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How to Protect Yourself from Emotional Exhaustion

Last two months, several amazing women from our community shared with me that the COVID-19 pandemic and all the related restrictions make them feel more and more emotionally exhausted. Combination of working from home, taking care and educating kids, handling the house chores together with lack of social interaction, or the possibility to just go outside and enjoy a coffee in a coffee shop makes them feel emotionally exhausted and overwhelmed.

And I thank them from the bottom of my heart to be brave enough and admit it. It takes courage to show and share our vulnerability in this high-performance-driven culture, where social media show us every day all these perfect-looking, super performant, and always happy influencers. But it’s important to remember that these are only nice pictures and videos, which are very often far away from reality.

Here are some practical tips on how to set the personal boundaries that help improve our emotional health:

Not allowing yourself to feel guilty for doing something for yourself

Self-care is essential. Despite a busy schedule, it’s important to enjoy a self-care moment every single day. Just only 10 minutes can make a big difference! Create your own self-care playlist with activities you enjoy doing and every day pick up one of them. And do not feel guilty about it. You fully deserve it! You can not pour from an empty cup.

Not committing to more tasks when your feel overwhelmed Do you already have enough on your plate and feel overwhelmed? Say ‘No’ to additional tasks and learn to set boundaries. Boundaries are our personal limits. They allow us to have space between ourselves and another and they are the foundation of healthy relationships. By fearing saying ‘No’ and pleasing others around, you just put more and more heavyweight on your shoulders and risk burnout in the longterm.

Separate your emotional state from how others are feeling This period is emotionally challenging for everyone. Keep in mind that you are not responsible for other people’s emotions. Did your partner spend a bad day at work and have a tendency to discharge all his negative emotions on you? Offer him your kind ear, show your empathy, but keep in mind that you are not responsible for his current emotional state.

Pausing and not reacting when feeling angry defensive Do you experience a strong emotion like anger? Instead of directly react and let yourself hijack by your emotional brain, take a short pause, practice several deep breaths, reflect on the situation, and only after answer.

Set a limit on your procrastination All sorts of social media, TV shows or mobile phone games offer us a huge variety for distraction. There’s nothing wrong with it, but it’s important to set the limits for their consumption. For example, set a 10-minute timer on your mobile phone when you are scrolling down Instagram and when the timer is over, put your mobile phone away and enjoy the real-life with your colleagues, friends, or family members.

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