3 Ways To Help Calm Mental Fatigue That Worked For Me
The changes that occurred during the start and throughout the year of the pandemic were mind-blowing. Not only did I have anxiety about the unknown, but I also wasn’t able to process the infamous “stay at home” order without utter unbelief and a few tears.
As a parent, I was also concerned about my son and online learning as a 4th-grader, being inside most of the time and he slowed to no connection with peers and extended family.
What helped us get through this time was that he enjoys being home and he thrived as an online student.
Within my disbelief, I was an overnight remote teacher and he was an immediate remote student learner. My daughter (my oldest) had been renamed as an “essential worker”. The buzz phrase of the year.
I was constantly worried about her safety on the job and traveling there and back. So she took public transportation to her job each day with her note of verification that she was out of the house for employment, in hand.
I needed out of here.
I, one who cherished and was energized by the outdoors, needed to create a way to be inside close to 100% of the time, every day. It was preparation time, physically and ultimately my mind.
That alone was the beginning of my mental fatigue. It seemed as if having to think about issues, personal and professional, and problem solve what seemed like several times a day, was quietly taking a toll on me.
It seemed as if my mental state declined over the last year or so. So much was being tested like no other. With the world drastically changing, lives lost due to the virus, jobs shutting down, and other forever life-changing circumstances, some experienced mental fatigue almost to breaking points.
There were times I felt the same. The constant responsibility to think about the tasks of my job, parenting strategies, and running a household during our then, new norm.
Just on a normal day, we think about our to-do list and obligations. Even with those, we tend to mull over what we have to accomplish instead of choosing which ones are most urgent; focusing on the unnecessary details of our daily tasks can be too much and unnecessary.
My daughter, who is a young adult worked with the public, which had me worried constantly.
Calming my mind was and still is a conscious decision and routine. Although it was admittedly difficult when I first started these strategies in 2020, I am so mindful of this now, that I speak positive phrases aloud certain parts of the day to encourage calm.
Here’s how I calmed my mental fatigue:
- I clearly state verbally or write down a description of how I am feeling at the moment.
One of the most important parts of this process is to truly know and understand what you are feeling: sadness, anxiety, fear, anger, jealousy. Being honest in this process helps me get closer to possible reasons why my mental fatigue occurs.
Once I have established my feelings, I then begin to break down reasons, losses I am affected by, or have experienced that may bring this feeling to the forefront. Those losses may not always be physical.
For example, when I become overwhelmed mentally due to thinking about making ends meet each month, thinking through all I accomplish to make it happen and what I can do to earn extra money when it may not happen that month. This can be loss of confidence, loss of self-esteem, or in this case, the loss of enough money.
I think about the ways that I earn money online as a writer and more ways to increase my finances. To do this, I have found quite a few ideas here on Medium. Thanks to Tijjani Jibril and other writers on Medium.
2. Giving myself credit for what I have accomplished helps me overcome mental fatigue.
I say this because when I can identify and justify what I did well; it helps me calm my overthinking and insecurities in this area. So many times what we have gotten through, completed, and crushed are not accounted for personally.
I tend not to give myself credit at all. It could be because it seems small, is something that others do regularly, or what I have accomplished may not be seen as anything grand, in my eyes.
The ‘grand’ title comes into play when you have reached that goal or planted your flag on your finished line. You are so worthy of celebration for what you can claim as yours!
3. Change it up! Remove what has you mentally unsettled, if possible.
It is understood that some things that are the source of our mental fatigue can’t be easily removed. Creating an evening strictly set for a relaxing mood is in order. Think about the things that make you smile.
Be intentional about what you allow in your thought process. Even if you imagine what you deem impossible, just the thought can bring you joy.
This can be hard for some but doable and worth it. Choose the time of day where you can do what you love, and be intentional that it relaxes you.
I remember that relaxation is my goal. I make sure I don’t have any obligations during this time, have some Neo-Soul music playing and a scented candle burning.
Mental fatigue caused me anguish like no other feeling that I have experienced. When I was in this space, there were times that I didn’t think I could pull through. Using these strategies helped me calm mentally.
Is it totally over? No. However, I am confident and prepared to face mental fatigue and even more importantly, be more aware of my triggers.
How have you been able to calm your mental fatigue?