10 signs you’re emotionally drained (and what to do about it)

Life can be tough when you have many responsibilities. Work deadlines, family obligations, and relationship issues cause stress that takes a toll on our well-being.

It’s easy to neglect self-care in daily life.

But we must be attentive to emotional exhaustion signs to prevent and cope with it. Join us to discover 10 signs you may be emotionally drained and tips to handle it.

1) Chronic fatigue and burnout

Fatigue is a common cause of emotional and mental exhaustion, indicating stress and burnout.

We’ve all been there: overwhelmed by daily tasks and other problems that demand attention.

The emotional fatigue can feel like a giant boulder blocking progress, leaving one paralyzed and unable to move forward.

Recognizing emotional exhaustion versus normal tiredness is key to taking action.

Prioritize your well-being. Take time to recharge and recover. Remember, investing in yourself is the first step toward success!

Just stop. 

Trust me, it’s the best way to break the cycle and regain energy.

Revive yourself by getting a massage or taking a short trip to escape the daily monotony and recharge. You’ll return with a fresh outlook and new energy to conquer any challenge that comes your way!

Life is too short to not indulge in a little R&R.

2) Lack of motivation

Emotional exhaustion can leave you struggling to find enthusiasm. You may procrastinate or struggle to complete tasks.

Everything seems to be dull and meaningless.

Of course, it’s normal to lack motivation every now and then. 

If your lack of motivation persists and you no longer enjoy activities you once did, it’s a red flag.

To cope with being emotionally drained, seek help from friends and family.

Let them know how you feel but focus on what you’ve recently accomplished. This will help you recharge your energy and find motivation again. 

Have you noticed how doing things that make you happy can impact your well-being remarkably? Engaging in hobbies and physical exercise are top-rated ways to rejuvenate your soul and skyrocket your happiness levels. 

Pleasure is a powerful key to personal health and happiness.

Remember, motivation comes from within. Celebrate small successes, and believe in yourself and your capacity to achieve anything.

3) Constant Irritability

If feelings of irritability or frustration easily overcome you, it may be an indication that you’re emotionally drained. You may snap at loved ones or coworkers, lash out in anger, or feel overly sensitive to criticism.

Picture this: when you’re emotionally exhausted, your stress hormone, cortisol, goes into overdrive. Your body signals you to slow down and reset in numerous ways. 

It can make us feel on edge and overwhelmed. This kind of mental fatigue causes irritability, anger, and depression.

To fight emotional burnout, step back and reflect on its root cause.

Meditation is a natural and effective method for processing emotions, alleviating stress, and achieving balance through targeted breathing techniques.

So take a break from the noise of everyday life. Spend time away from technology and media to nourish your spirit and recharge your energy levels. 

4) Manifested through physical symptoms

Emotional stress can translate to physical exhaustion which translates to headaches, dizziness, stomach discomfort, and muscle tension. 

Being kind to oneself is vital to recharge our body and mind strained by stress. Take time to enjoy activities that provide overall fulfillment and relaxation.

If necessary, seek professional help. Discuss with a therapist or a mental health professional, or establish a mindfulness routine that works for you.

Making mental health a top priority is always a smart move, despite any stigma attached to seeking help. Addressing problems immediately can prevent them from escalating further. It’s better to take charge of your mental well-being and seek the necessary help and support to feel better faster.

5) Withdrawal and social disconnection

Wanting to be alone, avoiding social situations, or isolating yourself are signs of emotional exhaustion. You might feel disconnected or too tired to deal with people.

The pessimism associated with being emotionally drained can also translate into negative thoughts towards yourself and others. Loneliness, feelings of inadequacy, and sadness can worsen the issue.

Combat alienation by reconnecting with a best friend or trusted family member. A short chat over coffee or a quick phone call can help you feel connected again.

Venting can be the first thing to help ease emotional exhaustion.

Another way is by participating in Jeanette Brown’s “Reset Your Life Compass Challenge“.

I highly encourage you to take this 5-day challenge. This free online course helps align your goals and values, find connections within, and boost your well-being. You can get practical tools to improve your journaling skills, define your future self and set SMARTER goals.

Within a short span of time, you’ll get the emotional strength and energy to tackle any problem. Believe me, it works!

6) Decreased productivity

Long-term stress may cloud your view of work-life balance, causing procrastination and focus issues. Cognitive overload can exhaust you mentally, leading to emotional reactions that impair decision-making.

