You’ve been working hard. And you want to keep up your good work, but the days are long and getting longer. You’re tired, mentally exhausted. No one understands what it’s like to be under a lot of pressure; people may even think that you’re just being lazy or dramatic when you say that you need a break and some time away from work. But trust me: mental fatigue is real and can get in the way of your productivity if left unchecked. Here are some tips for how to overcome mental fatigue so that you can stay productive throughout your day-to-day work life.
What is Mental Fatigue?
Mental fatigue is a state of mental and physical exhaustion. It is the result of prolonged mental activity or stress, which can ultimately lead to poor concentration, irritability, and poor decision-making.
The most widely accepted definition of mental fatigue states that it is “a feeling of being tired and lacking energy” (Psychology Today). Mental fatigue can be categorized as acute or chronic depending on how long it lasts. Acute mental lethargy occurs when you have not slept enough or when you are experiencing a lack of sleep due to illness or other factors such as anxiety about something important coming up in your life (like an exam). Chronic mental lethargy affects those who suffer from recurrent bouts with prolonged periods without adequate rest and repeated exposure to traumatic events over time.
What are the symptoms of Mental Fatigue?
One of the most common symptoms of mental fatigue is feeling tired all the time. You may not even be able to get out of bed in the morning, because you’re just so exhausted. This can also lead to feelings of apathy and hopelessness, especially if your job requires you to focus on a lot of tasks at once.
Other symptoms include difficulty concentrating, impatience with other people (and yourself), irritability and anger, depression, or mild sadness or anxiety (even though they may not seem like they fit into this category). Other common symptoms are poor memory and lack of motivation towards things that used to make you happy.
Tips for overcoming Mental Fatigue
Eat healthy food
The first step to overcoming mental lethargy is to eat a balanced diet. You should make sure that you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs by eating meals with a good balance of protein, carbohydrates, and fats. It’s also important to avoid consuming too much junk food or fast food because these types of foods don’t provide any real nutritional value. Instead of eating processed foods like ice cream and chips regularly, try replacing them with fruits and vegetables instead—they are both delicious alternatives that are rich in vitamins and minerals.
Exercise is a great way to relax, reduce mental stress and improve your overall health. It can also be an effective method for beating mental lethargy. Exercise doesn’t necessarily mean getting sweaty and tired; even simple forms of exercise like stretching can provide relief from mental fatigue.
Exercise has been shown to improve sleep quality by releasing growth hormones that promote restful sleep, according to the National Sleep Foundation. This helps relieve mental lethargy because it improves your mood and energy levels throughout the day so you have more strength to keep going at work or school without feeling exhausted. In addition, exercising regularly may help eliminate some of the symptoms associated with anxiety disorders such as panic attacks due to hormonal imbalances caused by lack of exercise over time.
You may not be aware of it, but sleep is an important part of maintaining mental health. Sleep deprivation can lead to a decrease in productivity and memory, as well as increased mental stress levels.
Sleep is the time when your brain processes information from the day and files it away so you can remember it. Without adequate sleep, this filing system breaks down, making it harder for you to recall what you learned during the day. Furthermore, a lack of sleep can cause mental stress which triggers hormones that make your body feel tired even though your mind still wants to go on working. When this happens over time we call it “mental fatigue.”
Meditation is a great way to take time for yourself, relax and focus. It can also give you a sense of balance in your life.
- Meditation helps you deal with mental stress and anxiety by making you more aware of the present moment rather than dwelling on past experiences or worrying about the future.
- Meditation helps you sleep better because it teaches your body when it’s time to mental rest instead of being awake all night thinking about your problems.
- When we meditate regularly, we become more mindful — which means we have an increased mental awareness of our thoughts, feelings, and actions at any given moment in time.
Avoid social media or limit screen time
Social media is a distraction and can be addictive. It can negatively impact your sleep, leading to depression and anxiety.
As you know, it’s easy to get sucked into the endless stream of memes and videos on social media sites like Facebook and Instagram. But spending too much time clicking through these sites can lead to mental lethargy if used in excess—and when we’re already feeling fatigued from work, this kind of diversion is not helpful at all.
If you are experiencing mental lethargy from working hard at your job (or any other activity), avoid or limit screen time as much as possible.
Plan tasks according to your priority
The first step to overcoming mental lethargy is to plan your tasks according to your priority. It is important that you know what you want to achieve and prioritize it accordingly. Planning makes it easier for us to stick with the plan, especially if we’re faced with many things at once.
Planning helps us manage our time effectively by prioritizing certain activities over others based on their importance in relation to each other – this means that when something more important comes up, there will always be something else that’s less urgent but still has some value attached to it (i.e., not completely useless). This way we won’t have any guilt about leaving something undone because it wasn’t really important enough anyway.
You have to take breaks. If you’re looking to overcome mental fatigue and increase your productivity, then you need to take breaks.
- You should take a break after every hour of work, or even 30 minutes if you can’t get through an hour without getting tired.
- If you are feeling mentally drained at any point during the day and want to take a break, just do it. Even if there’s still more work left on your plate (and there almost always is), taking some time away from that work will refresh and recharge your brain enough so that when it comes back up again in front of you, it’ll be ready for action again.
While it’s normal to feel tired at times, you may be suffering from mental lethargy if your energy level is low and you’re having trouble focusing.
To counter the effects of mental lethargy, drink plenty of water throughout the day. While experts disagree on exactly how much water a person should consume each day, most agree that 64 ounces (about eight glasses) are a good baseline for staying hydrated. It’s also helpful to keep track of how much water you drink so that you can ensure that both your body and brain are properly hydrated. If possible, keep a bottle of water with you throughout the day so it’s readily available when needed.
Reduce mental and physical stress
- Stress is the most common cause of mental fatigue. Stress can be caused by work, family, or financial problems; a lack of sleep; anxiety; depression, and other mental illnesses.
- In fact, stress affects all parts of your body, including your brain. When you suffer from chronic mental stress, your brain isn’t able to function at its best—and this leads to mental fatigue and exhaustion.
- If you find yourself feeling chronically stressed out on a regular basis—even when there’s nothing, in particular, to worry about—you may have an underlying condition such as depression or anxiety that needs professional evaluation.
Connect with a friend
One of the most effective ways to combat mental fatigue is by connecting with a friend. In fact, it can be one of the most effective ways to combat any problem in life.
When you’re feeling tired and worn out, reaching out and speaking with someone who cares about you can help boost your mood and give you an added boost of energy for tackling whatever challenges lay before you.
Talking on the phone or sending text messages is perhaps the easiest way to connect with friends when they are not physically present (and sometimes even when they are). However, emails and letters also work well if that’s what works best for both parties involved.
Overcoming mental fatigue can be a challenge, but it’s worth it. Your body and mind need rest to function at their best. When you don’t give yourself enough time for recovery, you end up exhausted and unable to think clearly. Here are some ideas to help you combat exhaustion so that you can enjoy the mental pleasures of life again.