What is ‘lifestyle fatigue’ and do you suffer from it? – The Hill

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by Chia-Yi Hou | Sep. 12, 2022
Although many people are returning to the rhythms of pre-pandemic work and personal life, some may be experiencing mental health issues, as well as physical and emotional exhaustion. These feelings may be hard to articulate, but psychiatrists are hearing from patients that they are tired or stuck. One psychiatrist has named this feeling “lifestyle fatigue.” 
In short, someone experiencing lifestyle fatigue may be “feeling stuck in a rut,” writes psychotherapist Sean Grover in Psychology Today. Lifestyle fatigue is a term Grover uses and is not an official diagnosis. It can be triggered by stressors such as life events or external factors, but it is more a sign of being stuck rather than of depression.
If you think you are experiencing depression, please seek the help of a mental health professional. 
But for people who are self-reflecting on their mental health, framing it in terms of lifestyle fatigue could be a helpful way to think through their issues. Grover lists some questions, such as: 
Another aspect of lifestyle fatigue is the emotional toll that peoples’ personal lives, their environment and in the news have on mental health. Emotional exhaustion may vary by person, but in general, “you’re lacking the energy to do things, lacking the motivation [and] finding that there are things that you feel you should do [but] don’t have the desire to anymore,” said Elaina DellaCava, who is a psychiatrist at Weill Cornell Medicine and New York-Presbyterian Hospital, to HuffPost. Normal, everyday activities can be hard for someone experiencing emotional exhaustion. 
In some cases, old activities may not be giving the same effect as they used to and that might mean you should look for new activities. “Over time, what I’ve seen in my practice is that people are reporting they try to make themselves do things but just the enjoyment isn’t there in the same way it used to be,” says DellaCava. 
One solution to lifestyle fatigue, according to Grover, is adding some change.
“Any change in your daily routine, such as waking up earlier, going to bed earlier, contacting an old friend, or going to a concert or the theater, will do. Look for new activities that disrupt monotony or predictability,” wrote Grover. “It doesn’t matter how big or small. Change is a powerful antidote.” 
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