Mental struggle and burnout are common problems that many people face in their lives.
They can affect your mood, motivation, productivity, and well-being. However, there are ways to cope with these challenges and improve your mental health. In this article, we will discuss some tips and strategies on how to deal with mental struggle and burnout.
What are Mental Struggles and Burn Out?
Mental struggle is a term that describes the difficulty of dealing with emotional or psychological issues, such as stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma. It can cause feelings of sadness, anger, frustration, or hopelessness.
It can also affect your physical health, such as causing headaches, insomnia, or fatigue.
Burnout is a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress. It can occur when you feel overwhelmed, overworked, or underappreciated. Burnout can make you lose interest and passion in your work or other activities. It can also make you feel detached, cynical, or resentful.
Why it is Important to Deal with Mental Struggle and Burn Out
Mental struggle and burnout can have negative impacts on your personal and professional life. They can impair your ability to perform well at work or school, affect your relationships with others, and lower your self-esteem and confidence.
They can also increase your risk of developing other mental or physical health problems, such as substance abuse, chronic pain, or cardiovascular disease.
Therefore, it is important to take steps to care for your mental health during these times. By doing so, you can reduce the severity and duration of your symptoms, enhance your coping skills, resilience, and improve your quality of life.
How to Deal with Mental Struggle and Burn Out
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for dealing with mental struggle and burnout. However, there are some general tips and strategies that can help you cope better and recover faster. Here are some of them:
Self-care is the act of taking care of your own physical, emotional, and mental needs. It can help you reduce stress, boost your mood, and restore your energy. Some examples of self-care activities are:
Sleep is essential for your brain and body to function properly. It can help you regulate your emotions, improve your memory and concentration, and strengthen your immune system. Aim for at least seven to nine hours of quality sleep every night.
Food is the fuel for your body and mind. It can affect your mood, energy levels, and cognitive abilities. Choose foods that are nutritious and balanced, such as fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, and healthy fats. Avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, or processed ingredients.
Exercise is a natural way to relieve stress and improve your mood. It can also help you maintain a healthy weight, lower your blood pressure and cholesterol levels, and prevent or manage various health conditions. Aim for at least 150 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity per week.
Hobbies are activities that you enjoy doing for fun or relaxation. They can help you express yourself creatively, learn new skills, or connect with others who share your interests. Some examples of hobbies are reading, writing, painting, gardening, playing music, or cooking.
Relaxation is the process of calming your mind and body. It can help you reduce tension, anxiety, and negative emotions. Some examples of relaxation techniques are breathing exercises, meditation, yoga, massage, or aromatherapy.
Prioritise Your Mental Health
Your mental health is just as important as your physical health. It affects how you think, feel, and behave in different situations. Therefore, you should prioritize your mental health and take breaks when needed.
Some ways to prioritize your mental health are:
Boundaries are the limits that you set for yourself and others in terms of what you are willing and not willing to do, say, or accept. They can help you protect your time, energy, and well-being from being drained or exploited by others. Learn to say no to requests or demands that are unreasonable, unhealthy, or unnecessary.
Time management is the skill of planning and organizing how you use your time to achieve your goals and fulfil your responsibilities. It can help you avoid procrastination, overload, or conflicts that can cause stress or frustration. Use tools such as calendars, planners, or apps to schedule your tasks and prioritize the most important or urgent ones.
Balance is the state of having a healthy and harmonious relationship between different aspects of your life, such as work, family, friends, hobbies, and self-care. It can help you avoid neglecting or overdoing any one area that can affect your happiness or satisfaction. Try to allocate your time and energy to each aspect of your life according to your needs and preferences.
Breaks are short periods of rest or diversion that you take between your tasks or activities. They can help you recharge your batteries, refresh your mind, and improve your performance. Take breaks regularly throughout the day, especially when you feel tired, bored, or stressed. Do something that you enjoy or that relaxes you, such as listening to music, watching a video, or chatting with a friend.
