The way I see it, you don’t have to deal with emotional drainage if you take certain steps to avoid it. I think I might be the mistress in avoiding emotionally draining activities. But the truth is that no matter how you try to avoid it, it can creep up on you and proceed to destabilize you. So, we will look at some practical ways on how to prevent and deal with emotional drainage.
What is emotional drainage?
According to wikipedia, Emotional drainage is when you feel emotionally exhausted and worn due to cumulative stress from your personal or professional lives or a mix of the two.
Emotional drainage comes with the feeling of being “trapped” or “stuck” in life.
Emotional drainage can be difficult to overcome due to a lack of energy, poor sleep, and diminished motivation. This prolonged, stressed-out condition might harm your health in the long run.
What causes emotional drainage
Of course, various emotional triggers invariably result in emotional drainage. In my case, it was quite difficult for me to pinpoint the cause of feeling emotionally drained. I just woke up on a beautiful day and felt trapped with no way out. However, if I had taken time for introspection, I might have been able to pinpoint the cause.
Here are 5 common causes of emotional drainage:
The weird thing about this cause of emotional drainage is that it gently creeps up on you. You can have a terrible day and just need someone to rant to. The realization that you have no one to call can have you feel quite drained.
2. Negative thoughts
It is easy to preach about focusing on positive thoughts, but in reality, it is not so easy. Negative thoughts can easily creep up on us, especially when things aren’t going how we want them to.
3. Low job satisfaction
I want to believe I have firsthand knowledge of this being an entry-level staff. As a new 9-5er, I found myself emotionally drained after each day. It was not helpful that my work could be quite boring and repetitive.
4. Relationship issues
This is another popular cause of emotional drainage, especially in romantic relationships. How do I navigate this? Well, I avoid any form of romantic relationship 😉. You cannot be emotionally drained from something you are not involved in. Lol, of course, i am kidding. However, having a healthy relationship will reduce the incidence of emotional triggers.
5. Lack of control
Do you sometimes feel like you have no control over your life? Well, I feel the same sometimes. Constant feelings of such can eventually lead to emotional drainage.
6. Grief after losing a loved one
I had never dealt with grief firsthand until I was informed about the death of an old time friend. Admittedly, I was not so close to her when she passed on, but I was always momentarily visited by grief and guilt. It goes without saying that prolonged such can have you feeling emotionally drained.
7. Working excessively long hours
Working too many hours can cause chronic stress, sadness, and an increase in the cortisol hormone. This, in turn, increases your risk of cancer, stroke, and diabetes.
8. Raising Children
3 weeks’ holiday with my nieces and nephews usually has me feeling quite drained! I don’t want to imagine what my siblings go through all year round, catering to the needs of their children. Phew!
How to prevent emotional drainage
I always prefer the preventive approach. As stated above, in most cases, emotional fatigue and drainage creep up on you. However, I strongly believe that there are some active steps you can take to avoid steps.
Ways to prevent emotional fatigue:
1. Practice gratitude
I recently saw a movie where the actress always says three things she is currently grateful for. I promised myself that I would inculcate that in my everyday living.
I started by appreciating the most basic things we take for granted, like the sun, taking a walk, the wind blowing in your face, music, etc. It helped me fight any sort of emotional drainage that seemed to creep up on me.
2. Try to maintain a positive attitude
I used ‘try’ here because it can be quite difficult. Everyday living is difficult with so many bad things happening all around the globe. It takes effort to only see the bright side of things and maintain a positive outlook on life.
3. Avoid emotionally draining friends
This is not a cue for you to be a bad friend to your friends in need. Rather, it emphasizes creating healthy boundaries when it comes to friendships.
Do you have friends that only call you when they want to heap their life troubles on you? After such a conversation, do you feel completely drained? In such cases, you may want to take steps to reduce such instances.
You may start by gearing the conversation in a more positive and happier direction with such a friend.
4. Find a way to love your work
When I started my job, I hated every aspect of it. Gradually, I realized that no job is all sunlight and rainbows. By creating a healthier work-life balance, I could appreciate my job more.
