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Last Updated on June 17, 2020

6 Things You Can Do When You’re Mentally Exhausted

6 Things You Can Do When You’re Mentally Exhausted

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 exhausted. 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.

1. Change up Your Routine

“If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine, it is lethal.” — Paulo Coelho

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.

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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.

2. 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.

Here’re some tips for you to kickstart journaling: Writing Journal for a Better and More Productive Self (The How-To Guide)

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3. Meditate

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]

If you’ve never meditated before, this article is for you: How Do You Meditate? 8 Meditation Techniques for Complete Beginners

4. Re-evaluate Your Relationships

Having relationships is very important, but it’s even more important to really be mindful of how healthy they are.

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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.

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.

5. Get Some Exercise

Exercise isn’t just beneficial for your overall well-being, it’s helpful for when you’re feeling 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]

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With a daily 20-minute intense workout, blood flow to the brain increases and you improve your mood, creativity, and memory. Here’re also 5 Ways to Find Time for Exercise.

6. 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. Here’re 6 Reasons Why You’re Not Doing What Actually Makes You Happy.

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.

More Tips for Energizing Your Mind

Featured photo credit: ZACHARY STAINES via unsplash.com

Reference

More by this author

Erica Wagner

Erica is a passionate writer who shares inspiring ideas and lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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Last Updated on August 6, 2020

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

6 Reasons Why You Should Think Before You Speak

We’ve all done it. That moment when a series of words slithers from your mouth and the instant regret manifests through blushing and profuse apologies. If you could just think before you speak! It doesn’t have to be like this, and with a bit of practice, it’s actually quite easy to prevent.

“Think twice before you speak, because your words and influence will plant the seed of either success or failure in the mind of another.” – Napolean Hill

Are we speaking the same language?

My mum recently left me a note thanking me for looking after her dog. She’d signed it with “LOL.” In my world, this means “laugh out loud,” and in her world it means “lots of love.” My kids tell me things are “sick” when they’re good, and ”manck” when they’re bad (when I say “bad,” I don’t mean good!). It’s amazing that we manage to communicate at all.

When speaking, we tend to color our language with words and phrases that have become personal to us, things we’ve picked up from our friends, families and even memes from the internet. These colloquialisms become normal, and we expect the listener (or reader) to understand “what we mean.” If you really want the listener to understand your meaning, try to use words and phrases that they might use.

Am I being lazy?

When you’ve been in a relationship for a while, a strange metamorphosis takes place. People tend to become lazier in the way that they communicate with each other, with less thought for the feelings of their partner. There’s no malice intended; we just reach a “comfort zone” and know that our partners “know what we mean.”

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Here’s an exchange from Psychology Today to demonstrate what I mean:

Early in the relationship:

“Honey, I don’t want you to take this wrong, but I’m noticing that your hair is getting a little thin on top. I know guys are sensitive about losing their hair, but I don’t want someone else to embarrass you without your expecting it.”

When the relationship is established:

“Did you know that you’re losing a lot of hair on the back of your head? You’re combing it funny and it doesn’t help. Wear a baseball cap or something if you feel weird about it. Lots of guys get thin on top. It’s no big deal.”

It’s pretty clear which of these statements is more empathetic and more likely to be received well. Recognizing when we do this can be tricky, but with a little practice it becomes easy.

Have I actually got anything to say?

When I was a kid, my gran used to say to me that if I didn’t have anything good to say, I shouldn’t say anything at all. My gran couldn’t stand gossip, so this makes total sense, but you can take this statement a little further and modify it: “If you don’t have anything to say, then don’t say anything at all.”

A lot of the time, people speak to fill “uncomfortable silences,” or because they believe that saying something, anything, is better than staying quiet. It can even be a cause of anxiety for some people.

When somebody else is speaking, listen. Don’t wait to speak. Listen. Actually hear what that person is saying, think about it, and respond if necessary.

Am I painting an accurate picture?

One of the most common forms of miscommunication is the lack of a “referential index,” a type of generalization that fails to refer to specific nouns. As an example, look at these two simple phrases: “Can you pass me that?” and “Pass me that thing over there!”. How often have you said something similar?

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How is the listener supposed to know what you mean? The person that you’re talking to will start to fill in the gaps with something that may very well be completely different to what you mean. You’re thinking “pass me the salt,” but you get passed the pepper. This can be infuriating for the listener, and more importantly, can create a lack of understanding and ultimately produce conflict.

Before you speak, try to label people, places and objects in a way that it is easy for any listeners to understand.

What words am I using?

It’s well known that our use of nouns and verbs (or lack of them) gives an insight into where we grew up, our education, our thoughts and our feelings.

Less well known is that the use of pronouns offers a critical insight into how we emotionally code our sentences. James Pennebaker’s research in the 1990’s concluded that function words are important keys to someone’s psychological state and reveal much more than content words do.

Starting a sentence with “I think…” demonstrates self-focus rather than empathy with the speaker, whereas asking the speaker to elaborate or quantify what they’re saying clearly shows that you’re listening and have respect even if you disagree.

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Is the map really the territory?

Before speaking, we sometimes construct a scenario that makes us act in a way that isn’t necessarily reflective of the actual situation.

A while ago, John promised to help me out in a big way with a project that I was working on. After an initial meeting and some big promises, we put together a plan and set off on its execution. A week or so went by, and I tried to get a hold of John to see how things were going. After voice mails and emails with no reply and general silence, I tried again a week later and still got no response.

I was frustrated and started to get more than a bit vexed. The project obviously meant more to me than it did to him, and I started to construct all manner of crazy scenarios. I finally got through to John and immediately started a mild rant about making promises you can’t keep. He stopped me in my tracks with the news that his brother had died. If I’d have just thought before I spoke…

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