questionswhich is harder to deal with, mental or physical…

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Mental exhaustion is the worst. I deal with crisis after crisis in my line of work, and sometimes the brain is so fried you feel like crawling into bed and staying there for a few days whether your body is tired or not. I worked manual labor for years, and I loved it. I loved "working out" for a living, if you will. But the pay wasn't enough to sustain a growing family, so I had to go into a different line of work...

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Breaking my back in physical labor is preferable for a few reasons. First off, if I work 50-60 hours a week doing manual labor, you can bet I'm going to be getting paid OT. If I work 50-60 hours a week in sales, I'm not getting paid until I get that sale. If I don't finish my project in a manual labor environment it isn't my fault, I can sit there and blame everything else (weather, job materials, etc) and I'm still going to get paid for whatever work I did or didn't accomplish. If I don't get that sale, all I have to blame is myself, and I'm going to be out whatever commission I worked my butt off to get. I could go on forever with the pros and cons of both, but when it comes down to it I'd rather be sitting in a hospital collecting disability for a broken back than sitting in the Loony Bin collecting laughs for a broken mind. Which reminds me... why am I still working in a sales environment!?

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My husband had a job where he had plenty of both physical and mental stress and the mental stress was much harder on his body. Physical activity releases tension while the mental stress causes anxiety, depression and heart attacks. If you have a mentally stressful job the best thing for you is exercise.

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I'm in a mental stress line of work (CPA) and I suppose I'd rather physical stress. I'm still fairly young and very fit and active, so it seems to fit. Unfortunately, society values mental stress above physical stress, so I will keep on doing what I'm doing.

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Mental exhaustion is worse because rest doesn't help like it does for physical exhaustion. Sleeping doesn't mitigate mental issues like it does for physical issues. Once you wake up you may be physically refreshed but your mental issues have not changed.

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Mental exhaustion, for sure. I thrive off of physical exhaustion :)

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Mental definitely, it can wear you down fast

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@tarasadies: everything you just said also the same for me

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They make pills to fix both. I get emails about it on a regular basis.

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Life is a balance between the two.

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Definitely mental. My husband worked for 20 yrs in a factory doing mainly physical labor. Now he is a manager and mainly has mental stress and he swears he is even more exhausted from the mental stress. He never truly understood until he started this job but had some level of appreciation for my mental stress. Now he really understands.

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Mental. It's just so much harder to deal with that than physical. Physical I can sleep, get some help with the problem, or take something for it. Mental is just something that takes time and patience to come back from.

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I'm feeling both right now... I can't wait until the end of next week.

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I am more tired after 8 hours of work in an office staring at a computer than after 8 hours of busting my ass with the fire department.

After 3 hours of drills last night I was more awake then when I showed up right after work. I'll take physical exhaustion over mental any day.

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I guess another factor is that you leave your physical stress at the door, the mental stuff comes home with you.

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Heh, I've love to hear some of our developers weigh in on this -- they were frequently impacted by both with the new site. =)

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I use to frame houses. It was hard work, but brought joy. Now, I work with people. It is mentally, emotionally, and relationally stressful and seems to bring more sorrow than joy.

I do major building/renovation projects (things that require a great deal of physical labor) to escape/refresh. In the past 10 years I've replaced all of the wiring and plumbing in one house, replaced almost all the flooring in that house, done 5 complete bathroom remodels (among 4 houses), built a quadricycle, and done two complete room remodels in addition to many more smaller projects. All of that is just to keep me sane.

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@gatzby: I doubt that physical stress would have caused @snapster to leave. (Didn't he say something to the effect that managing a company this size was not something he wanted to do?)

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@thepenrod: Snapster wasn't a developer, heh. I mean folks like Shawn.

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@gatzby: I know, that's just where my mind turned when you brought up the genre of woot employees.

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@dcalotta: I was thinking the same thing, physical pain leaves, but mental stuff tends to build up over time.

Which is to say both options aren't really all that great. :(

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I'd have to agree with most of the people here. I would rather be physically exhausted than mentally exhausted.

When physically exhausted all you have to do is stay hydrated, rest for awhile, then you are back up on your feet and ready to go. With mental exhaustion it can really wear you down, and even when you try to seperate yourself from what is mentally exhausting you, it can always be nagging you in the back of your mind, only adding more stress. The absolute WORST thing about mental exhaustion is that a lot of times it can physically exhaust you at the same time. I've yet to come across a time when I am mentally exhausted because I was physically exhausted. All too often it is the other way around where I don't feel like doing anything or moving because I am so mentally drained.

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Mental exhaustion is definitely harder to deal with.

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all of my effort is spent constantly ensuring i weasel my way out of both. at any cost.
it's exhausting.

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Mental exhaustion is the worst. I'm there right now. Three more days of work and so much to do before I go. Argh!