Is the world getting you down lately? You just feel tired of everything and like giving up?

How can you keep going when you are exhausted and overwhelmed?

1. Lower your expectations.

Make a list of all you expect of yourself in the next few weeks.

  • Are all these things really necessary?
  • What things can you just let go of for now?
  • What about the things you expect of your behaviour? Do you expect yourself to be always happy, always kind, always punctual and efficient? What would it feel like to just let that go for now, too?

Make a list of all of your expectations of your loved ones as well. Would it save you more energy and time to just expect less?

2. Break it all down into tiny steps.

Every mountain is made of tiny bits of rubble. And while moving a mountain is exhausting, moving aside a pebble is manageable.
  1. Write down what is overwhelming you.
  2. Make a list of all the things that could be done to solve the problem.
  3. Then take one thing, and ask yourself what steps it is composed of. Write those out, too.
  4. Now take one of those steps and break it down even further. For example, if it's to make a phone call, that involves finding the phone number, finding time for the call, and making the call. What one thing can you do right now? Find the number? Get started.

3. Reframe your thoughts.

You know what is exhausting? Negative thinking. Cognitive behavioural therapy (CBT) talks about a ‘loop’ we get stuck in. A negative thought causes negative emotions, which makes our body feel uncomfortable, which leads to negative actions, which leave us feeling worse.

Try to catch your negative thoughts in your head (mindfulness can help here). And then when you do, learn to question the thought.

  • What is the proof the thought is true?
  • What is the opposite thought?
  • What is the proof the opposite is true?
  • If you can find proof for both (in most cases you will) then how true is that negative thought, really?
  • What is a more balanced thought somewhere between both extremes?

4. Exercise despite feeling too listless.

When we feel emotionally tired, we can also suddenly feel physically tired, even when we have slept and eaten well.

But exercise is shown to affect the chemicals in our bodies that then effect our moods. So even if you feel too tired to do anything, try to at least go for a walk, and you will find you get your energy back after.

Research looking at the medical records of almost eight thousand people found that even if you are genetically inclined to suffer depression, exercise means you are more likely to avoid having episodes.

5. Get it out in a healthy way.

Ever talk to a trusted friend about something bothering you, then feel light and energised after? We can feel tired of everything if we are repressing all our feelings. Getting them out brings back out 'juice'.

Of course we aren’t all comfortable talking with friends. Or perhaps our friends are tired of our issues. Consider writing it all out, or trying expressive art or dance. Or use exercise, a punching bag, or even punching pillows to get out your emotions.

6. Identify and do personal wellbeing activities.

So you feel dead lately, and a friend tells you that the secret is to do expressive dance around the living room for half an hour each night. You try it and feel worse after, like a clumsy idiot.

Wellbeing is personal. What works to make your friends and partners feel good won't necessarily work for you.
  1. Make a list of all the healthy activities, no matter how small, that leave you feeling good. From a day spent not getting out of your pyjamas to a cup of herbal tea to a call with a friend overseas, write it all down.
  2. Now schedule one of these activities for the next 24 hours.
  3. Also consider making a list of all the things you do you DON'T like. What ones can you let go of ASAP?

Create a great support system.

If low moods have us exhausted, reaching out the wrong person, who brushes us off or diminishes our concerns, can leave us feeling worse. This can particularly be the case if it's a family member or loved one we expected more from.

Choose your support system wisely, and don't overlook working with a professional. A coach or counsellor will listen in ways that leave you feeling seen, then just ask just the right questions to help you get unstuck and start feeling yourself again.

Ready to stop letting low moods zap your energy? Stop feeling tired of everything and start feeling happy with yourself and your life by booking a therapist now.

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