Health Advice



Emotional exhaustion during times of unrest

From Mayo Clinic News Network, Mayo Clinic News Network on

Published in Health & Fitness

Local and world events have brought out strong emotions and stressors this year, often one right after another. They include COVID-19, social distancing, quarantines, stay-at-home orders, furloughs, job loss, masking, racial injustice, protests and demonstrations. There's no question 2020 has been a year full of change and trauma.

In addition to social unrest, you may be experiencing a high-pressure job, financial stress or poverty, being a caregiver, raising children, chronic illness or death of a family member or friend.

You may be wondering what's next or what else you will have to endure. As these events unfold, you may begin to feel unwell and irritable, and struggle to concentrate and motivate yourself. You may not even know what is causing how you are feeling. You can feel trapped or stuck. You're emotionally exhausted.

What is emotional exhaustion?

When stress begins to accumulate from negative or challenging events in life that just keep coming, you can find yourself in a state of feeling emotionally worn out and drained. This is called emotional exhaustion. For most people, emotional exhaustion tends to slowly build up over time. Emotional exhaustion includes emotional, physical and performance symptoms.

Emotional symptoms include:





Feeling hopeless


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