Erin was a corporate lawyer who worked ten-hour days, five days a week. On the weekend, she would try to make time for herself but instead found herself worrying about work, answering emails and going over paperwork. By the time Sunday came, she couldn’t get out of bed; she could barely move.
Due to the Covid-19 virus, Chris found himself out of his routine. He had to work from home, and he couldn’t go to the gym. He began snapping at his children and wife more. He felt guilty that he was so tired all the time, and he couldn’t accomplish as much. He began to compare himself to others who had used the stay at home period to achieve goals. He felt unmotivated and hopeless. He played video games from morning until night, which took his energy even lower.
Exhaustion happens for different reasons. Sometimes, we have had too much adrenaline and the stress hormone cortisol for too long. Other times, it can be related to pushing ourselves too hard. When people are depressed or anxious, they can also feel a lack of energy. The overstimulation of noise, screens and chaos can drain us quickly. Once we are in the exhaustion phase, it can take longer to recover. The ideal scenario would be to listen to your body before your nervous system crashes.
Here are some things to consider:
It’s ok to relax daily: Set some reasonable daily goals, and then relax at the end of the day. When stress is too high, our cortisol levels rise, which is unhealthy both physically and mentally. What relaxes your mind? What is something that you can look forward to at the end of the day?
Compete with yourself and not others: Comparing yourself to others is not a fair comparison because you don’t know the entire story of the other person. What have you accomplished compared to last year? What are your wins?
Be patient with yourself: If you have reached the exhaustion phase, don’t power through it. Pushing through exhaustion will lead to deeper fatigue that might weaken your immune system. If you have been feeling depressed for days, try to get some physical exercise. If you are too depressed to move, reach out for help.
Working hours: Some professions have longer working hours than others. How can you reduce the long working hours? Are you staying late to compete with your co-workers, or is it mandatory? Try to find balance before you reach the crash phase.
5. Good Enough
Recognise when it is good enough: Perfect doesn’t always exist. Some people believe that if it isn’t perfect, it is a failure. Recognise when something is good enough.
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Although I am a registered clinical psychologist with the Hong Kong Society of Counseling and Psychology, I am not a licensed psychologist or any other type of licensed therapist in the United States. The information I am providing here is educational and informational. This social media page does not provide professional advice, nor does it create a professional-client relationship or any other type of relationship between us. You should always consult your own licensed mental health professional before making any changes regarding your mental health. My goal is to educate, guide, consult, and empower you regarding your mental health journey. Always consult your licensed mental healthcare provider(s) and never disregard or delay medical advice based on information posted on this page or post.