6 Tips for Mental Exhaustion

Disclaimer: While I wholeheartedly believe in the power of a self-care routine for mental health, this is not a solution for those suffering with suicidal tendencies. If you wish to end your life but are looking for answers before doing so, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (available 24/7) at 800-273-8255
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No matter how well we try to take care of ourselves, mental exhaustion is sometimes unavoidable.

During the month of June, I tried to be conscious about my workload after having returning home from vacation, but 2 weeks in I could feel mental exhaustion creeping in.

Unfortunately, I’m very familiar with mental exhaustion, but I’ve learned a few helpful tips that I hope help you as much as they help me.

The main thing you need to know when experiencing mental exhaustion is that it does not mean that you’re weak or a failure. It’s just the opposite.

Dealing with mental health issues like this is incredibly brave and strong for anyone to do. Be patient with yourself and keep trying to improve your standards for self-care.

That being said, here are some of the top tips that have helped me escape mental exhaustion (and even prevent it)!

Avoid alcohol

A glass of wine to take the edge off after a stressful day is usually pretty harmless, however, if you are not in the healthiest place (mentally) it is far more beneficial to avoid it.

In fact, let’s just be honest and say that alcohol will make your mental state worse.

mental exhaustion

It may feel good in the moment but the subtle effects that linger after consuming alcohol (especially if your mental health is in a compromised state) could leave you feeling depressed and even more exhausted and overwhelmed than you started.

If you’re used to “taking the edge off” more frequently than not, this habit will be hard to break.

Personally, I had to experience the negative effects (aka fall on my face) multiple times before I had the self-control – dare I say “self-love” – to chose to side-step the glass of wine when mentally exhausted.

Make time to sleep more

Unfortunately, this tip seems to always be practiced as a last resort.

After years of cycling through episodes of mental exhaustion, making time to sleep more is finally helping to stabilize those cycles for me – it’s really making all the difference!

A couple ways to be more aware of this could be to:

  • Go to bed earlier: Even a half hour earlier per night for a week could make a significant difference.
  • Take a nap: If you have a flexible work schedule or work from home this could be an option for you.
  • Schedule a day off and sleep in!
  • Reschedule weekend plans and nap or sleep in.

I’m serious folks! Sleep is often not seen as a priority and it should be. Not getting enough sleep could lead to increased levels of stress and anxiety which over time could lead to various health issued and diseases.

Getting enough sleep should be taken very seriously.

Take frequent breaks

When you’re mentally exhausted it may feel impossible to keep working. Usually, you should listen to your body and take a rest but sometimes there are obligations that need to be fulfilled instead.

If you absolutely cannot stop working, one way to increase motivation is to take frequent breaks.

I’m saying you should break every half hour tot scroll through social media. Plan to break every so often and focus on only making it through one work segment at a time.

When I’ve tried this in the past, I’ll work for 45 minutes and take a 15-minute break. These quick breaks have consisted of sitting still with my eyes closed and relaxing or going for a short walk.

A 15-minute break every hour may seem like a lot, but it’s better than sitting at your desk all day with no productivity, counting down the minutes until it’s time to go home.

Plus, the little 45-minute work sessions will help keep you somewhat engaged and motivated. Make it a game and see how much you can get done before your next break!

Psst!…Interested in starting your own personal development journey and need a Personal Development Plan Checklist!? Check out this Free Printable I created just for you guys!)

Meal prep healthy options

Extra planning when you’re exhausted might sound like the last thing you want to do but hear me out. When you’re mentally (or physically) exhausted, making sure you’re eating health food and are never hungry is so important.

You basically have to pick your poison – spend the time and effort to cover your meals and snacks, or binge eat a bunch of unhealthy food and feel even worse and more fatigued after.

Not a great choice. Trust me, spending the time and effort to have your own back in this case will help pull you out of mental exhaustion that much quicker.


Hopefully, you don’t see journaling as “hippie-dippy crap” but if you do here’s why you should start to practice it:

  • It’s relaxing. Just sit there and write about how your day was or what you’re thinking and feeling. I guarantee, very soon after you start journaling, you’ll discover underlying thoughts and feelings that need to be worked through.
  • It’s free therapy. Once you realize that it’s just a brain dump and you can release any and all of your bottled up thoughts without any consequences (unless you’re being disrespectful or mean toward someone and they find your journal), it becomes something you start to look forward to.
  • You get to know yourself better. The more you practice journaling on a regular basis, the quicker you’ll start to see behavioral patterns start to emerge that you may have not noticed before.
  • You get to look back at how far you’ve come.

Personally, I journal about my goals mostly. It helps keep me on track toward achieving them and it motivated me to keep going.

I love looking back months ago and reading about my goals and plans and comparing it to wear I am today. Sometimes plans and directions change when you’re working toward a goal but that too is encouraging because it shows me how much I’ve adapted and grown.

Staying grounded through journaling is a great way to rejuvenate yourself when experiencing mental exhaustion.

Make time to do “nothing”

Doing nothing is my favorite thing to do when I’m experiencing mental exhaustion. Sitting still and allowing your mind to settle and rest is essential to rejuvenate.

Doing “nothing” will look different for everyone. Sometimes it’s watching my favorite TV show for a couple hears then going to bed early and sometimes I need to keep the TV off and be outside.

Listen to what you know will bring you peace and rest.

One of my favorite go-to “nothing” activities is reading an inspirational book.

I’m currently hooked on Jen Sincero’s “You are a Badass” and “You are a Badass at Making Money”. I’ll probably read them over and over again as needed – they put me in the best mood!

I’ll link them You Are a Badass & You Are a Badass at Making Money 2 Books Collection Set

If self-care for mental health is something that interests you, check out the 3-Month Self-Care Challenge for Mental Health. In this course, I go over the methods and strategies that I’ve used to implement the mental health practices that I now call habits!    

self-care for mental health course

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Hi, I'm Marissa! I'm passionate about mental and emotional health and want to share what I've learned over the years with others! I've seen first hand how mental health struggles can cause serious issues within relationships, work life, daily productivity, self-worth and more! I truly believe that we owe it to ourselves to bring more awareness to these life changing topics. Start your mental/emotional health journey by learning more today!

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