Everyone feels tired every now and then. Coming home from work or school, you feel there’s no energy left to do anything else. There’s dinner to prepare, toys to put away, laundry to load, help the children with homework, bake cookies for the fund drive, call your mother, and the list goes on; not to mention that before coming home, you had to pass by the supermarket to get some groceries and then pick up the kids from sports and music practice. Just thinking about all the things that still need to be done can give you mental stress.
Perhaps your day wasn’t so great either. The boss was so demanding that doing your job leaves you feeling exhausted. And if you’re a student, we all know what it’s like – too many distractions, a ton of homework and too little time to do them. Mental fatigue is a symptom that can lead to serious physical illness. The good news is that there are practical and common sense steps anyone can take to overcome mental tiredness. These are not quick fixes and might seem easier said than done, but if you take self-responsibility for your mental, emotional, and physical health, the benefits will lead to well-being and a better quality of life; in addition, gaining a more positive outlook and greater energy to do the things that matter to you.
How To Overcome Mental Tiredness
1. Assess and overhaul your health habits
The first step to overcome mental tiredness is to assess and overhaul your health habits. Take a good look at your nutrition, at the intake and quality of your food. A quick grab of a cup of calorie-laden coffee and a muffin for breakfast may save you time but this combination equals an upsurge of energy that later crashes. To prop up your flagging energy later in the day, you grab a sweet snack that only repeats the cycle. Why not go for healthier choices like fresh fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, and whole grains. Perhaps you’d need some good health supplements to boost your system. Eat right in reasonable portions and you’re on to your goal of overcoming mental tiredness.
2. Keep hydrated
Water is still the best option. Just be mindful throughout the day to take the recommended 8 glasses. Avoid the sugar and caffeine-loaded stuff because they contribute to high and then low energy surges that lead you feeling more tired.
3. Keep fit
Even if you feel you’ve got no energy left, find the time to move that body and exercise. Studies have shown that even moderate exercise helps to lessen tiredness levels by up to 65 percent.
Exercise increases energy by boosting the amount of oxygen in your bloodstream, enhances the ability to concentrate, and releases endorphins, the “feel good” chemicals linked to feelings of happiness. Exercise experts suggest that finding a physical activity you actually enjoy doing will motivate you to continue at it that will eventually help you to overcome mental tiredness.
4. Sleep right
Nothing beats a good night’s rest to overcome mental tiredness. Aim for at least 7 hours of sleep to wake up feeling refreshed. Be sure to make your bedroom a relaxing haven. Avoid watching television before going to bed or reading a thriller. A cup of herbal tea won’t hurt either.
5. Relaxing rituals
Start your day with a relaxing ritual like deep breathing. It’s so hard to resist the temptation of jumping out of bed the minute the alarm starts ringing if you’re the type that already has a million things running in your mind even before you hit the shower. Or perhaps, you’re the kind that hits the snooze button repeatedly before finally getting up. Whichever person you are, try to be mindful and do some gentle stretches first.
Start the day by spending at least ten minutes meditating, journaling, or reading something inspirational. A relaxing ritual can overcome mental tiredness because it shifts the mind away from perceived worries.
6. Learn to say “no”
Learn to say “no” to requests that eat up your time and energy. Over-extending yourself contributes to feelings of mental tiredness. At work, talk to your boss about your duties and responsibilities. Remind your boss that you’ve been a good team player but you’ve been doing things that are not part of your job description. Show how much you’ve been putting in at work and back this up with data. Present your case in a non-aggressive way.
Taking charge of how you spend your time and energy at work or anywhere else and setting boundaries can help you overcome mental tiredness. You can then use your time and energy to do the things you want to do and enjoy.
7. Take regular breaks from modern gadgets
Disconnect from your mobile phone, tablet, and laptop. Refrain from checking your email. Don’t think that the world has passed you by when on a technology break. The fast-paced life with all its wireless connections demands so much attention. It can lead to hidden stresses that pile up if left uncontrolled.
8. Talk to someone
It may not necessarily be to a health professional but someone you’re comfortable talking to about what’s been weighing on your mind. A supportive co-worker, a good friend, a dear family member or even your pet can listen. You may not necessarily need advice but it helps to overcome mental tiredness when you know there is someone you can share your feelings with. Don’t feel that it’s a burden on them; they might even be glad that you trusted them and turned to them for support.
9. Make a list of people who give you joy and another list of people who just drain you
Assess each one on the lists and be honest with how you really feel around them. Sometimes, people just give off too much negativity. Take note of those who are incessant complainers, are often angry or get irritated quickly. You may want to cut them off your life if they’re really toxic or at the very least, limit the time you spend with them. Choose to be with those who give off positive vibes. You might suddenly feel much lighter.
10. It’s your attitude that matters
And lastly, it’s your attitude that can really make the difference in overcoming mental tiredness. It’s the belief and expectation that directs all efforts towards achieving any goal. The right attitude can help you overcome the bumps and disappointments along the way. It saves precious energy and helps you focus your attention on your goals and priorities. It gets you going emotionally, physically, and mentally. As someone once said, it’s really what you do with what you have that makes the difference.
Image: Daniela Vladimirova