Avoid the "belief in a just world" trap.

Don't fall into the trap of thinking, "If I'm struggling, I must deserve to be struggling. I must be struggling because I'm useless."


6 Tips for What to Do When You Feel Exhausted by Life | Psychology Today


"Remind yourself that you’re doing what you can right now given the circumstances and your resources. Practice flexibility so that you can take advantage of opportunities for change."


If you tend to react to stress by attempting to just work harder, try slowing down instead. You might already be trying your hardest.

By telling yourself the problem is not working hard enough, you're likely to close yourself off to trying new ways of coping.

  • Example: People who respond to overeating by telling themselves they just need to try harder to stick to their diet next time. By attributing the problem to not trying hard enough, they try to solve it through willpower rather than seeking other strategies.


  • People thinking their way out of their problems can be adaptive but it's important to understand that overthinking in a depressed mood impairs a person's quality of problem-solving solutions.
  • Recognize that the answer to your problems probably does not lie in doing more thinking.
  • Taking a break from thinking about your problems is more likely to lead to you taking action on simple things you could do to improve your situation or mood.
  • Take a break from overthinking through activities that practice focusing your attention elsewhere like seeing friends meditations.


  • Bipolar disorder's core treatment encourages developing regular routines of sleeping, eating, socializing, and working.
  • Regulating rhythms helps regulate mood and energy. This basic principle is true for people generally.


  • If you're feeling paralyzed by fear and exhausted by life, you're probably experiencing the freeze aspect of the "fight-flight-freeze" response.
  • Develop a personalized plan for simple things you can do when your anxiety is high or your mood is low, like using simple physiological strategies to calm your nervous system like:
  1. Try rolling up your sleeve and stroking your arm (releases oxytocin).
  2. Gently rubbing your lips with one or two fingers.


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