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  • Writer's pictureShari Wilson

Uncharted Path Productions presents: Let's Talk About - Emotional Exhaustion/Burnout!

Updated: Dec 24, 2022

UPP's Weekly Mental Digest


"Emotional Exhaustion - Burnout"

by Shari Wilson, Psy. M.

October 07, 2022

Stock Photo.

Hey Hey Hey!!!

We are back and we got a good one this week so let's just dive right in.

In today’s society, the need to just go, go, go can be a bit taxing sometimes. Of course in this attempt at adulthood, you’re going to want to strive to be successful and that is wonderful, but it is the balance between your personal and professional life that can create a very thin line from drive to feeling emotionally exhausted.

What is this emotional exhaustion I'm talking about, you ask?

Well, let's start with the technical definition, according to Better Help : “Emotional exhaustion is a broad term we use to describe the effects of chronic stress. Signs and symptoms can vary from person to person and usually occur over a long period. The feeling of being overworked and underpaid can affect us physically, emotionally, or behaviorally. It is often a combination of the three that causes us the most distress. Basically, it can be described as feeling overworked and underpaid or where your stress level stays high without a break.

For example, say you are a person who wears many hats and one of those hats brings about a lot of stress. The stress that comes from wearing this particular hat requires you to spend countless hours doing paperwork and always making sure that you are on your P's and Q's. There is never time for rest, even when you have clocked out from this job you are still working. This can be a very stressful situation, because there is no downtime. Even in your moment of relaxation, where you should be able to unwind because you are off the clock, however that is not the case with this job. This job requires you to stay on high alert pretty much seven days a week, 24 hours of the day. We all know if you continually do something like this over and over without a sense of rest, that it can cause you to be not only physically exhausted, but also emotionally exhausted.

Another example of a situation where you can be emotionally exhausted is parenthood. Now don't get it twisted, when you have a child, that is one of the most beautiful things that a human can do. You have brought a new life into the world and now it is your job, your duty to pour into this human so that they can grow up and be the best person that you know that they can be. But what exactly does it entail to be a parent, especially with a mother? Other than the obvious physical tasks that come along with a newborn where you are probably nursing, pumping and/or formula feeding with the sleep deprivation coupled with the postpartum and LORD HAVE MERCY, the influx of hormones that come along with all of this new territory. Like I said, it is rewarding in so many ways where you are raising your child properly, but to do so you have to pour into them.

Whether it is quality time, singing, playing, feeding, nurturing, bathing, protecting and many other aspects that you could possibly think of that comes with this new job title, to continually do this on a daily basis with no rest IS EXHAUSTING. There are no cliff notes as to what is required to properly care for YOUR baby, and while you are figuring it all out be emotionally draining, especially if there is no break to regroup.

Although having a full plate is definitely not a bad thing, it's the ability to be able to filter through that plate to allow yourself some time without the responsibility of a job, a child or different goals that you have.

How do you know whether or not your plate is full to the point of emotional exhaustion or you are just temporarily exhausted at the time?

First sign of being emotionally exhausted is kind of like when the motivation to do things becomes unmotivating. It is a lot harder for you to complete a task, because it feels like there's so much to do that doing just one thing is “pointless”. If you go to sleep maybe some type of magic will happen and it will go away, however you realize that you can't sleep, because you can't turn your brain off. Now you're zoning out and it can go over a span of hours, next thing you know you click Tiktok to watch a couple videos so that you can go to sleep, but instead what was once 10:00 PM is now 4:00 AM and you gotta get up in 2 hours to start your day all over again.

The level of irritability has skyrocketed, because you aren't sleeping. Everybody everywhere is getting on your everlasting nerve and nobody is understanding how much you have to do, so when one small thing does not go according to how it should, you fly off the handle.

Another common one is the need to feel like you have got to complete all of these tasks , but there is no organization to complete those tasks. This can literally create levels of anxiety, because there's so much to do, but where do you start? And if you dwell on that too long, it can quickly and easily become a form of depression about the situation due to feeling like you don't have any help.

So what do you do?

It almost seems like the triggers of becoming emotionally exhausted are very prevalent in everything and everyday experiences, but that does not mean that we cannot get a grasp on this stress.

