11 Telltale Signs of Mental Exhaustion

Today, I am sharing the telltale signs of mental exhaustion. It is similar to being physically worn out, except, your mind is exhausted instead of your muscles. It tends to happen when you emphasize on a mentally challenging task for a while.

You might also feel like your brain is drained and you are constantly stressed out or on alert. Mental Exhaustion can also be brought on if you have a lot on your plate, like caring for kids or aging parents alongside other things in your daily life.

11 Telltale Signs of Mental Exhaustion



1. You Feel Constantly Impatient or Angry

Mental exhaustion can lead to bad moods. You might feel short-tempered or irritated, and snap at people around you more often. It can be hard to control your emotions when you feel mentally tapped out.

2. You Struggle to Get Work Done

Productivity levels for everyone tend to go up and down. However mental fatigue can make it problematic to concentrate. It takes a toll on motivation, and you might get distracted more easily, missing deadlines. Even small tasks can feel too overwhelming.

3. You Tend to Zone Out

Your mind tends to wander or you feel drowsy. This makes it hard to pay attention to what you are busy with and you might have a fast reaction to things. This can be dangerous in particular situations, like driving. Mental exhaustion is associated with car accidents.

4. You Have Trouble Sleeping

Many people might think that mental fatigue might make it easier to drift off to sleep. On the contrary, research shows that individuals with stressful jobs that involve high cognitive workload are more prone to suffer from insomnia as opposed to people with less mentally stressful jobs. A lack of sleep can make the condition worse. Speak to your doctor about treatment.

5. You Have a Higher Tendency For Unhealthy Habits

People who are under a lot of mental pressure may start drinking or abusing drugs, more than normal. Mental exhaustion can be even harder for those that suffer from substance use disorder. Experts believe that drug abuse changes parts of your brain that helps with controlling impulsive behaviour and managing stress better.

6. Your Feel Depressed All The Time

You might not have any energy or you might feel like everything is moving in slow motion. Some people reported feeling numb. This can make it tricky to complete things at work or focus on daily activities. Speak to your doctor if you are experiencing a feeling of helplessness for more than two weeks. This could be a sign of a more severe depression.

7. You Are Constantly Worrying

Mental exhaustion triggers the sympathetic nervous system, which is also called the fight or flight mode. Anxiety is the alarm that alerts you that something is not right. If you are mentally fatigued, you might experience a feeling of worry or panic all the time. This often coincides with symptoms of depression.

8. Exercise Starts Feeling Like a Burden

It is not clear why mental fatigue influences physical activity. Some think that one’s tolerance for working out goes down. Therefore it might make it seem that you are putting in a lot more effort than you actually are.

9. Your Eating Habits Have Changed

Mental exhaustion can have an impact on your appetite in various ways. You might snack more than usual and not pay attention to what you are eating. Stress can also lead to cravings for sugary, fatty, or salty foods. Or you might lose your appetite.

10. You Start Making More Mistakes

No one is perfect, so your work might not be perfect every time. However, mental fatigue reduces your ability for catching and rectifying your mistakes quickly, or at all. This can lead to serious risks in jobs that involve driving, operating machinery, or flying a plane.

11. You Experience More Pain

Not everyone is the same, therefore it is not easy to predict how mental exhaustion might impact your body. However, you might experience sore muscles, headaches, stomach pains, or back pain. If you have a pre-existing condition like fibromyalgia, you may experience more pain than usual.

Things You Can Do to Prevent or Ease Mental Exhaustion

Taking Breaks

Taking short breaks in between long stretches of mental work can make you feel less drained. There is no precise amount of rest time that might work for you. But you might want to revitalize  your mind by resting a few minutes every one to two hours.

Being Active

Evidence exists that you might feel more energetic if you work out during your breaks. You can try stretching for a few minutes or do a few jumping jacks. Or go for a brisk walk around the block.

Finding Ways to Relax

It is hard to prevent mental fatigue all together. But you can learn to activate your body’s natural relaxation response. You can try meditating, going for a massage, yoga, or something easy like watching a few funny clips on your phone. You are not alone. Reach out to family, friends, or a mental health professional for some support.


I hope this post about the 11 telltale signs of mental exhaustion has given you some helpful information. Be sure to try some of my suggestions to prevent or ease mental fatigue.

Sending you much love, light, and mental rejuvenation.



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