Even before 2020, we were all pretty stressed. One in five children already had some type of mental health disorder, two-thirds of high school students had some level of depression, and even adults felt increasingly anxious, mentally fatigued, and emotionally exhausted.
Then we added a pandemic and lost so many connection points and healthy coping mechanisms. Isolation especially hurt more at-risk populations, who were already living with fewer resources and programs. Kids lost significant social development. And so many of us put in even more hours on the job, with less to do outside the house and the boundaries between home life and work life vanishing.
So it’s no surprise we find ourselves increasingly depressed, irritable, stressed, fatigued, and exhausted. Bad days become bad weeks. We resort to unhealthy coping mechanisms and sink even further into isolation. We feel guilt and shame. Rinse, repeat.
Sometimes, the best way to snap out of a bad cycle is almost to “force” yourself out of it. Even if it just means reconnecting with someone if you’ve felt more isolated lately. It can be like going to the gym—it may take more initial effort than is comfortable, but we feel so much better afterward.
If it’s someone else who you think needs help, force or authority is definitely not the approach to take. The experts at Rosecrance recommend open, honest, conversation when necessary. Even just letting them know you’ve noticed any changes and that you’re there for them can help. Regular family activities, even a simple walk in the park or making dinner together, can go a long way in developing a good support system that encourages healthy coping skills.
If further help may be needed, a consultation never hurts. Rosecrance can help with a new perspective, along with the flexibility of both in-person and virtual services to suit your needs. It’s OK not to be OK, but don’t be alone in your bad day, and don’t let your bad days turn into bad weeks, months, or years. Getting past mental fatigue and emotional exhaustion may not happen in a day, but it can happen one day at a time with the right support.
If you or someone you know is struggling with a buildup of stress, mental fatigue, or emotional exhaustion, check out episode 8 of the Rosecrance podcast “On Your Radar,” which covers healthy ways to cope, move forward, and heal.
Listen to “Mental Fatigue and Emotional Exhaustion” HERE.