Noticed yourself feeling stressed out, overwhelmed or completely exhausted lately?
You’re not alone. Right now, we’re facing some of the MOST challenging times of our lives.
Yet with so many people depending on us, we know we can’t afford to continue in this state.
Recognising the warning signs that your mental health is impacting your life is the first step to taking back control.
So here’s what to look out for and how to ask for help if you need it.
5 signs that your mental health is impacting your life
1. You’re experiencing mood changes
The emotional effects of stress can have a serious impact on your day-to-day mood and mental health. Firstly, you may find that you’re feeling more irritated or pessimistic than usual. This mood change can then begin to affect your motivation to work, socialise with your loved ones or complete the things on your to-do list. If left unchecked, these feelings can threaten to completely overwhelm you, leaving you feeling apathetic, depressed, frustrated, panicky or trapped.
2. You’re having trouble sleeping
If you’re going through a stressful period in your life, you may have noticed just how difficult it can be to maintain a regular sleeping pattern. For instance, you may be finding it hard to fall or stay asleep at night. You may also have trouble getting up in the morning. A lack of proper sleep can leave you exhausted during the day which often leads to increased caffeine consumption which further exacerbates the issue. If left unmanaged, you may start feeling like you never have the energy for anything and soon reach an emotional breaking point.
3. You can’t seem to focus or concentrate properly
If you’re battling to concentrate, keep focused or remember certain things, this is a good indication that you’re feeling the effects of anxiety. These changes in thinking and memory (also known as “brain fog”) can occur when you’re trying to manage several stressful situations at once, which can make you confused and forgetful. These situations may include demanding jobs or emotionally-taxing tasks. Unregulated emotional exhaustion can really impact your attention, executive functioning (organising and planning), and memory.
4. Difficulty with personal relationships
You’ll often notice emotional exhaustion from prolonged stress manifesting in your relationship and your capacity to connect with your family on a meaningful emotional level. You may find yourself picking fights over small things, feeling angry at or unsatisfied with your partner or being overly judgemental. Tension in your close relationships can cause you to feel anxious, detached, and withdrawn which can make it difficult to ask for emotional support when you need it or be there for those you love.
5. Low self-esteem
If lately you’ve found your mind overwhelmed with negative thoughts, you’ve probably also noticed their impact on how you view yourself. Perhaps you’re feeling more cynical and hopeless than usual? Or maybe you’ve lacked confidence in situations where you would normally speak up. At times, you may even have found yourself wondering if what you’re doing even matters anymore. It is important to recognise these changes. If left unchecked, these feelings may progress into symptoms of depression.
How do you know when it’s time to talk to someone?
If one or several of these signs sound familiar to you, anxiety counselling with a Registered Counsellor like me, Naomi Le Souvannam, is an excellent way to begin taking back control of your life (and your emotions).
It’s an evidence-based treatment designed to equip you with practical strategies for processing your emotions and responding to challenging situations in a healthy way.
After a few sessions, most clients start to feel like themselves again and are equipped with a personalised emotional toolkit to suit their needs.
As a trained therapist, I take a collaborative and empowering approach to sessions, tailoring them directly to what you’re facing in the ‘here and now’.
I create a safe, comfortable, and confidential environment where you can speak freely without judgement or pressure. My counselling sessions are grounded in psychological interventions, such as Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT), that have been shown to improve mood, sometimes in as little as a couple of sessions.
CBT focuses on the idea that thoughts can influence feelings and behaviours. It helps you challenge and change unhelpful patterns and teaches you the skills to manage and overcome them. These can include improving emotional regulation, building resilience and developing coping strategies that aim to solve current problems.