Stress and emotional exhaustion are often side effects of living a busy life. There is nothing wrong with you.

Feeling stressed out and overwhelmed isn’t a sign from the universe you’re missing some magic ability to handle whatever life throws at you.

The truth is you have too much on your plate. Feeling emotionally exhausted is a red flag. You cannot continue to take on obligation after obligation and push yourself to the brink of collapse.

Our scared inner critic says we can't say "no" to anyone because people may not like us. We sacrifice our mental health by making others a higher priority than our self-care. Our fears tell us we are all alone and everyone else can handle a busy life. Fear is also a liar.

You can help ease the burden of being emotionally exhausted. Any time those familiar feelings come back, you can turn to these steps to help push against this pressure and enjoy your life.

Here are 5 simple steps to take when you're completely emotionally exhausted so you can get your fire back.

1. Do a quick brain dump

Get it all out. List all the reasons you feel emotionally exhausted and the things you have going on. You can write this in your journal, computer, note cards, whatever works for you. Write them on paper so you can see it in front of you.

2. Untangle your responsibilities

Identify the main categories of your responsibilities. There will be work responsibilities, and a lot of things have to do with your family. If necessary, divide family tasks into the immediate family (children, spouse) and extended family (siblings, parents).

Note family-adjacent responsibilities, such as supporting kid’s activities or caregiving. There might also be tasks on your list like maintaining some semblance of order in the house. Did you remember to include the responsibilities you have when it comes to caring for yourself?

3. Evaluate tasks to make your responsibilities easier

Decide which tasks to delete or share. After you sort everything into categories, you can evaluate your tasks and responsibilities. Decide what you should continue to do and ask yourself what you can stop doing. What feels like an obligation only? What’s the worst that would happen if you didn’t do it?

Look to see what others in your household can do. Have a family meeting and discuss how your spouse and kids can relieve some pressure by taking on responsibilities. Sure, no one loads the dishwasher as perfectly as you. But isn’t getting it done better than doing it perfectly?

Remember that paying for support is a way of delegating. Hiring someone to clean the house so it’s easier to maintain may be better than trying to catch up with the neverending battle against the dust bunnies.

4. Shift to a mindset of choices

For tasks you cannot delegate or delete, shift your mindset. When do you decide to see these tasks as choices, not obligations? Your brain begins to see them as loving choices, not more reasons to feel overwhelmed. It seems like semantics on the surface, but your mind is a powerful thing.

Just like our thoughts add to us feeling emotionally exhausted, they can also save us from feeling emotionally exhausted. Using that mighty power of decision will help immensely.

5. Clarify manageable standards and boundaries

Now that you’ve identified what’s causing you to feel emotionally exhausted, you need to ensure it’s less likely to happen by defining non-negotiable standards for your life. The next time someone asks you to do something? You’re better prepared to say "yes" or "no." This is about setting better boundaries.

Continue this process until your list of responsibilities is significantly smaller. Can you already feel that feeling of emotional exhaustion beginning to lessen?

Here are 7 self-care habits to cultivate in your daily routine to keep yourself from being emotionally exhausted all the time.

1. Commit to getting enough sleep

You need a set sleep schedule and get 7-8 hours of sleep every night. The dangers of sleep deprivation are very real. If you’re not getting enough sleep and not getting it consistently, that’s the same as having several cups of wine in one sitting. You can’t be in control of your life if you’re constantly in a fog.

2. Set your morning up for success

Rituals such as meditation, prayer, journaling, or a morning sweat session will support you. Create a morning routine that empowers you and gets you energized to start the day.

3. Identify the energy vampires in your life

Say goodbye to anyone that drains you. Distance yourself from the dramatic people.

4. Create a gratitude practice

I know, I know, easier said than done when you’re feeling emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed. Gratitude is truly a saving grace.

5. Make the conscious decision to be happy

Your unhappiness and the constant feeling of emotional exhaustion are signs you think happiness is eluding you. Stop your endless pursuit of happiness and the next thing and choose to be happy right here, right now.

6. Take some time to plan

Be willing to go "old school." When you take the time to get everything down on paper, you can gain perspective. Maybe you think you have a good memory. Or you depend upon the reminder on your phone. Being able to write down what you have going on in the next few weeks will help you better visualize what’s ahead.

7. Meal planning is your friend

Just like you need sleep, your body needs good food. And, we all know how easy going through the drive-thru is when we’re tired. Planning helps you eat better. A meal plan allows other family members to take some dinner-time responsibility by pitching in!

Though I know I am always in a position of choice, that doesn’t mean I always remember it. Choosing to be happy isn’t the same as always feeling happy. And you will have moments of feeling overwhelmed again. And, yes, you may feel like you’re on the edge of emotional exhaustion.

Remember the decision to cultivate new habits to protect yourself from emotional exhaustion isn’t a once-and-done thing. This is why I often say you need to cultivate a life you love. Cultivating is something we do time and time again to ensure we continue to find love and nourishment in our daily lives.

I have the deepest faith your daily life can be transformed into something extraordinary. Even when you feel like you’ll never recover from feeling constantly busy and emotionally exhausted, there is hope. Rather than letting life trample upon your heart, take a breath and a step back. Decide to live a more nourished life.

By tuning into the things to make our hearts free and our brains working at their best, we can live our lives to the fullest.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.