You don’t get very far along in life without learning that it’s full of ups and downs. One moment you feel like you can take on the world, and the next you’re in the depths of despair. Eventually, all of those extremes can start to be too much.
Psychology and Stress
Stress has become such a normal part of life that people don’t always recognize it, but knowing when you need a break is a crucial life skill. Here are eight signs that you might be headed for exhaustion.
1. You Can’t Get Motivated
Once upon a time, you were ready to take on the world. Now you can’t seem to muster up the motivation to even get going and your work starts to pile up.
When this happens, it’s tempting to try to push through and work even harder. What you actually need, though, is to do the opposite. Take some time to rest and rejuvenate. When it’s time for inspiration to strike, it will find you.
2. You Are Easily Upset
Mental and emotional exhaustion means that you feel everything more intensely. At any other time, an offhand comment or joke might roll right off your back. Now, the least little thing breaks through your defenses and makes you want to hide from the world.
Don’t think that you have to “toughen up.” If you need an emotional rest, take it. It’s not always easy to give yourself a break, but it will be far better to do that than to break down entirely.
3. You Cry at the Drop of a Hat
Just like your feelings are right at the surface, so are your tears. Even if you’re not usually a crier, others’ words and actions start to hit you right where it hurts.
When you’re completely exhausted, all the stresses that you encounter feel more intense. They build up inside you, and eventually, all your system can do to cleanse itself is cry.
4. You Have Frequent Anxiety Attacks
As exhaustion causes your little stresses to feel bigger, you begin to feel overwhelmed easily. You find yourself having anxiety attacks on a daily basis, and it can get scary.
Try not to get carried away by the fear. Remember, it’s a signal that you need to slow down and give yourself some time to cope. Take some alone time and figure out what you need that you’re not getting.
5. Irritation is the New Normal
The less in control you feel, the more irritated you get. Waves of irritation can give you a drive that feels like power and strength, but you feel powerless in your ability to handle daily life. So instead, you conclude that you have no business dealing with the world and you start to retreat.
Be gentle with yourself. It’s easy to give yourself a hard time when you don’t feel like you can do anything or be with anyone, but your mind is sending you the signal to make time for yourself.
6. You Can’t Sleep
One of the most frustrating things about exhaustion is that even though you don’t want to do anything, you can’t sleep either. Your thoughts swirl around in your head and you can’t quiet them long enough to fall asleep. You become more and more tired, and wakeful nights become one more thing to stress over.
7. You Feel Nauseated or Dizzy
Science tells us that exhaustion affects your whole body. When people are dangerously tired, their bodies are just too worn out to function normally and they start to feel constantly dizzy and nauseous. If this happens to you, it’s a major red flag that you need a break.
8. You Start to Go Numb
If you’ve been burning out for long enough, all of those troublesome feelings start to go away. In fact, you start to not feel anything at all. You’ve completely given up hope, so you just zone out.
This is one of the most serious warning signs of exhaustion. Any time you feel yourself starting to feel nothing at all, take a break. Find yourself and bring yourself back.
Healing is a Priority
Whenever you feel that your well being is taking any kind of downturn, pay attention.
Take some mental health time, breathe, and take a good look at what you need to heal. You can handle life’s challenges, but you need to start with some self-help and self-care.