Reach Out for Help
You are not alone in your struggle. Many people care about you and want to support you. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help from friends, family, or a mental health professional.
Some ways to reach out for help are:
Talking to someone you trust can help you vent your feelings, gain perspective, and receive advice or feedback. It can also make you feel less isolated, lonely, or hopeless. Choose someone supportive, empathetic, and respectful.
You can also join a support group or an online community where you can share your experiences and learn from others who are going through similar challenges.
- Seeking professional help
Professional help is the assistance that you receive from a qualified mental health expert, such as a therapist, counsellor, or psychiatrist. They can provide you with a diagnosis, treatment, and follow-up for your mental health condition.
They can also help you develop coping skills, strategies, and plans to overcome your difficulties and achieve your goals. You can find professional help through your doctor, insurance company, employer, school, or local mental health services.
How to Build Resilience
Resilience is the ability to cope with stress and adversity. It can help you bounce back from challenges and overcome obstacles. Resilience is not something that you are born with or without. It is something that you can learn and improve over time.
There are several ways to build resilience, such as:
Mindfulness is the practice of paying attention to the present moment with openness, curiosity, and acceptance. It can help you become more aware of your thoughts, feelings, sensations, and surroundings.
It can also help you reduce stress, anxiety, and negative emotions. You can practice mindfulness by doing meditation, breathing exercises, or other activities that focus on the here and now.
- Challenging negative thoughts
Negative thoughts are the automatic or habitual thoughts that you have about yourself, others, or situations that are pessimistic, irrational, or distorted. They can affect your mood, behaviour, and self-esteem.
You can challenge negative thoughts by identifying them, questioning their validity, and replacing them with more realistic and positive ones.
- Developing a positive mindset
A positive mindset is the attitude that you have towards yourself, others, or situations that is optimistic, hopeful, and constructive.
It can help you focus on the good aspects of your life, appreciate what you have, and expect the best outcomes. You can develop a positive mindset by practising gratitude, affirmations, or optimism.
- Focusing on your strengths
Your strengths are the qualities or skills that you have that make you unique and valuable. They can help you achieve your goals, overcome challenges, and cope with stress.
You can focus on your strengths by identifying them, using them, and improving them. You can also seek feedback from others who can recognize and appreciate your strengths.
How to Address the Root Causes of Mental Struggle
Mental struggle and burnout are often the result of underlying issues that need to be addressed. These issues can be personal, professional, or environmental factors that cause or contribute to your stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma.
Some ways to address the root causes of mental struggle are:
- Identifying and addressing the issues
The first step is to identify and acknowledge the issues that are causing or worsening your mental struggle. This can be done by reflecting on your situation, writing down your thoughts and feelings, or talking to someone who can help you understand your problems.
The next step is to address the issues by taking action to change or improve them. This can be done by setting goals, making plans, seeking solutions, or asking for help.
- Developing coping mechanisms and strategies
Coping mechanisms and strategies are the methods that you use to deal with stress, anxiety, depression, or trauma. They can help you reduce the impact of the issues on your mental health and well-being.
Some examples of coping mechanisms and strategies are relaxation techniques, distraction techniques, problem-solving skills or emotion regulation skills.
- Finding support and community
Support and community are the people or groups that provide you with emotional, practical, or informational assistance when you face challenges or difficulties.
They can help you feel less alone, better understood, and more empowered. Some examples of support and community are friends, family, colleagues, mentors, etc.
Mental struggle and burnout are serious issues that can affect anyone at any point in their lives. They can have negative consequences on your personal and professional well-being, as well as your physical and mental health. However, you don’t have to suffer in silence or give up hope. There are many ways to cope with these challenges and improve your situation. By practising self-care, prioritising your mental health, reaching out for help, building resilience, and addressing the root causes of your problems, you can overcome mental struggle and burnout and live a happier and healthier life. Remember, you are not alone, and you are stronger than you think.
Researched by Chioma Sandra Iloh