4 Signs that you are Emotionally Drained

You’re On Empty

Everyone hits a point in their life where something has them emotionally drained. Completely wiped out, the gas gage reading empty.  The problem is, not everyone recognizes that this is the problem.  We go through life at breakneck speed. So fast that most times we don’t understand why all of a sudden we are losing our minds.  I’ve put together 4 signs that you are emotionally drained to help see the dangers of exhaustion before they get out of hand.

What causes us to become Emotionally drained

Many things trigger this expulsion of energy. Stress with work, or in a relationship. Perhaps going to school, or working on a personal project. Heck even going on vacations can cause you to end up emotionally depleted. For me, it was a visit to see my family.  Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my family. I would do anything for them. I miss them terribly since I moved to Colorado.  Here’s the thing though, visits with them can be emotionally taxing.

There are a multitude of factors as to why I’m emotionally exhausted when I leave them. Quite a few are my own doing. I worry when I’m gone (call it big sister syndrome!). I feel guilty for leaving, and very sad that I have to say goodbye. All of these things take a toll on my emotional reserves.

Since I’ve been back from my visit, every day has been a struggle. Every morning I feel like I’m just going through the motions. I have some energy at the start of the day, and I throw it into course work I’ve been working on. After a few hours of that, the exhaustion wins and I’m back on empty. I literally force myself to even walk my energetic 7-month-old puppy Rebel.  Even that seems like torture for someone that just wants to find her bed.

The Warning Signs and Dangers of feeling empty

So how can we tell that we are coming close to, or actually at the point of being emotionally drained? Most of us miss the signs. We mistake them as just being tired, or perhaps depressed. For us ladies, the word hormonal gets tossed around as a valid excuse. 

The Dangerous part of being low on emotional or mental energy is what it does to our self-worth. Feeling empty can cause this desperate need to refuel, making us seem to need others more than normal. Or perhaps have bigger expectations from people than is fair or we would normally have. When we can’t get what we think we need to fill that vast emptiness it makes us feel like we aren’t worthy.  That the people who aren’t meeting our suddenly unreasonable expectations suddenly don’t care or don’t feel we are worth giving us what we need from them. 

 

stop living life on autopilot

The torture of self-depreciation

This is dangerous because it sparks discontent and fights in what are usually healthy supportive relationships. We tend to lash out at our loved ones. Hurting others as we are hurting, and trust me, we are hurting.  That empty feeling usually turns to the torture of self-depreciation.

We all know how that goes, don’t we? Suddenly you’re thinking about how you aren’t good enough. Or how nothing you do ever goes right. You start to have insecurities and doubts about the goals you want to achieve, the projects you are working so hard on.  So how can we tell when we are running on empty?  Well here are 4 signs that you are emotionally drained.

How to tell if you are emotionally drained

Fatigue

One of the first signs is often mistaken for just being tired.  Yet the reality is, no matter how much sleep you get or how much caffeine you intake, you just want to be back in bed. More importantly, you never truly feel rested.  You can wake up and within a few simple tasks, you just want to be back in between the covers.

When you’re fatigued you can be plagued with a multitude of symptoms. Both physical and emotional. Sore aching muscles, chronic tiredness, dizziness. You will be slow to respond, or make decisions and have clear judgment when handling situations.

Physical Illness or Symptoms

As we discussed with fatigue, it can cause physical illnesses or symptoms.  Headaches, soreness or joint pain are just a few. My personal favorite and one that happens often when I’m running low, are heart palpitations from low-grade anxiety that seems to stick with me.  Trust me nothing is worse than feeling physically weak from exhaustion.

For me, this manifests my feelings of self-hatred because when it’s harder for me to move I start to feel like I’m not normal, or different. I begin to tear myself down and get angry at the limitations put on me by my body.  It rarely dawns on me that because I’m emotionally drained it’s much harder for me to get my body to move the way it should. Everything flows together, mind, body, and spirit.  When one thing is out of whack, it puts a strain on the other two.

