Do you ever feel like you're just going through the motions? Maybe you're physically present, but you're mentally checked out? If so, you're not alone. Feeling mentally checked out can happen to anyone at any time. Whether it's due to stress, fatigue, or simply feeling overwhelmed, mental checkouts are an understandable response to challenging situations. In this blog, we'll explore what feeling mentally checked out means, the signs of a mental checkout, and share five ways to cope with being mentally checked out.
Most importantly, we’ll share how important it is to get support from a mental health professional who can assess your symptoms and help you put together a course of action to manage your symptoms and feel like yourself again.
Simply put, feeling mentally checked out means that a person's mind has disengaged from their surroundings. They may physically be present, but their thoughts and emotions are elsewhere. Mental checkout is a behavior that people might use to cope with overwhelming situations. This behavior allows them to disengage from their surroundings temporarily to manage their mental or emotional state.
A person can feel mentally checked out if they’re under chronic stress. It may not be stress from a single situation but over a prolonged period, and could be related to feeling burnt out. A person can feel mentally checked out from relationships, work, or their own personal life.
Feeling mentally checked out can have a significant impact on a person's life. They can affect relationships, work productivity, and overall quality of life. If you’re feeling any of these signs, it could be a cause for concern and worth speaking to a mental health professional:
The signs of being mentally checked out could be related to physical concerns. Or, the signs of being mentally checked out could be related to symptoms of depression or anxiety. The best way to know is to see a mental health professional or to talk to your doctor. Only a health professional can assess your symptoms and then work with you on next steps.
To bring yourself back — in other words, to check back in — try these five coping strategies:
Mindfulness is the practice of being fully present and aware of your thoughts, feelings, and surroundings without judgment. It can help bring your mind back to the present moment and reduce stress and anxiety. Try incorporating mindfulness techniques into your daily routine, such as focusing on your breathing or taking a few minutes to observe your surroundings. These small moments of mindfulness can help you check back in and stay present and connected throughout the day.
When you're mentally checked out, it's essential to give yourself time to recharge and disconnect from responsibilities and distractions. This could mean taking a walk to take your mind off work, listening to music, turning off your phone for a few hours, or engaging in activities that bring you joy and relaxation. It's essential to set boundaries and prioritize self-care during these moments. Remember that it's okay to say no to commitments that are overwhelming. Remember, taking breaks for yourself is not a sign of weakness but a necessary step in maintaining your mental well-being.
Don't be afraid to reach out for help when needed. Whether it's talking to a friend or seeking professional mental health support, having a support system can help you feel less alone and provide valuable insight and advice. Additionally, surrounding yourself with supportive and understanding friends or family members can help reduce stress and promote a sense of connection and belonging. You can also connect with people who share your same interests, such as religious groups or clubs or organizations that you’re interested in.
When you're feeling mentally checked out, the thought of tackling your never-ending to-do list can be overwhelming. Instead, try breaking down tasks into smaller, achievable goals. This can help you regain a sense of control and accomplishment, leading to a more positive mindset. Set realistic expectations for yourself and celebrate small victories along the way. When you seek professional mental support, your therapist will help you set goals unique to you, and an actionable plan to achieve those goals.
Take care of your physical and emotional needs by having a routine for getting enough rest, eating healthy, and practicing healthy habits. Self-care can also mean getting the support you need, whether it’s from supportive friends and family, or from a mental health professional. From caring for your body to caring for your relationships, emotions, and spirit, self-care is a way for you to reconnect with yourself and the world around you.
If you’re struggling and find that it’s affecting your relationships, work, school, and quality of life, it might be time to get professional help. Therapy can help you regain control of your thoughts and feelings, address underlying issues, and learn coping strategies so you can reconnect with yourself and those around you, and lead a fulfilling, purposeful life.
A SonderMind mental health professional can help you get back on track or see if there are other underlying causes. Just let us know a few things about yourself, and we’ll connect you to a mental health professional who takes your insurance and can see you either online or in-person.