We’re All A Bit Emotionally Drained — Here’s How To Cope

The last few years have been a lot

There are tons of fancy adjectives that can be used to describe what it’s been like for some people. Examples include: exhausting, soul-sucking (I’m dramatic), and draining. But my brain keeps circling back to the phrase “It’s been A LOT.”

Not only are we still in the midst of a two-year and counting pandemic, but women are losing their rights as we speak. 

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Chances are pretty good that you’re emotionally drained, but what are the signs you should look out for? According to clinical psychologist Dr. Michaela Dunbar (@myeasytherapy on Instagram) there are 5 common signs.

Signs You Might Be Emotionally Drained

Lack Of Motivation 

“According to the American National Library of Medicine, emotional exhaustion is one of the symptoms of burnout, alongside alienation from work activities and reduced performance,” says Stylist

If you’re struggling with these three things, lack of motivation is related. The things you usually enjoy doing, such as going out with friends, don’t interest you like they once did. Even fun things are met with a shrug.

You Are More Easily Irritated

According to Dr. Dunbar, “People may initially notice that they are feeling more frustrated or pessimistic than usual, sometimes leading to outbursts of unexplained anger or low moods.”

Things that would normally roll off your back, such as traffic or a long line, now have steam coming out of your ears. Over time, these feelings can build, becoming stronger and causing people to feel intense anger at even small inconveniences. 

Everything Feels Overwhelming

Having trouble getting into the shower or even off the couch? Does the thought of replying to a text send you spiraling? While these things aren’t a definitive diagnosis of emotional exhaustion, they’re probably a good indicator that you’re emotionally drained. 

A Change In Your Appetite 

If you have either zero interest in food or are eating more than usual, you may be emotionally drained. A drastic change in appetite is a good gauge for depression and emotional exhaustion. 

Loss of appetite and lethargy are symptoms that usually occur together. A loss of appetite means you eat less, and this leads to reduced energy levels.

You’re Tired All Day But Have Trouble Sleeping At Night 

Much of the research around burnout links insufficient sleep with a greater risk of emotional drainage. 

“It’s true that people who don’t – or can’t – prioritize their own well-being may be more prone to emotional exhaustion. This can include those who do not get enough exercise, sleep or healthy foods,” says Stylist

Tips For Treating Emotional Drainage 

emotionally drained

There are certain lifestyle changes you can make to ease the mental and physical symptoms of being emotionally drained. 

Making small adjustments to your daily routine can aid in managing your condition and stave off another bout of burnout. 

According to Healthline, once you notice the signs of emotional exhaustion creeping in, try the following tips:

Eat Healthy

Eating healthy means opting for a balanced diet with lots of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein, while steering clear of sugary snacks and processed or heavily fried foods.

“We’re told to eat healthy all the time, but it can make a world of difference when you’re stressed. Not only will it help you get the vitamins and minerals you need, but it will also improve digestion, sleep, and energy levels, which can have a domino effect on your emotional state.”


We all know physical activity is great for raising the body’s endorphins and serotonin levels. This is crucial when you’re feeling emotionally drained, as it can improve your emotional state. Exercise is also a good distraction and can get you out of your own head, even if it’s just for a short time. 

Get Enough Sleep

Sounds easy enough, right? WRONG. But it is important for your mental and physical health to get enough restful sleep. For those with clinical insomnia, talk to your doctor about your symptoms.

If you have emotional drainage-related sleep problems, try to get into a bedtime routine and stick with the same one nightly. That also means limiting your caffeine intake during the day – sorry!

Practice Mindfulness

Mindfulness techniques are much more than a corny saying on a mug. They’re scientifically recognized to lessen stress, anxiety and can be paramount to keeping your emotions in check.

Examples include:

  • Meditation

  • Yoga

  • Breathing exercises

  • Going for a walk, especially in nature

  • Keeping a journal to write down your feelings and thoughts

“Researchers recently even found evidence that a single session of mindfulness meditation can help reverse the effects of stress on the body,” says Healthline.

Meet With A Professional

“Along with making lifestyle changes, it’s important to seek professional help to treat emotional exhaustion. A professional, such as a therapist, can give you the tools you need to work through a stressful period.”

Make sure to be honest about your symptoms with a professional – don’t downplay your condition because you feel like everyone is going through the same thing or someone else has it “worse.”


What do you do when you’re feeling emotionally drained? Share with us in the comments.

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