3 Ways To Address Mental Fatigue & How To Identify It, From A Health Coach
Mental fatigue. Burnout. Exhaustion. Different phrases all describing the end result of pushing your body and mind too far. It's a pervasive idea in today's society that if you're not hustling then you're lazy, but it's this exact mindset that can put your health at risk—particularly if you're ignoring the signs your body is trying to send you.
In an effort to address mental fatigue, an online health clinic such as Parsley Health may be a useful resource for finding a holistic treatment approach. We checked in with Shaina Painter, M.S., CNS—a health coach at Parsley—who offered some helpful pointers for identifying if you're struggling with this form of exhaustion and exactly what you can do to reset your battery and mitigate burnout.
Signs you may be mentally fatigued:
- Emotional instability
- Mood changes
- Feeling overwhelmed
- Difficulty concentrating
- Difficulty making decisions
Three methods for beating mental fatigue:
Reclaiming your power.
Once you've identified that you may be struggling with mental fatigue, it's time to take back your power. Asserting boundaries and taking a good, hard look at your schedule and what you need to be doing each day can help you take a step back and find the rest you need. "Identifying tasks in your day that are either depleting or nourishing and labeling them as such, as well as seeing where you can sprinkle in more nourishing tasks in between the depleting ones" is one method that Painter suggests for getting intentional in your own life and lowering the risk of fatigue.
If you're finding joy in your day, this will lift your spirits, which can make a profound difference in energy levels. "Oftentimes we feel run down by our schedules or diet, so taking back our power and adding our own input into our day can catapult us into having more motivation, more mental energy, and even bringing down some of our mental fatigue," she adds.
Self-care can look different from person to person, but Painter says it's essential for reducing fatigue and rejuvenating the mind. "One self-care step could be a good night's sleep or going for a walk outside or eating three balanced meals during your day," she explains. "There are various ways that we can exercise self-care, and I always like to say 'schedule it like a meeting with yourself that you cannot cancel.'"
If you really want to stop mental fatigue, you need to put yourself first, and this comes from listening to your body and what it's telling you it needs. Whether that be a face mask, a balanced meal, or a night with friends, you know what's going to help recharge your battery the best.
Seeking help when needed.
Your mental health is so intricately tied to fatigue, so staying aware of symptoms and seeking support when needed can make a world of difference. "Mental fatigue can sometimes be masked as depression or anxiety, or another mental health condition," Painter says. In this instance, reaching out to a clinical care team like Parsley Health can help you uncover a greater understanding of your mental health and create a path to processing and understanding your fatigue so it doesn't become a recurring issue.
Mental fatigue is not something that should be taken lightly. Seeking help from a clinic such as Parsley Health is a great option for getting third-party assistance to help you learn to set boundaries and find optimal strategies to support your well-being. Making a concerted effort to listen to your body before you end up depleted will make a world of difference in keeping you healthy and free from burnout.
Merrell Readman is the Associate Food & Health Editor at mindbodygreen. Readman is a Fordham University graduate with a degree in journalism and a minor in film and television. She has covered beauty, health, and well-being throughout her editorial career, and formerly worked at SheFinds. Her byline has also appeared in Women’s Health. In her current role, she writes and edits for the health, movement, and food sections of mindbodygreen. Readman currently lives in New York City.