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Combatting Mental Fatigue

How to Combat Mental Fatigue

Getting the right brain to work in harmony with your left brain is quite a challenge.

I have this mental picture of my brain as a lion tamer. My left brain is cracking the whip, forcing my right brain to perform artistically as it roars loudly, but complies nonetheless. Needless to say, this tug-of-war between cranial regions can produce mental fatigue. And prolonged mental fatigue is the preface of burnout, which must be avoided at all costs.

There are few things you can do to relieve the pressure on your gray cells, and taking these precautions will quickly extinguish the flames of burnout before you are charred beyond recognition. When you start to feel a little crispy, remember these things:

1) Keep your sense of humor. Laughter, seeing the humorous side, will always relieve your mental strain and brighten your outlook on life.

2) Make to-do lists. When your head becomes filled with the minutiae of all the billions of details you need to remember, take time to write it all down. Make a list of everything that is bothering you. The physical act of writing lets your left brain stop nagging you long enough to allow your right brain to get down to the business of creating.

3) Take a nature break and spend some time out of doors, no matter what the weather is like. Just a few minutes to breathe fresh air, feel the sun on your skin, study the sky and cloud formations, watch a bird fly past, make a snowball, pick a flower or go barefoot in the grass will renew your energy level and refresh your spirit.

4) Exercise daily. Even a short walk will help get oxygen to your brain, and the brain chemicals (endorphins) released during aerobic exercise help the brain to function better.

5) Eat regularly. A brief interlude to have snacks and perhaps some chocolate will give your painting a fresh new perspective.

6) Stay organized. Take the time to straighten out your paperwork, materials and other undertakings which relates to your professional job.

7) Seek assistance, gather support and rally the troops during the busy spells. Delegate as much responsibility as possible, and pass on every task that you do not have to do yourself.

8) Take a holiday. This is a variation on the theme of the proverbial mental health day. Go to a place of your choice that could allow your thoughts to assemble peacefully with your motivation.

9) Reward yourself. Pat yourself on the back often, and indulge yourself with a little treat when you’ve accomplished something on your job.
If the quick fixes don’t seem to douse the flames of burnout, you probably have a more serious case. True burnout is the hopeless feeling you get when you have too much to do, with too many responsibilities and not enough time to get everything completed in the manner you want. If you function this way for too long, you will begin to feel like blackened toast.

Beware of the symptoms of burnout: the fleeting desire to go get a “real” job; being totally exhausted even after a full night’s sleep; suffering from recurring or chronic illness; or finding yourself short-tempered and overly cranky. There are other dreaded symptoms of burnout: Procrastination, Pessimism, Peevish Perfectionism. If you can use any of these four words to describe your current frame of mind, it is time to perform triage and salve the blisters.


  1. This write up came at the right time for me, thank you so much for this piece.

  2. Sense of humor, a good hobby is very much needed during times of stress. That is why I took up blogging in the first place.

  3. Those tips you shared here are really nice.Thanks for this wonderful tips.Like them.

  4. These are all good advice. Another thing someone can do is to let their boss or superior know. Maybe the job is just too much and they need to hire more staff. I was talking to someone at work last week and we were understaffed. She let the superior know and got more help. Getting more staff is needed in order to become more efficient and prevent mistakes at work which can be costly. If all else fails, maybe it's time to move on to another job.

  5. I have found writing a to-do list and even taking down notes very helpful. When you are in highly stressful environment or even at home, it's always good to have a pen & paper with you. What I sometimes do is to take down notes on my calendar - it's one feature of my phone that I am very happy about. With the to-do list, it follows that one must be organized too. Nothing stresses me out than not remembering where I left this item or what. Getting enough sleep also helps.

  6. One more thing... DON'T SMOKE! Smoking will make your body and mind reliant on the narcotic and this is bad for your mind! First step to combat mental fatigue is to stop smoking!

  7. Love your tips it's like staying positive all the time ,smile ,have a healthy life and anything,I've done most of it and I'm happier as i grow :)

  8. i stand by having a to-do list. not only it keeps us organised, it also keeps us motivated. there's always a deep sense of accomplishment when i strike out all my to-dos at the end of the day.

  9. Thanks for sharing the signs and symptoms of mental fatigue. I'll surely do all the stuff you've mentioned to avoid it. It really helps a lot!

  10. I really like taking a "nature break", making to-do lists and staying organized. I find that making to-do lists lessen the things I have to keep reminding myself because my tasks are already written.

  11. It's really nice to have a sense of humor and an appreciation of the finer side of life. Exercise can also help de-stress and free up fatigue and burnout.

  12. I think balance is important when it comes to dealing with mental fatigue. In order to avoid it your life must have a balance, something that will take the load off your mind and let you relax and slow down.

  13. Great tips. Sense of humour & to do lists definitely help big time. If taking a vacation isn't possible its better to take frequent short breaks..


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