Learn how to recover when wounded mentally and physically!
What Happens When Your Soul and Body is Tired?
“I am old, Gandalf. I don’t look it, but I am beginning to feel it in my heart of hearts. Well-preserved indeed! Why, I feel all thin, sort of stretched, if you know what I mean: like butter that has been scraped over too much bread. That can’t be right. I need a change, or something.”
― J.R.R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings
When your body and soul is tired, you may feel as though energy is constantly being drained out of you. You can feel the tiredness inside you like a worm, slowly and deliberately draining your life. You’re alive, but you are not really living. You hear, but you are not really listening. You see, but you are really not paying attention to details that you otherwise might have. The world may seem to move in hazy fuss as your body, weary with the burden of endurance, steadily succumbs to exhaustion. Being trapped in this cycle subconsciously, your body will undergo feelings of detachment from everyday activities which may make these responsibilities almost impossible to overcome. This might lead to noticeable differences in three key aspects of the body: mental, physical and behavioral. The word ‘exhaustion’ can also be interchangeably used with the word ‘burnout’ in layman terms. Firstly, identifying the root cause of mental exhaustion is crucial to one’s mental health in the long term; it is when one’s soul is jaded during periods of extreme stress which may later creep into your life in the form of anxiety, depression, feelings of hopelessness and dread, lack of motivation, difficulty in concentrating on a particular task and a decrease in your overall productivity. Secondly, exhaustion may also manifest itself physically which may cause headaches, body aches, weight loss or gain loss and chronic fatigue. Lastly, exhaustion that is either caused as a result of your soul or body being tired can externalize itself into behavioral changes. A change in behavioral patterns may include social isolation or withdrawal, an inability to stick to commitments made and a stagnation in your overall performance. The negative spill-out effect of a burn out will cave into other aspects of your life- including your work, home and personal affairs.
In an article, “Burnout and the Brain”, written by Alexandra Michel, the author mentions a research that was conducted on this topic. One “research from an integrative team of psychological scientists at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden provides striking evidence that workplace burnout can alter neural circuits, ultimately causing a vicious cycle of neurological dysfunction”. The article then goes out to provide further examples where the test results on individuals suffering from a burn-out indicated differences in their brain structures as well. This was seen in “the frontal cortex, a brain area essential to cognitive functioning” which began “to thin as part of the normal aging process, but patients suffering from burnout showed more pronounced thinning in the mPFC compared with the controls”. A burnout caused by the feeling of only being subconsciously awake when your soul is tired can affect your cognitive functioning- working memory, problem solving and creativity- as well.
These are only a few changes that a body encounters when a person’s mental and spiritual sense is at stake. Numerous researches have been conducted over the years to find a possible method to tackle a mental and physical burnout; these methods have been compiled and brought to your attention as you continue reading the article below.
17 Ways to Heal a Mental and Physical Burn Out
Instant fixes include getting more sleep on a regular basis which will improve your emotional well-being. Exercise and several other relaxation techniques such as yoga, massage and deep breathing will not only improve your immune system but they will also your stress and anxiety levels.
Having some screen free time to breathe and relax will calm your nerves as you take a break from a world created of illusions.
A burnout could push you into an endless bout of negative thoughts. Learning to appreciate the little things that you did throughout the day will eventually allow you to come to terms with your accomplishments. A continuous effort put into this will change your way of thinking and will help you rediscover joy and the meaning of life.
Understanding your body’s language and learning when not to push your limits beyond a particular stage will prevent a burnout in the long-run.
Finding people undergoing a similar situation as yours will give you a chance to take into consideration other aspects that you might have been ignoring before. Joining groups and communities that serve the purpose of providing moral support to a person can also help as you will feel included in an environment of like-minded individuals.
Taking a vacation to the beach or the mountains will not only rejuvenate your soul but it will also help you clear your mind and will keep you away from your stressor.
There’s a growing amount of evidence which shows how food affects our mood and how eating healthily will protect your feelings of well-being by giving your body the required amount of nutrients.
Fixes for the Long Term
Fixes for the long-term for a mental and physical burnout firstly require you to find the cause of the immense stress in your life that lead to a path of exhaustion. It is not always possible for individuals to eliminate the source of stress from their lives, however, learning how to deal with it in a healthy manner will resolve the matter. This could be done in several ways, if for e.g., you are overburdened by responsibilities at your home or workplace, you might consider asking for help from others. You should not shy away from delegating a few responsibilities to people who are offering to help and ease your burden. Secondly, keeping a journal where you jot down things that you are thankful for will divert your attention to good things in your life. Doing this frequently will result in greater levels of happiness and satisfaction along with an improvement in your overall sense of well-being. Lastly, seeking out for professional help will allow you to cope with stress through therapy and medications.
Rediscovering your life’s purpose will help you keep your stress at bay. Asking yourself important questions like how can you add value to a particular task or how can you add more meaning to your work throughout the day will bring more happiness into your life.
Manage your stress effectively by adopting methods like keeping a stress journal, exercising, monitoring unhealthy reactions to stress and positive thinking will prevent a burnout.
Keeping different spheres of your life such as work and home related activities should be kept separated to prevent worries of another facet spilling over to another. Setting boundaries will help you gain the balance that you need in order to heal from a burnout.
Instead of breaking down on small thorns that obstruct your way, looking at the journey which includes your failures and achievements will help you look at the bigger picture.
Finding a hobby or passion that you previously enjoyed doing will help you channel your emotions in a much more positive manner as it will help you rediscover yourself as well.
Moving on your own pace by focusing on yourself and keeping yourself away from the toxic expectations of other people along with what social media portrays will help you determine your success on your own terms.
Identifying what caused a havoc in your life will allow you to come to terms with it even if you aren’t able to escape the shackles that bound you to it.
Try not to take on any new responsibilities and commitments when you already have a lot on your hands.
This could vary from individual to individual as some may associate their life’s purpose to religion while others may associate it to their goals. Understanding why you chose a particular path to pursue your life’s purpose will help you set your priorities straight and will give you a bird’s eyes view on what you intended to do in the first place.
Setting goals throughout the day will help you stay organized and will give you a clear idea of what needs to be done first. Doing so will ensure the removal of any obstruction that may make your work seem like an endless ocean.
This includes beating yourself up every time you are not able to reach a desired level of optimity that you hoped to achieve. Understanding that hard work and efforts are always rewarded at some point in your life will help you appreciate your constant attempts at moving forward.
How to Take a Break from Your Life
Taking a break from your life means taking a step back and being able to reevaluate certain decisions in your life that led you to this stage. Giving sufficient time to your soul to find its purpose and giving the space needed to your body for it to recharge is an important part of treating mental exhaustion. Things such as changing your routine and incorporating much healthier habits into your lifestyle, spending some time alone with yourself, going out for a walk, hanging out with your friend and reconsidering certain decisions in your life will guide you towards finding your inner peace along with the happiness that comes afterwards.
Overall, these are the few methods which will ensure your wellbeing in the long-term as your mental and physical wellbeing improve.
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