Mental exhaustion is a growing health issue as it becomes more prevalent in the workplace. That doesn’t mean however, that we must accept it and “live with it”. The battle against mental health issues such as mental exhaustion is ongoing and, with the right corporate stress management strategy, businesses can make a difference.
Being able to spot when someone is suffering from mental exhaustion is key, and the earlier it can be identified, the greater the chances of better mental and physical well-being for individuals in the workplace.
Mental exhaustion can be seen as: cognitive, emotional and/or physical fatigue. Cognitive fatigue occurs when being overwhelmed by the pressure of having too much to do and not enough time. It can also be caused by having to regulate emotions when dealing with customers, work colleagues, friends, or family. This leads to us feeling drained and not being able to think clearly.
Signs of emotional fatigue
Emotional fatigue can build up over time when we try to retain control of situations, which are often outside of our control. The effort involved can lead for example, to extreme tiredness, depression, anger, and feelings of hopelessness.
Physical exhaustion can be a side effect of both cognitive and emotional fatigue when anxiety and lack of sleep combine. The inability to look after our mental health often results in a poor diet, no exercise or being prone to accidents due to a lack of concentration.
An individual might be suffering from one or more types of mental exhaustion and when it comes to corporate stress management, it’s important to spot when someone has mental exhaustion and then proactively take action to help the individual.
How to identify executive burnout or mental exhaustion
Identifying when someone is suffering from executive burnout or mental exhaustion can be difficult, but there are various symptoms or signs you can look out for, such as:
- Team members look or feel tired, drained, or exhausted
- The individual is having trouble concentrating, remembering things, or making decisions
- Changes in mood, feeling irritable, anxious, or depressed
- A colleague is taking more sick days than usual
- Feeling overwhelmed by work or losing interest in activities that used to be enjoyable
Many of these signs can be hard to identify, but they can be easier to recognise by paying attention to the words an individual uses and their body language. If, for example, their tone of voice becomes sharper, and their voice becomes louder then this is a clear sign of being irritated or angry.
Reducing mental exhaustion
Executive coaching is a great way to reduce or eliminate mental exhaustion. Coaching allows the individual to acknowledge the concerns they have and to tackle challenges head-on.
One major reason for executive burnout is when an individual has too many important projects and activities to handle. Executive coaching helps them to obtain clarity on what to focus on, and how to manage priorities more effectively.
To avoid, mental exhaustion it’s recommended that senior managers receive executive coaching on an ongoing basis. If, however, this isn’t possible in your business, and you believe a colleague is at risk of executive burnout then it’s important to support them by recommending they ask for help. This could include receiving executive coaching.
Need help with corporate stress management?
If you need help spotting and dealing with mental exhaustion, we may be able to help. At Ramsay Todd, we provide executive coaching to help individuals and businesses to achieve better results, which includes reducing the risks of mental and physical well-being issues such as executive burnout.
Get in touch with Ramsay Todd today to find out more.