Over the years, I’ve learned how to recognize different types of exhaustion. They were not all the same and therapy helped me learn how to identify as they each needed different solutions. I want to focus on emotional and mental exhaustion. They may sound the same, yet they require different ways to handle them for me.
Emotional exhaustion is one of the main symptoms of a depressive episode for me. There is this sense of heaviness, at times with no explanation, that weighs down on me. Depressive episodes can last for months, so it used to get to a point where I just didn’t want to feel anything anymore and numbness was the goal. When I have this type of exhaustion, this is usually when I may schedule more therapy sessions and adjust certain things in my life until it passes because I know from my past the consequences of letting it get out of control. In therapy, I would focus on maintaining the resilience that it is only temporary and working through strategies on how to adjust my life. The adjustments could including being consistent with getting out of the house, getting more sun, not isolating, changing or cutting our certain routines, and even reevaluation of medications.
Mental exhaustion for me comes from stress or anxiety. I separate this from emotional exhaustion because for me it is usually caused by an external trigger. My career can be stressful at times. Sometimes, I can end a day and just not want to think anymore. Solitude to recharge, yoga, and meditation usually helps me work through this. Going through the impulsive and cyclical thinking with my anxiety can have me so worked up that in the past would lead to everything falling apart. I based decisions on irrational fears because I couldn’t bear to experience or want to feel whatever conclusion I came up in my head. Stepping back to reevaluation situations, writing, and therapy helped me work through this.
Resting is so much more than sleeping. It is important to recognize when you need rest so you can understand what needs to be adjusted.
What types of exhaustion do you deal with? What do you do to work through them?