After any sort of prolonged physical stress, our bodies are likely to become fatigued. Whether we’re typing for 8 hours or shoveling snow, hard work makes us tired. In addition to the fatigue that comes with physical exertion, mental exhaustion is also possible.
What is brain drain?
Just like overworked muscles, the brain can also feel tired after a long day. Mental fatigue can happen to anyone. It usually occurs when you have been required to concentrate or focus for a long time. Regardless of how many hours concentration was necessary, the type of work that is being focused on can make a difference too. If you focus on something that does not require heavy concentration for several hours it may still have the same impact as concentrating with extreme focus for one hour.
How does your brain become tired?
The brain is an organ that uses cells to function. Without proper energy, these cells cannot fuel effective brainpower. Glucose is the primary energy source in the brain. If there is a glucose deficiency in the brain, mental fatigue will likely affect motivation and even happiness.
Although glucose can affect dopamine levels which can often lead to brain drain, having a snack may not eliminate the symptoms. Doctors recommend a variety of management skills to help relieve stress and maintain a steady working pace that your brain can keep up with.
How to prevent burn out
Everyone experiences burn out at some point in their lives. Even if you’re doing the same thing over and over again, your brain can become tired from the repetition. To better stay on top of mental fatigue, prevention is key.
Diet and exercise can do wonders for the brain. Exercise has proven to be an effective way to fight psychological stress. By doing cardio exercise and keeping an elevated heart rate, the body’s endorphins can help create energy and motivation. A proper diet can also help maintain energy throughout the day. Depending on what you eat, healthy snacking can create consistent energy so that you don’t crash from too much sugar.
Variety is also recommended. Those who spend most of their day at work and have little outside time for relationships and friendships can feel more depleted than those with a more balanced lifestyle. Making time for friends, exercise and hobbies are an important way to divide your attention from being overworked in one direction. Having goals and new activities to look forward to can prevent brain drain.
A good night’s sleep can also help prevent mental fatigue. Sleep that is broken up or disturbed on a regular basis can be detrimental to both physical and psychological health. Practicing healthy sleep hygiene can do wonders for the mind. Meditating right before sleep can help you fall asleep faster. Turning off laptop and phone screens is also recommended for a good night’s sleep.
Like all health-related issues, treating the symptoms are helpful, but finding the root cause is crucial. When trying to fix brain drain, knowing why you’re experiencing it is the first step to a solid solution. Whether it’s work or relationship stress, only treating the symptoms will not help in the long run. Lifestyle changes can occur in several different ways depending on what works best for you.