Many of us feel more tired during these days, both physically and psychologically. Now, that this is so is perfectly normal. In those times when we experience changes and uncertainties surround us, it is common for the phenomenon of the exhausted mind to arise.
“What is going to happen from now on? What changes are we going to undergo soon? Will there be a social and economic crisis? Will I lose my job? “.
These and other issues are those that navigate almost persistently around us throughout the day along with the anguish factor and the tensor thread of uncertainty.
When the mind is suspended in this state, any kind of decision, no matter how insignificant, becomes exhausting. Sometimes, even the simple act of deciding what to eat or getting our children to go to bed on time or fulfill their duties is a challenge, a mountain that is very difficult for us to climb.
It is important to bear in mind that all experiences and sensations are within normality. We are not collapsing, we are not suffering from any mental health problems. It is a normal and expected response to current circumstances, a habitual reaction of the brain under these conditions. Let’s go deeper.
The exhausted mind and times of difficulty
Experts tell us that in recent months all of us have been forced to go through experiences that we did not expect. All this has been a real challenge for our brain and as such, it is normal to experience stress and anxiety.
The exhausted mind is a consequence of these psychological realities. It is a collateral effect, the consequence of having gone through a time of great concern. Now, it ‘s perfectly normal to feel exhausted and that emotional haze in which motivation and enthusiasm are lacking.
Let’s see what are the characteristics of this type of state.
Increased cognitive load
When we talk about cognitive processes we refer to all that activity that the brain generates. An example of this is being able to focus attention, make sense of everything we hear, read or see, make decisions, process the sensations our body feels, learn and create new things, etc.
- This extraordinary flow of brain activity is affected by the environment around us and, above all, by the way we interpret what is happening.
- Also, the simple fact of being at home a lot of time, for example, increases brain stress. The mind needs changes, light, sounds, interaction, and new stimuli to feel active and awake.
- If what surrounds us does not change and the mood is not optimal, we give shape to the exhausted or saturated mind.
In times of worry, we don’t always make good decisions
The exhausted mind is not in a good position to think long term. This is important especially in the decision-making plane, a factor that is so important to us right now. We need to clarify our future, clarify what kind of changes or strategies we should implement.
The health crisis has altered the lives of many of us, both personally and at work. This last area, for example, is where it often opens up the greatest challenges right now. However, in these conditions our mind feels unable to decide, plan, analyze, etc.
The exhausted mind cannot decide well right now. Perhaps the best thing to do is to let a few weeks go by to recover, to regain energy, courage, hope.
How to handle the exhausted mind?
The current situation has placed us in new territory. There are no valid answers that serve us all equally; Yes, there are simple strategies that we can try to see if they work for us.
Each person faces, interprets and experiences times of crisis in a particular way, but beyond the filming that each one has in terms of adversity, there is something undeniable: these circumstances are difficult for everyone.
Therefore, when handling the exhausted mind we can reflect on the following ideas:
- Mental exhaustion is a common situation in new contexts with a high emotional load and stress. Do not pathologize something that is normal under the circumstances.
- It may not be a good time to make long-term decisive decisions. It is time to focus only on the present and, above all, on our well-being ; in giving us what we need when we need it. Focusing on the here and now reduces mental burden and worry.
- We must get used to doing and thinking one thing at a time. The exhausted mind becomes saturated when it is aware of various things, what we have to do, what worries, what scares, what we did yesterday and what happens today.
Thus, it is best to go step by step. If I am having breakfast I focus on eating in a relaxed way. If I’m teleworking I focus on it. In case I have to decide something, I will do it at a specific moment of the day in which I can exclusively dedicate myself to that.
Last but not least, it is necessary to give space to our emotions. Accepting every sensation, feeling and emotion without judging ourselves is the key to health. We will not be able to be 100% well every day, sometimes, not 50%. But we can that yes, be calm to give a little relief to our mind.