Mental Burnout: 7 Reasons Why You Might Be Mentally Fatigued

Last Update on March 2, 2023 : Published on March 3, 2023
7 Reasons Why You Might Be Mentally Fatigued

If you’ve ever experienced symptoms of burnout, then you’ll agree with me when I say that it can take a lot of our time and drain us from the last tendrils of energy we’ve left. In the age where “hustle culture” is promoted and lived, it can be hard to find time for yourself. No wonder why more and more adults are stressed all the time and burned out.

When I talk about burnout, I’m not just talking about job burnout. This includes physical, mental, emotional, and even spiritual burnout. (Yes, that’s a thing). Today, however, we’re focusing on mental burnout and why you’re feeling this fatigued.

So, before further ado, let’s take a look at what mental burnout means and the reasons you’re mentally burned out.

What Is Mental Burnout?

What Is Mental Burnout

Mental burnout is when you feel mentally fatigued and don’t have the energy to focus on anything other than your routine. When you’re dealing with mental fatigue, you lose the ability to make decisions, think clearly, and even become overwhelmed by the smallest things.

There might even come times when you don’t even realize you’re stressed and you might end up blaming others – people or situations – for your inconvenience. There are always some factors that contribute to stress, but when you’re already stressed beyond recognition, it might become challenging to figure those factors out.

When you’re dealing with mental fatigue and burnout, the only energy you are left with might be used to do nothing and watch Netflix all day. Sounds relaxing? Well, it might not be.

Because you’re mentally exhausted, binge-watching movies or series might fail to shut down your brain. Think of it like this;

Your brain has used all its power and needs recharging but you’re constantly making it engage in some activity. How will you be able to recharge it if you don’t leave it alone? Your brain may still feel tired the next day.

If you’re an over thinker or an over-analyzer like me, then you might often deal with mental burnout. It’s an inconvenience for sure but the question that arises here is what causes mental burnout?

Let’s take a look at some of the common reasons why you experience mental burnout.

Reasons You’re Mentally Burned Out

1. Loud Inner Critic

When you don’t feel confident in yourself and your abilities, you make yourself susceptible to mental burnout. You spend a lot of time fighting with your inner critic and doubting yourself that you forget to be mentally safe. When you don’t lose that self-doubt, you open yourself to stress and anxiety, leading to burnout and exhaustion beyond your control.

2. Difficulty Making A Decision

You have a lot of options to choose from but don’t know which one to choose. Well, you might be a little indecisive. This abundance of alternatives that we’re presented with daily might leave us feeling indecisive. Without knowing, this difficulty in making decisions might cause us to overthink every single decision we make, which in turn, leads to mental fatigue.

3. Poor Personal Boundaries

Do you also struggle with saying “NO” to others? Do you consider yourself to be a people-pleaser? If yes, then you’re someone who takes others’ emotional baggage on your shoulders, leaving you with no space to maintain boundaries. When you already have too much on your shoulder, taking on others’ responsibilities might become too much, making you feel overwhelmed and eventually – burned out.

4. The Need To Be Perfect

Trying to achieve perfection in whatever you attempt might be a valiant effort but when this need to achieve perfection adds to your stress, then it may be a questionable effort. This need for perfection might make you worry constantly about whatever you’re doing. “Is it enough?” “Am I giving it my all?” – these kinds of questions might pop up and you might end up wasting your mental energy on them.

5. The Fear Of Judgment

To continue the previous point; When you’re always worried about what others might think of you or your goals, it adds to your stress. This fear of judgment might hold you back from trying your best and always wondering what other people are going to think about your efforts. Because of this, you spend half of your time and mental energy on it all.

6. Constant Unhealthy Distractions

Have you ever clicked on one video but ended up watching ten in a row? Yeah, me too. But this is another factor that causes burnout. The constant distractions that we’re faced with in our daily lives might take our attention away from our original task. This kind of procrastination can cause guilt and add to your stress. Plus, unhealthy distractions are just that – unhealthy. They do not contribute to our mental development but do the opposite and leave us mentally fatigued.

7. Constantly Thinking About The Future

While we all like to think about the future, constant worrying about the future might be another thing that causes burnout. By doing this, you’re allowing your mind to be clouded with “What ifs” and “What could’ve”. Daydreaming can be good but not when it ends up in mental burnout. If you feel more overwhelmed with the thoughts of the future than when you started, then it’s a sign you’re heading to mental fatigue.

Advice From The Writer’s Desk…

Stress is one of the main reasons why you feel mentally burned out, but that stress can enter your life in different ways. If your stress gets out of control, then it could lead to anxiety, chronic fatigue, and even depression. You can recover from mental fatigue by controlling your stress triggers or reaching out to a professional.

You can also try to maintain a healthy routine of self-care and stress management activities, and strike a work-life balance that does not leave you feeling exhausted beyond control. I know, I know; easier said than done! However, it’s a necessity if you want to keep your emotional and mental well-being balanced.

I hope this article helps you understand what mental burnout is and the reasons you’re mentally burned out and fatigued. If you still need help, then you can always reach out to a professional therapist who can help you recognize the signs of mental burnout and how to deal with it.

For more, you can write to me at or DM us on social media. You can also share your thoughts and tips in the comments below.

Take Care!

About The Author

R. Y. Langham
R. Y. Langham

Dr. R. Y. Langham is a licensed child and family psychologist holding a Master of Marriage and Family Therapy (M.M.F.T.) in Marriage and Family Therapy from Trevecca Nazarene University, and a Ph.D. in Family Psychology from Capella University. She has been Featured for mainstream magazines, such as Psych Central, Health Central, Women’s Health, Mandatory, and more. With over a decade of experience She has been successfully treating OCD and related disorders using CBT with elements of mindfulness and compassion-focused therapy.

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