What is Emotional Exhaustion?

When we experience prolonged periods of stress in our lives, this can result in emotional exhaustion. Just like a prolonged period of physical stress would likely leave you with physical health problems, emotional stress and mental suffering can create different yet similar problems with your mind and mental health.

What can cause emotional exhaustion?

There are endless factors that can cause emotional exhaustion, and the experiences of those suffering can vary greatly. Emotional exhaustion can be caused by:

  • Your job – high pressure jobs can create constant stress in your work life which can lead to emotional exhaustion, especially without a healthy and active lifestyle to accompany it. If you don’t like your job, or dread going to work, this can take its toll over a prolonged period of time and leave you feeling emotionally exhausted.
  • Your family – difficult situations within your family over a period of weeks, months or even years can result in emotional exhaustion. It is critical that you make time for yourself to relax where possible, and spend time with people who help you feel uplifted.
  • Excessive workloads – this can come from your day job or multiple jobs, your family life, or as a result of caring for a friend or family member.
  • Financial stress – money worries over a prolonged period of time can cause chronic stress and lead to emotional exhaustion. Speak to a financial advisor if you are going through difficulties with money and need to get back on track.

What are the signs of emotional exhaustion?

Emotional exhaustion doesn’t look the same for every individual, although there are many common signs and symptoms which are often shared. Symptoms may appear stronger in some people than in others, often depending on personality types, the severity of the emotional exhaustion and how each individual deals with it. Some of the signs of emotional exhaustion include:

  • Increased irritability; getting angry quicker than usual or for small and insignificant reasons
  • Feeling physically exhausted even without increased physical exercise or stress
  • Lack of energy or lack of time to do other things or relax
  • Feelings of hopelessness or feeling like nothing will ever get better – this can also lead to depression
  • Digestive problems – this is another symptom of emotional exhaustion which can manifest physically
  • Often crying or feeling low and teary, particularly for several days or weeks in a row


There are many other symptoms which may occur in people suffering from emotional exhaustion. Ultimately, it is exhaustion beyond the usual average stress levels which people experience at work or while balancing various elements of life.


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