Hypersensitivity/Mood Swings

This one is no fun for ANYONE.  Yet this is really one of the first things that clue me into the fact that something is off.  When you’re emotionally depleted, the strength and energy you need to deal with the stresses of life are virtually gone.  The smallest things can have a huge impact on us emotionally.  Something that normally wouldn’t phase you suddenly has you in tears. Sometimes you don’t even know WHY you are crying. You just know you can’t handle whatever it is that is coming at you.

This hypersensitivity isn’t just limited to bouts of tears. Oh no, it also lends to mood swings and episodes of irrational anger. You can become easily irritated. Small things that never bothered you before suddenly set you off. This goes back to lashing out at your loved ones or perhaps friends and coworkers.  You feel out of control and mad. People start to avoid you because they don’t know why or when you will go off.

Not to mention that being hypersensitive is exhausting all by itself.  Ever break down crying for no reason and just felt completely wiped out after?  Or been so angry that by the time you calm down all you feel is empty and numb?  It’s because those extremes take what little energy we have and squeeze out every last drop.

Detachment

So this one is sometimes hard to recognize because often if you battle with self-worth, insecurity issues, or depression you tend to find yourself feeling numb often.  Yet this is another key warning sign that you are emotionally drained.

You become distant and numb. You don’t want to face anything that might be stressful or something you feel might overwhelm you. Let’s face it, at this point EVERYTHING is overwhelming. So it’s easier to bury your head in the sand. Slip back into bed, flip on the tv and forget the world exists. Why not, you’re extremely tired anyway. (see they all work together in some form)

Detachment can also be found in a lack of motivation. Along with fatigue, you feel absolutely no motivation to work on your projections. Things you were excited about, you can’t muster any excitement for now. Activities you love, you can’t muster the strength or energy to participate in.

This one hit me hard, I found myself unable to muster the energy to write. To work on my blog for more than an hour or so at a time. Walking my dog was something I had to force myself to do because his sad little face made me feel guilty enough to do it.

Take time out for yourself

Now you know the 4 signs that you are emotionally drained. What do you do about it? Recharge my friend. Fill up that fuel tank.  This usually comes in the form of self-care.  It’s important to realize that when you find yourself emotionally drained, you have to find the things that help fill you back up. Likewise, things that center and refocus your spirit and emotions are extremely helpful now.

For me, the things that help the most is setting up some structure to my day that includes self-care. For example, I woke up, spent some time praying and meditating first thing in the morning.  Then I got dressed, and did some yoga. My little monster wanted a walk so we did that. Before I could even tackle the obligations of the day, I took some time for myself.  Now for the first time in weeks I feel energized and ready to tackle the goals and objectives I have planned out. 

Pick out a few things that you think might work for you. Meditation, prayer if you’re spiritual. Yoga stretching and breathing works wonders. If you want some gentle beginner stretches I follow The Yoga Room on youtube. This is a great practice if you are less flexible, new to yoga, or are unsure that your body size or shape can do yoga. (trust me you can!) Give it a try and see if you like it. 

To Sum It up

The bottom line, when you find yourself running on empty, you need to stop pushing yourself harder. Take a step back, and find out what you need to refuel you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. In no time at all, you will find yourself back on track and ready to conquer the world! As always, remember you are NEVER alone! I am here with you my friends and until next time take care of yourselves!

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2 Comments

  1. Elaine Pollick

    I enjoy reading your ideas keep up the good work someone will profit from your help good luck

    Reply
    • Amber

      Thank you Elaine! I truly mean that. I don’t plan on giving up. Doing this helps me just as much as it helps others =)

      Reply

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Amber

Tired of battling low self-esteem, zero self-worth, and an emotional eating addiction, Amber created Amberable to share her journey with those who may be struggling. Hoping to empower, inspire and heal others like herself