Exhaustion can come in various forms – physical exhaustion, mental exhaustion and combinations of both. Whichever type of exhaustion you have, you are likely to experience both physical and mental symptoms. Mental exhaustion can result in some physical symptoms, while physical exhaustion will undoubtedly affect your mental health too. As a result, it’s important to look at exhaustion from a holistic perspective, rather than thinking about treating individual symptoms. Here are some of the symptoms and warning signs to look out for with exhaustion.
Falling asleep often
Taking a quick nap, or feeling like you need to take naps often throughout the day, is often a sign that you are exhausted. This is particularly true if you are getting 6-9 hours of sleep per night and still feel tired for most of the day.
Lack of concentration
Exhaustion can make anybody feel out of focus, and can make it very difficult to concentrate. This can be problematic and stressful for those who are at an important stage of their studies, or mid-way through an important work project which needs to be completed. It can also impact the ability to focus in meetings, or deliver presentations.
Feelings of hunger and thirst
Finding yourself feeling hungry and thirsty more often than usual could mean you are suffering from exhaustion. Your body and mind are telling you that you are tired and need more fuel. However, exhaustion often means that you have little or no appetite, or still feel hungry no matter how much you eat.
Both physical and mental exhaustion can make your whole body feel weaker. You may start experiencing aches and pains in your head, back, neck and arms, or you may find yourself getting out of breath quicker when doing gentle exercise or walking up the stairs.
If you’re finding most things more stressful than usual to manage, this is often one of the first signs of exhaustion. Things which used to be effortless are suddenly taking much more effort, and what seemed normal before now seems uncontrollably difficult and stressful. Things feel like they’re piling up and you’re becoming out of control.
Feeling exhausted and fatigued can lead to depression. Prolonged exhaustion, left untreated, could leave patients with long-term, chronic depression. It’s important to look out for the warning signs of exhaustion and speak to somebody if you think you are developing depression or any other mental health problems.