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Mentally Tired? What You Can Do.

By on August 17, 2015

How can I be tired? I sit at a desk. If this is you, then you should read this article. It tells what to look for and what to do about Mental Fatigue.

by Polly Campbell  (Imperfect Spirituality)

Lately, I’ve been physically exhausted by 7 p.m. Just plain tired. Yet it’s not like I’ve run a marathon or anything: Most days I’ve just tossed in a couple of loads of laundry, between sessions of wall ball with my daughter, and between phone interviews, blog posts, magazine assignments, copy edits, and invoicing, which happens just after a short workout and before I cook dinner.

Like most people, I’ve got a full summer schedule. And for all the flexibility I have with how I spend my time, I wind up using it all. There are very few breaks in my day to unwind.

That’s not a good thing. In fact, the physical fatigue I feel at the end of the day has more to do with my mental exhaustion than any exercise I’m getting. And that kind of mental tiredness can sneak up on anyone.

Causes of Mental Fatigue

Mental exhaustion isn’t necessarily the result of things gone wrong, or any big upset (though it can be) but more likely an accumulation of too much: Too many decisions. Too much work (in not enough time). Too many interruptions, demands, and shifts in attention. Too many things going on without time to pause and restore.

This kind of mental tiredness knocks us back when the volume of tasks and activities we’ve taken on exceeds our capacity to comfortably handle the stress (even the positive stress) of it all.

Sometimes mental exhaustion can be a result of health issues: Depression, heart disease, chronic illness, and autoimmune disease can all lead to insomnia or trouble sleeping, which can cause mental fatigue. It may be worth checking out this angle with your doctor.

But as for me, I sleep well, feel satisfied in my life, and yet, there are times when even the good stuff becomes taxing because there is just too much going on.

The more mentally tired we become, the less capable we are of keeping up with the demands of the day. It becomes harder to make healthy decisions, stay focused on tasks, and remain calm. It can also become difficult to regulate our emotions. Over time, mental exhaustion can lead to full-blown burnout, physical issues, and stress-related illness. But, as soon as you realize why you are feeling so tired, you can take steps to restore and feel better fast.

Signs of Mental Fatigue

Mental fatigue can manifest in many ways:
Physical fatigue. Your body feels tired and you’d rather curl up on the lawn chair with a margarita than head for a run at the end of the day, even though you spent most of your day sitting at a desk.
•Impatience and Irritability. You become snappish with others and may be more quickly triggered to anger or upset.
•Inability to concentrate or focus. It becomes harder to finish your work or tasks. You may find it more difficult to make decisions, find the right word, or focus on one job at a time.

Four Ways to Ease Mental Fatigue

How can we manage some of these more demanding days without letting them grind us down? Here are four suggestions:
1.Make fewer decisions.
We are faced with scores of decisions each day and by the end of all that decision-making, our mental energy and self-control can take a hit, according to research from Kathleen Vohs. Then we are more likely to make unhealthy decisions and do what feels easiest, like lay on the couch, rather than exercising or opting for a drive-through burger instead of cooking a healthy meal. One way to offset this dip in mental energy may be to…

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