You may feel like a ticking timer, struggling to complete work even in a perfect setup. 

Let’s face it: you might not at your best.

That’s why it’s crucial to meet your life and work commitments. Take regular breaks, aim for enough sleep, and squeeze in a quick workout each day – even just a few minutes. 

Take care of your mental health by avoiding distractions and finding activities that energize, inspire, and boost productivity.

Break overwhelming projects into achievable goals. This eases pressure and effectively manages the workload.

7) Anxiety trumps relaxation

Chronic stress can cause fear, worry, or panic. Anxiety attacks can lead to harmful coping mechanisms like binge eating or self-destructive drinking to manage inner turmoil.

It’s crucial to get proper assistance and support to manage this condition in a healthy manner.

Focus on self-medication through relaxing activities that bring you peace and joy. Nurture your body and soul with healthy pursuits like a hard workout at the gym, calming yoga, strolls in nature, or trying a new hobby.

Whatever it is, know that the feeling of anxiety is another red flag signaling emotional distress. 

It’s best to proactively address your issues rather than wait for them to worsen.

8) Detachment from your own mindfulness

If you’re experiencing emotional detachment from the world, it may be one of the signs of mental exhaustion. This is just as critical to addressing as physical health with primary care. 

Prioritize your well-being by practicing soul-nourishing self-care to align your heart and mind. Take a few minutes each day just for yourself!

Do so through self-reflection, deep breathing, or journaling. This way, you get to process whatever it is that’s keeping you from achieving emotional balance in a safe environment.

Believe me, taking time to focus on yourself is a powerful tool for regaining inner strength. It helps you tackle life’s challenges with renewed vigor and resilience.

9) You have insomnia

You know, poor sleeping habits from parenting, for instance, can be easily solved with a dose of caffeine. Together with physical fatigue, you don’t really get enough sleep when you’re working, running a household, and caring for others. 

But if your sleeping behavior’s complicated because you’re emotionally drained, it’s another story. 

Insomnia caused due to emotional exhaustion takes time and effort to heal.

It’s essential to figure out why you’re not catching enough shuteye so that you can address the root cause. 

Is your work environment too distracting? Maybe due to unhealthy eating or lack of exercise?

A good sleep schedule and relaxing activities like reading, listening to music, or stretching can help you get better.

You’ll refuel and restore physical health in the long run.

10) Unhealthy appetite and eating habits

Feeling emotionally drained can trigger a loss of control over eating habits. This can quickly lead to addiction, transforming food into your go-to coping mechanism. 

However, this harmful habit can compromise your digestion and cause fatigue and weight fluctuations. From fear and anxiety about the future to overwhelming responsibilities and low self-esteem, several factors contribute to emotional exhaustion.

It’s crucial to be conscious and identify healthy ways to deal. A balanced lifestyle is key to keeping emotional exhaustion at bay. 

Eating nutritious meals, exercising regularly, and getting enough sleep helps regulate our mood and emotions.

You could even have a trusted friend be your accountability buddy.

But allow yourself a treat or two when you feel your life’s overwhelming

Remember, moderation is key.

Eliminate the stressor

Emotional exhaustion is a real problem that affects many. But with resilience and lifestyle changes in your daily life, these symptoms of mental exhaustion can be avoided. Focus on better managing your mental and physical health to keep a handle on stress in your life.

And when you sense exhaustion coming on, take it as a cue to break away from the source of turmoil. Identify what’s causing the most distress and start taking steps to eliminate it.

Besides, moving forward with an emotional balance is a wonderful way to create a life that’s meaningful and fulfilling.

Frankie Pascua-dela Pasion

Frankie was born and raised in Manila, Philippines. She is a graduate of Humanities from the University of Asia and the Pacific.

Frankie is a seasoned Customer Success and Human Resources professional. She is also a certified Life Coach and Career Strategist. She helps people young and young at heart to simplify their lives by creating emotional awareness. She also loves working with people who have a genuine interest in breaking their inner limits through their journey of self-discovery and authenticity in their personal and professional lives.

Frankie’s recent venture into writing is fueled by her passion for human connection and meaningful relationships at home, at work, and basically everywhere. She enjoys the research, discovery, and reflection that go into each article as much as she writes about them, in the hopes that her words resonate with, and give perspective to her audience.

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