5. Know when to take needed breaks
This applies to everything, from friends, work, relationships, etc. Once you realize that a particular thing/person is draining, know when to step back. Such breaks will definitely provide you with a much-needed perspective to handle such situations better.
How to deal with emotional drainage and exhaustion
1. Get plenty of sleep and rest
If you’re feeling so exhausted that you’re having trouble functioning in all aspects of your life, it might be a sign that you need to schedule more rest time. If possible, try to obtain at least 8 hours of sleep every night. Take your allotted work breaks. Try to finish work at a certain hour so you can unwind in your spare time.
2. Get enough exercise and nutrition
When you’re feeling emotionally drained, staying active and eating healthily is critical to avoid weariness and retain what little energy you have.
3. Make use of relaxation techniques
Deep breathing, progressive muscle relaxation, meditation, yoga, journaling, and any other relaxation activities that help you feel calmer, especially if your emotions are heightened due to stress and weariness, should be practiced.
4. Focus on the present
Staying in the now as much as possible may help you feel less overwhelmed by future expected stressors. Furthermore, by viewing yourself as less anxious, you may begin to feel less pressured, therefore increasing your mental well-being.
5. Practice gratitude
When you analyze the things that are going well in your life from a physical, social, financial, familial, and spiritual standpoint, as well as any other critical areas in your life, you may alter your viewpoint from despair to optimism.
6. Focus on what you have control over
When situations are beyond our control, we might feel helpless. By focusing on what you can control, you may be reminded of what you can manage with your own resources, such as time and energy. This may make you feel better about your position.
7. Recognize your strengths
When we are exhausted, we tend to forget what we are capable of. Recognize your talents, abilities, good tra, and strengths for a moment. Your capacity to overcome hurdles may astound you.
8. Strive for work-life balance.
As previously said, working excessive hours can contribute to sadness, emotional tiredness, and burnout. Strive for a work-life balance by doing the following:
- Knowing when to quit working, for example: don’t work yourself to exhaustion. When your body tells you it’s time to stop, listen to it.
- Maintaining as rigorous a work schedule as feasible.
- Every week, plan pleasant activities and interests outside of work.
9. Unplug on a regular basis
The benefit of technological advancement is that it allows us to stay connected to work, family, and friends no matter where we are. The disadvantage is that we are continually interrupted and drawn into what is going on, even if it is irrelevant to us or merely worries us out.
When you’re off the clock but still on your phone or laptop, you add stress to your life since you can never relax. That is why it is critical to set aside time when you actually disconnect from the internet world. Before bed is a perfect time to do this so you may sleep well instead of worrying about an incoming email or the newest news item.
10. Get used to spending time alone
Because emotional fatigue makes you feel empty and unable to devote yourself emotionally to others, spending time alone may be beneficial. Many jobs that demand regular engagement with people in need, such as health care, social work, or customer service, might result in emotional drainage since you are always caring about the needs of others.
Give yourself a break, even if it’s as easy as spending a Friday night alone at home reading a peaceful book or traveling to the beach to soak up the rays. Making time for yourself to recharge may do wonders for your mental health.
When you’re under emotional stress, writing down how you feel and what’s going on in your life can be beneficial for a variety of reasons. For starters, it enables you to identify and accept your feelings rather than repressing them and adding to your stress. Second, by organizing your ideas and feelings in writing, you can obtain insights into what’s going on.
12. Seek the Help of a Mental Health Professional
Accessing therapy to discuss your worries and learn how to improve your coping abilities is critical for alleviating your symptoms and returning to your life in the way you desire. Contacting a therapist as soon as you see indications of emotional drainage might help you prevent moderate or severe depression.
Final Thoughts: How to Prevent and Deal with Emotional Drainage
To reiterate, the best way to deal with emotional drainage is by preventing it! Well, in cases where it creeps up on you, I hope you find this post on how to avoid and deal with emotional drainage quite helpful.