What is Exhaustion?
Mental and physical exhaustion is becoming a modern day phenomenon that is rapidly on the rise. When exhaustion sets in, it can be incredibly frightening.
As worries, pressures, set-backs, and responsibilities build up, we begin to feel less able to cope with them.
Symptoms of physical and mental exhaustion include feeling constantly tired and worn out. Feeling physically and mentally exhausted can take their toll at all levels of life. We become less adept at our jobs, our relationships suffer, and energy levels drop to all-time lows.
If ignored, exhaustion can lead to serious consequences such as burnout, excessive stress, depression, as well as lowered immune system functioning. All of these make us more vulnerable to illness and infection, creating a vicious cycle.
Symptoms of Mental Exhaustion
- Stomach Pain
- Chest Pain
Symptoms of Physical Exhaustion
- Stomach Pain
- Chest Pain
Children & Exhaustion
When children are exhausted, they may exhibit the following symptoms:
- Hyperactivity (a result of being over-tired)
- Unusual crankiness and fussiness
- Impulsive and/or erratic behavior
- Yawning, rubbing their eyes, lying down
- Whining, crying
- Inattentiveness and restlessness
Other Ailments Which May Occur in Conjunction with Exhaustion
- Chronic Fatigue syndrome (CFS)
- Adrenal Fatigue
What Causes Exhaustion?
What people often don’t realize is that symptoms of exhaustion are usually a warning that something is wrong physically or emotionally, or that our lifestyle is in serious need of examination and change.
Often referred to as fatigue, exhaustion can have multiple causes (including some serious medical conditions) and should not be ignored if it is persistent or interferes with your daily functioning.
Possible Causes of Adult Exhaustion
- Work. Long hours, high demands, difficult employees, and other factors can all add up to a very exhausted, burnt out body. While you may not be able to control all circumstances, it’s important to always find balance in your day to practice stress-relieving techniques, exercise, eat right, and spend time with people or hobbies that you love.
- Stress. While we cannot eliminate stress from our lives, we must learn to manage it because it is a top factor in exhaustion.
- Seasonal or chronic allergies; hay fever. Allergy-related exhaustion is a common symptom from both prescription and OTC medications, as well as from lost sleep from fighting clogged nasal passages, sinus headaches, or sore throats. In addition, your body is fighting even harder to block out pathogens, causing fatigue. To help stop the vicious cycle, be sure to properly identify and remove as many allergy triggers as possible, taking utmost care in the bedroom – pillows, carpets, bedding—to help restore peace to your slumber and better your waking hours.
- High Blood Pressure. Since high blood pressure can be indicative of a dangerous health condition, it is important to monitor this and seek professional treatment if necessary.
Possible Causes of Child Exhaustion
Children, just like adults, can experience exhaustion. Some possible culprits include:
- Caffeine. Yes, even tiny tots may be consuming caffeine, which can be found not only in commonly expected soft drinks but also tea, chocolate, and some children’s pain relievers.
- Television. Both kids and adults are susceptible to watching too much TV, which can disrupt sleep. Children are particularly sensitive to psychological stimulation, and disturbing content may lead to bad dreams and therefore troubled sleep. Sleep loss as a result of finishing a show or movie can also cut into the recommended 8+ hours for growing children. In addition, too much time in front of the bright glow of the TV can lead to a disrupted sleep-wake cycle.
- Naps. While most children cease naptime around age 4, if you notice an increase in bedtime, it’s possible you may need to monitor their nap habits.
- Too much exercise late in the day. Just as adults need time to wind down, heavy exercise can affect kids, too. Try to space four hours between playtime/exercise and bedtime.
Help for Exhaustion
The first step in conquering exhaustion is to address the underlying cause. Consider lifestyle changes that include better nutrition, regular exercise, and stress management. While taking these active steps towards battling your fatigue may be difficult at first (for example, when attempting to increase fitness levels while suffering from physical exhaustion) they will definitely pay off in the end.
If lifestyle changes don’t seem to help or if you are showing additional symptoms, it is recommended that you seek professional evaluation. In many cases, symptoms of exhaustion can be signs of an underlying psychological or medical condition such as depression or chronic fatigue syndrome. Often these other conditions have high levels of mental exhaustion associated with them, and may require professional diagnosis to distinguish between them.
Contact your general health practitioner or a reputable psychologist for a professional assessment.
Natural herbal and homeopathic remedies can be used as a safe, effective way of encouraging healthy energy levels and feelings of well-being when battling fatigue and exhaustion. Used regularly, certain herbs can promote increased strength and endurance, and boost the immune system while energizing both body and mind, with no risk of side effects. Herbs such as Siberian Ginseng, Olea europea (extract of olive leaf) and Centella asiatica are commonly used to fight fatigue and boost energy without the harsh stimulants often found in OTC drugs. These herbal ingredients can be taken to naturally assist overall systemic functioning, and are often taken by athletes battling physical exhaustion, those recovering from illness, or those who need the extra boost to help manage a busy or pressured lifestyle and overcome mental exhaustion.