9 Warning Signs of Mental and Emotional Exhaustion (and What You Can Do About It)

Feb 02, 2021

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”
— Anne Lamott


Hi Audie,

Where did January go? Anyone else feel like this month flew by?! As I write this newsletter, the Chicago area is experiencing its first real snowstorm of the season (it's unusually late). I find myself pausing and watching the snow fall. It’s so serene and beautiful…

I wouldn’t normally be taking the time to consciously pause and watch this, yet like so many of my clients, colleagues and friends, we’re tired, worn out, on edge, or feeling overwhelmed these days.  

It’s no surprise considering the long-term psychological and emotional effects of being cooped up inside most of the time, not being able to freely socialize or go about our ‘normal’ life, worrying about/dealing with catching COVID (ourselves and loved ones), juggling extra responsibilities, working from home for the first time – and perhaps adding homeschooling to the mix, the stress of seeking/changing employment in a COVID world, or carrying a heavier workload for months on end.  

Many people have also been affected by the inability to consistently exercise.

This month’s featured article is focused on identifying if you are headed toward burnout (or are there), and some strategies and tips to help move you forward and feel better. 

Audie, I care about you and would love to know how you’re doing. Feel free to reply to this email and let me know. 

Take good care of yourself and your loved ones, and keep moving forward.

Warm regards,

P.S. I invite you to share my newsletter with anyone you feel could benefit from receiving valuable content and insights specific to mid- to senior-level executive job seekers/career changers. 

P.P.S. To learn more about Your Call To Action, LLC and how I help my clients go from being frustrated and struggling with their search, stuck in a toxic work environment or worried about being downsized to feeling excited, valued and re-energized at work (and in their life) again, take a look around my website.

9 Warning Signs of Mental and Emotional Exhaustion (and What You Can Do About It)

“Thinking outside of the box keeps you from suffocating
inside of one.”

— Matshona Dhliwayo

In the past month or two, I’ve heard from a number of current and former clients who have found working from home has led to working more hours and days as their work day bleeds into their family time and weekends, they're feeling extreme fatigue and overwhelm, and they’re not enjoying activities they used to love engaging in.  

If this resonates with you – or a friend, family member or colleague – please read on. (Feel free to forward this newsletter with them, as well.)

According to The Minds Journal, the following are 9 common warning signs you’re mentally and emotionally exhausted:

  1. You’re easily irritated.
  2. You feel completely unmotivated – even to do things you normally enjoy.
  3. You’re experiencing anxiety or panic attacks.
  4. You’re having trouble sleeping.  Either it takes you hours to fall asleep or your sleep is broken all through the night.
  5. You have almost no patience and you find yourself being short with colleagues, friends or family.
  6. You’re experiencing indigestion.  You have a low-grade stomach ache all the time or feel like there’s butterflies in your stomach.
  7. You start crying unexpectedly.
  8. You feel detached from reality – you go through your days without really emotionally responding or connecting to anything.
  9. You feel empty.

Here are some tips and strategies to try: 

  • Set up an early morning routine where you exercise, go for a walk or meditate before your work day starts.
  • Stand up and stretch every couple of hours (heck, play some fun music and dance!).
  • Take time away from your desk for a 30 minute -1 hour lunch. Eat, relax, maybe take a brief walk, anything to clear your head (and laugh). 
  • Try to put boundaries around your work day, as if you were in the office. Be ruthless about not working at night unless absolutely necessary. Relax, do things you enjoy, spend time with your immediate family, etc. in the evenings.
  • Have a completely different routine on weekends so the days don’t look and feel the same. Try not to work and, instead, have fun, relax, and re-energize. 
  • Minimize watching the news and being on social media for a while.
  • During work crunch time, ask for help on the home front or learn to say “no, not now” (it can be hard to do, yet it’s well worth trying). 
  • Overall, be good to yourself.  Treat yourself with loving, kind uplifting words, pamper yourself or relax with a good book … much like you would a close friend who is experiencing this.  

Ignoring the warning signs of extreme mental and emotional fatigue can often lead to burnout.  Some common causes of burnout:

  • Not knowing when (or how) to say no
  • Being in a toxic environment or around toxic people
  • Prioritizing others over yourself
  • People pleasing
  • Superhero syndrome (I can do it all)
  • Unrealistic expectations
  • Having little control over what you’re doing
  • Not being appreciated for what you do

If you’ve been feeling this way for months on end, I highly encourage you to seek out professional help (psychiatrists, therapists) or contact the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (800-273-8255) if you’re feeling suicidal.

If the toxic environment or you’re not being appreciated for what you do is work-related, or your management has unrealistic expectations of you and nothing you do is good enough, let’s talk*.  These are not healthy work environments and you owe it to your mental health and well-being to make a change NOW.  

So, Audie, if you’re experiencing any of the above symptoms, what is something you can begin doing today that will help lift the weight and move you forward in a more positive, healthy way?

*Whether you’re just starting your search or have been at it awhile, you don’t have to do this alone!  

Through my coaching programs, I partner with mid- to senior-level executives through every step in the job search process from helping them identify what’s next in their career to helping create their messaging and branding (resume/LinkedIn profile), sharing proven job search strategies, tips and insights that help them secure meaningful conversations and interviews to helping them through the highs and lows of their search to evaluating and negotiating their offers without struggle, frustration and overwhelm.  

Click here to schedule a complimentary strategy call with me.

Regardless of where you’re at in your job search/career transition, take this quiz to find out the most productive job search approach for *you* along with helpful strategies, tips and pitfalls to avoid.  

Who do you know is in job transition (or considering making a change)? Help a friend, business colleague or relative out by sharing this quiz (and newsletter) with them.

If you are a mid- to senior-level executive and motivated to find your next opportunity (or know someone who is), I'd love to speak with you to better understand your situation, what you're looking to do, and see how I can be of help.

Book your complimentary 40-minute Strategy Session here.


Prior to launching Your Call To Action, LLC in 2015, Audie spent over 30 years in technology sales and sales leadership roles working with C-Level and other key stakeholders at Fortune 1000 companies utilizing a consultative and value-based approach to addressing her clients' needs.

Due to the evolving nature of the technology industry, it was common to change companies due to M&A, new leadership coming in and bringing their own team, corporate restructurings, or as a way to advance one's career. Audie became very proficient — and successful — in landing multiple offers each time, and was frequently complimented on how she stood out (in a good way!) from other candidates throughout the interview process.

She leverages her business acumen, consultative and value-based approach to sales, and professional coach training (ICF Certified) in working with clients and delivering her proven methodology, strategies and tips for successfully landing a new position (after all, one needs to sell oneself, right?).

Audie is intuitive, nurturing, and compassionate yet firm—all of the qualities you should want in a coach. She is your accountability partner with a focus on helping you get real results ... and you’ll also have fun along the way!

Want to learn more? Click here to book a Complimentary Strategy Session.