The first step would be to see if we can give ourselves maybe like a 5 to 10 minute break just to regroup. We are not thinking about anything stressful, but instead something random, whether it be what we're going to have for lunch or what type of bath bomb we are going to put in the tub when we get home. Just as long as it is not stressful. So set a 5 to 10 minute timer on your phone or watch and literally just sit there and do absolutely nothing, that is the beginning of how to grab a hold and reverse the emotional exhaustion.

It can even be something as simple as changing, the way that you eat. Maybe not so much sugary high caffeine all day long. Your body will crash. And then if it crashes in the middle of the day and you still have stuff to do, that just makes it a lot harder to be able to push through. Your body is telling you at that time you need rest, but for whatever reason, you are not able to, and then by the time it is time for you to actually lay down you've already been depleted, so your body has gotten its second wind. So less sugar and caffeine and more of a healthier substitute.

You can also look at possibly organizing your tasks, if that's something that is feasible. If the setting that causes you complete stress is in a disarray then possibly sitting down and making small tasks that can be completed will make the entire situation not as taxing. So if you got a lot of assignments and they're all due in the same week because, you know, college definitely does that. Just to make sure that you are at your wits end by the time you turn everything in, make a little task list. Get a bunch of post-its and set up what needs to be done. Give yourself the reasonable time to complete them and every time you complete that, remove that post and throw it away to the point where it looks like it is getting smaller.

You know me, I'm always going to tell you to talk to somebody because getting a second opinion can help in so many aspects, especially if you're an overthinker like myself. It allows you to see that. I am doing way too much. I need to chill out because this is a little bit unnecessary and at that point with that second opinion. You both can collaborate together to be able to slim down the stress to a manageable point and once you get there you can actually take time for yourself. We're able to fall asleep at night and get a decent amount of rest and not wake up as if we have pulled an all-nighter with nothing but Mountain Dew and candy and we are going straight back into another hectic work week or a busy day with children or a full day of classes.

It is the ability to be able to release and relax that will allow your body and your mind to refresh itself so that you are not always in a state of high alert and continuous movement. Our bodies are meant to rest. Including our minds. And when we do that? It allows for our. Responses and outlook on life to be a lot more positive. We are not so quick to pop off and let somebody know about.

How we really feel about them when?

This situation may not have even needed that response. Being able to Function at the best of your ability. Because you know how to Work well in a stressful situation. But most importantly, decompress and have a woosah moment at the end of the day so that you can be recharged for the next day is vital. We need this to be able to be decent human beings. Because of not, we're always going to be seen as a negative Nancy. Because we're hostile from not being able to rest. We're on edge because of the high amount of stress. Or the lack of sleep. Or the procrastination that leads to even more stress. It's that sense of peace and relaxation. That. Will keep emotional exhaustion at Bay. Because you'll be able to see the signs that. Uh, I need to take a break. Because I can feel myself getting exhausted. I don't want to become burned out and completely crash in life. So let me regroup. That doesn't mean that you need to quit the stressful job. It might just mean that you need to. Get a better handle on.

How to deal with it?

Because someone in the medical profession that absolutely loves their job, can still be emotionally exhausted simply from pouring into their patients. While they are at work. And then not pouring back into themselves with self-care. Once they are off the clock. Just know that you got this. You can do this. You were built for this. But even the toughest things? Still need to take time to repair. So that they can continue to be. The Beast mode person that they are. And taking time for yourself does not mean that you are weak by any means. It is actually the complete opposite, because it's strong know that they need.

Time to Rejuvenate.

Just keep these steps in mind whenever you feel like Emotional exhaustion is creeping in around the corner, each out, try to Regroup, make some slight changes, all of the above. You deserve a healthy mental state. You deserve to be able to work at the best capacity that you can. And as long as we pay attention to the signs. There's no way that we won't be able to do that.

You just keep moving!


About the writer:

Shari Wilson has a genuine heart to listen to anyone who shares their experiences, traumas, or just life in general. She studied at Purdue Global University, acquiring her Bachelor’s degree in Applied Behavioral Analysis and Addictions Psychology in 2016. On the path to furthering her studies, she received her Master of Psychology in 2018 from Purdue Global University. Since then she has been enamored with the ability to use her education to help others through difficult times.

She is a Consulting Psychologist for UnCharted Path Productions, working on the upcoming psychological thriller series titled,Hidden District. She is a mom of 3, a wife, and an amazing friend to those around her. If you would like to get in contact with her regarding a counseling session, please email her at: or her Instagram.


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