So the body is in a state of constant anxiety. To reduce this, you want to move around:
- take a walk,
- clean, or
- try my favorite activity, Zumba
- Eat well: Eating well is important (leafy green veggies, wheat/grains, etc.) so that your mood can be stable. Proper nutrition has a positive influence over mood and can act as a natural medicine in some cases.
- Have a good cry: Sometimes you simply need to cry by yourself or to a trusted, loving person. Crying is something that not only emotionally releases tension but also helps “unload” the heart.
- Prayer or self-reflection: Spending time in prayer is wonderful once you learn how to do it! Spend some time alone (30min) ironing out what bothers you. Reflect and think out loud.
- Engage in a psychological retreat: If you are feeling overwhelmed, get away! Do something healthy to remove yourself psychologically from your immediate environment.
- Think about something that makes you happy,
- listen to music, or
- take a walk.
- What about doing some introspection before you get out of bed in the morning, have you done this? If not, I encourage you to. I am a big proponent of self-reflection and spiritual pursuit.
I learned a long time ago that I could not be help to anyone unless I first helped myself. Take your overall health seriously! Burn-out, emotional exhaustion, and depression steal not only your life, but your motivation. Find ways to guard your strong emotional self, sometimes it’s all you have.
I’d like to hear from you! If you have things that help you recharge, share them by clicking on the “leave a comment” tab!
All the best
This article was originally published on 3/16/13 but has been updated to reflect comprehensiveness and accuracy.