June 26th 2023

Feeling Mentally Drained & Exhausted? Prof Kelly Advises

Feeling Exhausted, Overwhelmed and Mentally Drained

A concerned reader of Image.ie has reached out to our Consultant Cardiologist and Lifestyle Medicine Physician, Professor Robert Kelly, for advice as lately they are feeling mentally drained. Despite looking forward to the weekends each week, they haven’t been feeling any better afterwards.

In his response, Prof Kelly addresses feelings of exhaustion, being overwhelmed and mentally drained that many of us experience. Prof Kelly emphasises the impact of stress on our overall physical health and offers practical steps and advice on how to tackle the situation.

The first step Prof Kelly recommends, is the review potential work-related issues and our work-life balance. It is all too easy to bring work home.

Prof Kelly also asks that the reader assess their lifestyle. This includes factors like their physical fitness, diet, caffeine and alcohol consumption, smoking habits and sleep patterns.

In particular, he stresses the importance of getting 7-9 hours of quality sleep each night and provides tips for better sleep hygiene. This includes avoiding late caffeine intake, having a main meal at lunchtime and relaxing before bedtime. Sleep quality can be improved through establishing a bedtime routine also.

Additionally, he highlights the negative effects intense exercise after a long workday can have on sleep, and instead suggests incorporating moderate physical activity throughout the day.

If it is determined that work is the source of exhaustion, Prof Kelly encourages seeking support from occupational health teams, or managers to address work related issues. Equally, if personal issues are contributing to exhaustion seek help from partners or family members.

Prof Kelly emphasises the importance of self-care and making time for yourself. He recommends a minimum of one hour per week for self-care to relax and recharge. Prof Kelly says “Your fatigue has its origins in the way you live, work and play. It is important to take stock of that each day and do small steps to enjoy your life.”

Read Prof Kelly’s advice for this reader on Image.ie.