Mental fatigue is a state of tiredness that sets in when your brain’s energy levels are depleted. Mental fatigue is usually the result of prolonged stress. Long-term stress can be brought on by a variety of factors, including a challenging life event, a demanding job, or procrastination.
Long-term mental exhaustion also affects your professional life. When your symptoms aren’t managed, it leads to workplace burnout. Symptoms of workplace burnout include a lack of belief in your abilities, decreased job satisfaction, and a lack of motivation.
Sometimes, you can remove the source of your mental fatigue altogether. For example, changing jobs can fix brain fog caused by a high-stress work environment. Other situations, like living with an illness, are not so straightforward. In these cases, mental fatigue can be managed.
Here are some simple ways to cope with mental fatigue and improve your mental health.
1. Take frequent breaks
Whether it’s a 15-minute break, a weekend getaway or a staycation, taking some time off to unwind can do wonders for your mental health. Take intermittent breaks even at work. “Allow your mind to wander, preferably while being physically active” (like a stroll near the building), suggests Dr. Boyes. “Taking breaks help prevent tunnel vision. You’ll more easily see simple solutions to problems and won’t get caught up in spending excessive time on unimportant things,” she explains.
Spending as little as 20 minutes to practice meditation each day can go a long way. Studies show that meditation not only improves focus and memory but also changes the way your body responds to stress. If meditation isn’t your cup of tea, don’t worry. Try these science-backed alternatives instead.
3. Say yes to self-acceptance and self-care
Start practicing self-care, no matter how self-indulgent it sounds. Do at least one thing every day that makes you feel genuinely happy. Check out this handy guide on self-care for beginners.”Another way to free up your cognitive and emotional reserves is to practice acceptance,” notes Dr. Boyes.” This could be accepting certain traits of your romantic partner, occasional human error, changes at work, or something as simple as your kid liking a food one day and rejecting it the next,” adds the psychology expert.
4. Work on your patterns of self-sabotage
“To stop sabotaging yourself, you need to figure out your patterns of behavior and then find creative ways to counteract them and form new habits,” says Dr Boyes. “For example, people who are prone to anxiety tend to be hypervigilant to signs of threat and detect threats that aren’t really there. This happens to be one of my personal patterns of self-defeating thinking. Knowing my thinking bias, I factor it into my judgments.
I explicitly say to myself, ‘my brain is reacting to this as if it’s a threat when most likely it’s actually an opportunity’,”