Sometimes it can be hard to pinpoint why we are in a persistent state of exhaustion. There are various types of fatigue that may lead us here and each feels slightly different than the other. It can be helpful to identify what the root cause of our mental exhaustion and stress is so we can make the necessary changes needed to minimize it.
For example, if you are suffering from compassion fatigue you can sleep all you want, but it won't relieve the feeling of exhaustion.
Let me run through all the types of fatigue and give you some tips on how to overcome the exhaustion you are feeling in this area...
1. Physical fatigue.
This is when your body is under physical stress. Some symptoms may include headaches, muscle weakness, feeling constantly tired, stomach/gastrointestinal issues, stress ulcers, muscle tension, weakened immune system.
Some tips to overcome physical fatigue: focus on getting enough sleep to allow your body to recover. Prioritise eating nutrient-dense food to give your body the energy it needs. Consider supplements like Ashwagandha.
2. Social Fatigue.
When you spend too much time socialising with others, especially those who leave you feeling drained and overstimulated.
Some tips to overcome social fatigue: say no to social interactions that pull your energy in negative ways, spend more time with yourself and doing things you love, be around people who leave you feeling energised.
3. Anxiety fatigue.
When your brain is filled with intrusive thoughts and mental chatter. You may feel like your mind is often racing and it is difficult to stop overthinking. During this time, your nervous system is in a constant 'fight, flight, freeze, fawn' response and this may leave you feeling exhausted and paralysed.
Some tips to overcome anxiety fatigue: write down your thoughts and challenge the unhelpful ones, catch your inner critic and replace the voice with a kinder one, aim to let go of things that are out of your control.
4. Compassion fatigue.
When you spend too much of your time and energy into helping and supporting others while neglecting your own needs. Compassion fatigue can also result from absorbing emotional stressors of others or what is happening in the world.
Some tips to overcome compassion fatigue: offer support but try to avoid taking on the pain of others, be mindful of how often you consume news and world events, prioritise your emotional needs and time to rest and recharge.
5. Emotional fatigue.
When you feel constantly overwhelmed with emotions to a point of having no energy left to do anything else. You might feel 'stuck' and as though you have no control over your life. This can lead to having a lack of motivation and an inability to enjoy the things you used to.
Some tips to overcome emotional fatigue: prioritise your emotional needs. What do you need to feel better? Practice mindfulness, identify the stressors in your life and find ways to minimise them.
6. Ambition fatigue.
When you push yourself too hard to relentlessly pursue your goals and ambitions. Often with unrealistic expectations from yourself and with a lack of self-compassion.
Some tips to overcome ambition fatigue: set realistic goals and expectations for yourself, be patient with yourself, remind yourself that progress matters and not perfection, set boundaries around the time you spend working or thinking about work.
7 Sensory fatigue.
When your brain feels overstimulated with sensory input, such as loud noises, bright lights, sight (i.e. social media, watching videos) sounds (i.e. talking or listening to others). We all experience sensory overload to an extent, but it is common in neurodivergent individuals, PTSD, anxiety, and medical conditions such as fibromyalgia.
Some tips to overcome sensory fatigue: only focus on the task at hand, minimise distractions around you, limit the time you spend in overly stimulated environments.
If you would like to go deeper into how to manage stress and anxiety, sign up to my online course 'Reducing Stress and Anxiety.' The course is a one off payment of £27 and you will receive 4 weeks worth of focused course workbooks, a further reading list so you can continue your self-study after you complete the course, and free access to a private Q&A session with me.
Click the link below to sign up now.