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6 Things You Should Do When You’re Mentally Drained (Instead Of Resting On The Couch)

6 Things You Should Do When You’re Mentally Drained (Instead Of Resting On The Couch)

At one point or another, we all burn out. It wouldn’t be wrong to think that plopping yourself down on the couch for a few days would leave you feeling recharged. You may not know this, but physical fatigue can have more to do with mental exhaustion than the exercise you’re getting that day. Don’t get me wrong, it’s important to once in a while take a day, maybe even two and give your body some time to rest. However, it isn’t always the most effective approach when you’re feeling mentally drained. In fact, being a couch potato could actually result in you feeling more drained. Below I’ve listed some effective ways to recharge your mind when it starts feeling burned out.

Change up your routine

    It really can be hard to not fall into a routine. Every day you’re doing the same thing over and over, but breaking up that routine can be a really good way to kick that mental exhaustion. Make a point to challenge yourself to do something totally new once a week. I mean, if you’re feeling really enthusiastic, try doing something new once a day. It can be something really simple. Instead of taking your usual way to work, take a different one that may be more scenic. Think about activities that you enjoy that really feed your soul and start doing them. When your mind is opened to new ways of thinking and perceiving, you tend to be much happier overall.

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    Keep a journal

      Keeping a journal is a great way to relieve stress and get it all out on paper.[1] It can be really helpful down the road because it gives you the opportunity to look back and reflect on the progress you’ve made in your life. Journaling also jolts your creativity, builds confidence, boosts comprehension, and encourages you to follow through with goals. It shouldn’t be something that makes you put pressure on yourself, you don’t need to have an entry for every day either. Write down what comes to mind, you’ll feel such a release when you’ve finished. Make it a priority to write in your journal a few times a week. Eventually, you’ll find writing to be an outlet for recharging your brain.

      Meditate

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        You may have seen this one coming. There are so many articles and people out there who rant and rave about the benefits of meditation, but it truly works. Roughly 80 percent of doctor visits are for stress-related issues. A lot of money and time can be saved if you learn to practice self-care through meditation. It can reduce stress, boost immunity, improve sleep, and can quite possibly increase happiness. Five minutes a day is really all you need. Over time you may find meditating more than once a day for longer periods of time is even more beneficial for your mental well-being. As a side note, people who consistently meditate are usually more rational and feel less anxiety when they are confronted with challenges.[2]

        Re-evaluate your relationships

          Having relationships is very important, but it’s even more important to really be mindful of how healthy they are. You may find that you have a few toxic relationships in your life. It may seem difficult to end these relationships because often times you grow to be comfortable in them. Sadly, dysfunctional relationships may become a ‘normal’ part of life and you may not realize how mentally exhausting they can be.

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          Take time to be mindful of all your relationships. It’s crucial to once in a while reassess and decide whether they are adding value to your life and well-being. In toxic romantic relationships, you can become extremely mentally drained when you’re  putting energy into something that just may not be right. People who are mindful of their relationships typically tend to be more confident in their own judgment.

          Get some exercise

            Exercise isn’t just beneficial for your overall well-being, it’s helpful for when you’re feeling mentally drained as well. You don’t need to get a gym membership to get activity in. We’re all busy, I get it, but setting aside just 20 minutes a day can really make all the difference. Multiple studies have shown the value of exercise in boosting your concentration and mental focus.[3] With a daily 20-minute intense workout, blood flow to the brain increases and you improve your mood, creativity, and memory.

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            Ditch your ego, be mindful of your soul

              DO WHAT MAKES YOU HAPPY.

              This can get confused with doing something that brings you a sense of achievement. That feeling of achievement won’t always necessarily bring you joy. Spending a few extra hours at work to get things done can be productive but powering through can really burn you out. Allow yourself to buy the shoes you’ve been wanting to buy for weeks, or take a spontaneous weekend trip with friends or your significant other. In the grand scheme of things, our time on earth really is short. Whatever it may be that you choose to do, do it because it truly brings genuine joy to your soul.

              Featured photo credit: girl in fitness clothingroutine quote, picture of a couplejournalwoman meditatinggood for your soul 

              Reference

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              Erica Wagner

              Freelance Writer

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              Last Updated on March 13, 2019

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

              Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

              You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

              Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

              1. Work on the small tasks.

              When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

              Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

              2. Take a break from your work desk.

              Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

              Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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              3. Upgrade yourself

              Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

              The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

              4. Talk to a friend.

              Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

              Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

              5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

              If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

              Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

              Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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              6. Paint a vision to work towards.

              If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

              Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

              Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

              7. Read a book (or blog).

              The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

              Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

              Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

              8. Have a quick nap.

              If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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              9. Remember why you are doing this.

              Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

              What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

              10. Find some competition.

              Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

              Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

              11. Go exercise.

              Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

              Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

              As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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              Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

              12. Take a good break.

              Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

              Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

              Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

              Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

              More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

              Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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