How To Deal With Anxiety And Depression When You Don’t Have Energy
Updated August 28, 2020
Medically Reviewed By: Stephanie Deaver, LCSW
Dealing with anxiety and depression can feel like a lot to deal with. They have a way of impacting every area of your life. Unfortunately, one of the symptoms of both anxiety and depression can be having a lack of energy. This alone can make it more complicated and challenging to take the steps that you need to take to overcome your mental health challenges. If you feel like you’re struggling to have the energy you need to deal with and overcome your issues, the tips below may help.
Symptoms Of Anxiety And Depression
Before learning how to deal with the problem of anxiety and depression, it’s essential to learn how to recognize if that’s what is causing your challenges.
Anxiety and depression are two different mental health disorders. In fact, there are several different types of anxiety disorders and depressive disorders. However, both anxiety and depression share some common symptoms, and many people who struggle with one of these disorders end up struggling with the other as well.
Learning how to recognize the symptoms can be one of the first steps in getting help and ultimately feeling better.
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
This is by no means an all-inclusive list of the symptoms that you may be experiencing. If you’re feeling off and you can’t quite pinpoint why to reach out to your physician or mental health professional to discuss the symptoms that you’re experiencing.
How To Deal With Anxiety And Depression
As you saw in the symptoms above, depression and anxiety can leave you feeling like you have no energy. You may feel fatigued. You may have physical pain. And, you might be experiencing a lack of motivation on top of it.
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:
Get A Mental Health Professional Involved
If you believe that you’re struggling with anxiety or depression, it can be helpful to involve a medical professional or mental health professional. If you struggle with having the energy to make any changes in your life to begin addressing the symptoms that you’re experiencing, this can be an important step.
Your doctor or a psychiatrist can talk to you about the possibilities of medications that may be able to help. This is not always the best solution for everyone, so it’s essential to speak with a medical professional that you trust.
Outside of medication, mental health professionals like the therapists at BetterHelp can help you learn coping strategies and habits that you can implement in your life to begin to address your mental health challenges.
Practice Deep Breathing
Deep breathing is an effective form of treatment for both anxiety and depression. It can help lower your heart rate, lower your blood pressure, and regain your focus.
Deep breathing also helps increase 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 benefit from this. 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 have a negative impact on 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 at night. Either way, you may end up feeling tired and not having the energy you need to make other improvements in your life.
Working to get on a sleep schedule may be able to help address this problem. Most adults should be getting between seven and nine hours of sleep a night. Focus on trying to go to sleep at the same time each night and waking up 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 struggle with anxiety and depression, you may find your self-esteem and confidence suffering. If you lack the energy to get the things done that you want to do each day, it can get frustrating quickly.
You may find it helpful to begin by setting 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 in the morning or eating lunch at a certain time of the day. Doing this can help set you up for success, and when you start to have 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 than what you’re looking for. You may find that this type of eating puts you on a sugar roller coaster.
It can be beneficial to maintain a nutritious diet. Focusing on clean eating and avoiding processed foods can help increase your energy levels.
Turn To Your Support System
If you’re struggling with energy levels because of your anxiety or depression, it can be helpful to build a strong support system around yourself. This could be made up of family and friends, or you could join a support group of others that are going through similar experiences.
It can be helpful to have people that care about you who can check in on you to see how you’re doing.
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 can release chemicals in your brain that help boosts 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 just a little bit better and have the energy to tackle the next thing on your list.
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 that you have a decrease in stress and that you have lower blood pressure when you start spending more time outdoors.
You may find that you experience an increase in energy levels through journaling. Taking time to write down your thoughts and concerns in a journal may be able to help you relieve some of the anxious thoughts that you usually have running through your mind.
When you spend most of your time and energy worrying about things, you may find that you have more energy to do the other things in your life that you desire to do.
Remember that anxiety and depression can be severe mental health conditions. You may benefit most from working with an experienced therapist instead of trying to address the symptoms that you are experiencing on your own.
And, 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.
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