How To Deal With Anxiety And Depression When You Don’t Have Energy

Medically reviewed by Jerry Crimmins, PsyD, LP
Updated July 27, 2023by BetterHelp Editorial Team

Anxiety and depression are two of the most common mental health conditions in the world. Despite them being common, they can still be difficult to manage and treat. Each has the potential to impact every area of your life without the right support. One symptom of both anxiety and depression is a lack of energy, which causes many people to lose motivation or want to stay in bed for long periods. This alone can make it more challenging to take the steps you need to take to overcome your mental health challenges. If you feel like you’re struggling to find the energy you need to deal with and move past anxiety or depression, the tips below may help.

Could You Use Support Managing Anxiety Or Depression?

Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression 

Before learning how to deal with anxiety or depression, it’s essential that you discover whether that is in fact what is causing your challenges. There are several different types of anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. However, both anxiety and depression have some common symptoms, and many people who struggle with one of these conditions end up struggling with the other as well—known as comorbidity. Learning how to recognize the symptoms of each can be one of the first steps in getting help. Some of the common symptoms of anxiety and depression include:

  • Feelings of hopelessness or negativity
  • Loss of interest in hobbies and activities
  • Changes in eating or sleeping habits
  • Decreased energy level or feeling exhausted
  • Lack of motivation and decreased productivity
  • Physical symptoms such as headaches, chronic pain, or digestive issues
If you’re feeling off and you can’t quite pinpoint why, reach out to your physician or mental health professional to discuss the symptoms that you’re dealing with. Once you receive a diagnosis from a medical provider, you can begin to take steps toward healing.

How To Deal With Anxiety And Depression

Both depression and anxiety can leave you feeling like you have no energy. You may feel fatigued, have physical pain, and could experience a lack of motivation on top of it all. It can be difficult to distinguish between anxiety vs depression since they share some common symptoms, but understanding the key differences can help you decide when to seek treatment for one or both. Even if you want to experience a positive change in your life, you may feel like you don’t have the energy to make it happen. The tricky part is those feelings might not just go away on their own. So, how do you deal with your anxiety and depression if you don’t feel that you have the energy to do it?

The following tips may help you move forward:

Speak With A Mental Health Professional


If you believe that you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it can be helpful to speak with a medical or mental health professional. Your doctor or a psychiatrist can talk to you about medications that may be able to help. This is not always the most effective solution for everyone, so it’s essential to speak with a medical provider that you trust.

Outside of medication, licensed therapists can help you process your feelings and equip you with new coping strategies that may help you regain some motivation. You can get therapy in person or online, whichever is most convenient for your needs. 

Practice Deep Breathing

Deep breathing can be an effective form of treatment for both anxiety and depression. It can help lower your heart rate and blood pressure and allow you to regain your focus.

Deep breathing also increases the amount of oxygen that you’re taking in, which can improve circulation in your body. This can help to increase your energy levels.

While there are several different types of deep breathing techniques, you don’t need a specific strategy to find benefits. You can simply focus on taking slow deep breaths in through your nose, holding it for a few seconds, and then slowly breathing out through your mouth.

Develop A Sleep Schedule

Anxiety and depression can negatively impact your sleep schedule. You may find that you’re sleeping more than usual and still feeling exhausted. Or you may find that you struggle to get any sleep. Either way, you might end up feeling tired and not having the energy you need to make other improvements in your life. In the depressive episodes of bipolar disorder, the patient can experience insomnia or hypersomnia. Though manic episodes manifest symptoms opposite of depression, patients still experience a lack of sleep due to overactivity.

Working to get on a healthier sleep schedule may address this problem. Most adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Try to go to sleep at the same time each night and wake at the same time each morning. This can help your body adjust to the new routine.

You may also find it helpful to create a good environment for sleeping. This could include keeping the temperature cool, keeping the room dark, and using white noise like a fan to block out any other sounds. If you struggle with falling asleep, you may benefit from trying a meditation app that can help you relax as you fall asleep.

Set Some Simple Goals For The Day

If you lack the energy you need to get important tasks done throughout the day, you may start to get frustrated. Instead of working toward big, long-term goals, you might find it helpful to set small goals that you can focus on each day. 

Depending on the impact that depression and anxiety are having on you, these goals can be straightforward, such as making your bed when you wake up or eating lunch at a certain time of the day. When you start to reach these small victories, it can help you feel more energized to tackle slightly larger tasks.

Pay Attention To What You’re Eating

The food you eat can have a big impact on the way you feel and your energy levels. Many people turn to caffeine or sugary drinks and snacks if they start to feel their energy dip. However, this can have the opposite impact of what you were aiming for. Instead of energizing your body, you may find that this type of eating puts you on a sugar roller coaster and causes you to crash at certain times of the day. You can avoid these sugar crashes by maintaining a nutritious diet. Focusing on clean eating and avoiding processed foods can help increase your energy levels.

Turn To Your Support System

It can be helpful to build a strong support system. This could be made up of family and friends, or you could join a support group of others that are going through similar experiences. Either way, it’s helpful to be surrounded by those who care about you. 


If you feel like you don’t have a lot of energy, exercising may be the last thing on your mind. However, it can boost your mood and help you to feel more energized.

When you engage in physical activity, it releases chemicals in your brain that can help boost your mood. It also helps prepare your body for taking action, and you don’t have to be engaged in a rigorous exercise regimen to benefit from this.

So, if you feel like you don’t have the energy to do the things that you need to, going for a simple walk may be able to help turn things around for you. Once you’re done exercising, you may find that you feel better and have the energy to tackle the next thing on your list.

Go Outside

Could You Use Support Managing Anxiety Or Depression?

You may not have the energy to tackle your to-do list for the day or jump into a workout, but even just going outside can help improve your energy levels. You may even notice a decrease in stress when you start spending more time outdoors.


Taking time to write down your thoughts and concerns in a journal may allow you to ease some of the anxious thoughts that you have running through your mind. Sometimes, writing things down helps take the thoughts out of your mind. When you spend less of your time and energy worrying about things, you may find that you have more energy to do the other things you enjoy doing. You can always write something down and come back to it later. 

Online Therapy With BetterHelp

Remember that anxiety and depression can be serious mental health conditions. You may benefit from working with an experienced therapist instead of trying to address the symptoms that you are experiencing on your own. If you’re feeling a lack of energy, it may be more convenient and available to meet with an online therapist from the comfort of your home. Platforms like BetterHelp can connect you with a licensed therapist in your state that can meet with you via text, phone, or videoconference – whichever works most effectively for you. 

The Effectiveness Of Online Therapy 

Online therapy can be beneficial for individuals experiencing a range of mental health concerns. One study found that internet-based cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) was effective in reducing “symptoms of anxiety and depression.” Participants not only had fewer symptoms, but they also experienced a reduction in their symptom severity and less psychological distress.


Depression and anxiety can both leave you feeling a lack of energy. If you’re feeling drained and unmotivated, there are several tips that can help boost energy. You may find that you need to use a combination of the strategies above and others to experience true change in the way that you’re feeling. If the first thing that you try doesn’t work, don’t give up. Different combinations of treatments are useful for different people. This is another reason why you may find it helpful to work with a professional in trying to determine what works best for you.

Learn to strengthen your mental health

The information on this page is not intended to be a substitution for diagnosis, treatment, or informed professional advice. You should not take any action or avoid taking any action without consulting with a qualified mental health professional. For more information, please read our terms of use.
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