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Health + Wellness

Self-Care Tips For When You Don’t Have the Energy To Do Anything

Setting aside some time to take care of our physical, mental and emotional health should remain an integral part of our lives. Self-care supports us through bouts of stress and anxiety, it provides a chance to work through challenging situations and gives a boost to our overall self-esteem. But what can you do when you don’t have the energy to take care of yourself?

One significant thing to understand about self-care is that it’s not about being happy. That may seem counterintuitive; but self-care is about developing an awareness of when you need to allow time for self-soothing, healing or getting a mental reset. A beneficial side effect might be nurturing happiness, but that should not be its aim. It’s a tool we must learn how to utilize effectively, especially when we’re experiencing a lack of mental or emotional vitality.

In addition, self-care is not a cure for any type of depression. If you’re feeling overwhelmed; to the point where it’s interfering with your everyday life or ability to function in a healthful way, you should seek out further, in-depth/professional support; some useful links have been included at the end of this article.


I’m currently experiencing some situational depression and anxiety that has left me feeling exhausted and struggling to take care of myself. I’ve had to adapt my self-care tools to include ones that take little effort and time to complete. By starting small, I’ve found it’s had a knock-on effect; accumulating to help boost my resiliency and overall energy to a level where I can start to step out of the low ebb I’m weathering.

Through repetitious, small moments of self-care that don’t sap already diminished energy levels; we can all start feeling the accomplishment of doing something practical for ourselves that accumulates a sense of well-being.

Here are 6 Self-Care Tips For When You Don’t Have The Energy To Do Anything …

1| Give yourself permission to let certain things go if you’re struggling to complete them (cleaning, laundry, wearing make-up, sleeping well, etc). Our ordinary routines might get disrupted — and that’s okay. Don’t focus on what you’re not accomplishing, instead regard it as a temporary change.

A phot of an bed with a tray on it that has a cup of coffee on it.
photo via Jen. P/Unsplash

2| Do one thing consistently at the beginning of your day. It could be as simple as starting off with a cup of tea and no social media browsing (something I’ve implemented) or making your bed as soon as you get up. Morning routines improve our overall mental health by setting intentions for the day.

3| Use an aromatherapy oil diffuser/mister for 5-10 minutes a day, closing your eyes to concentrate on your breathing. It’s like a mini-meditation that will support relaxation and clear your thoughts. For some guidance about what essential oil blends you can use, click here.

4| Spend a few minutes colouring-in or making origami — they’re both creative yet relaxing activities; you can focus on something without it becoming too involved or overstimulating for your brain.

A neat and tidy bookshelf with jugs, plates and bowls on it.
photo via Jason Leung/Unsplash

5| Declutter one thing — pick a cupboard or drawer; a bag or desk; sort out files on your phone/computer, etc. Organization is a simple yet effective way to offer yourself a mental break from stress; shifting attention onto something that provides a bit of (healthy) control and order.

6| Get some sunshine — if you don’t have the energy or time to go for a walk; sit in your garden, on your porch or next to an open window for a few minutes. Focus on your breathing and feel the serotonin boosting sunlight on your face (serotonin is a mood-enhancing, calming hormone).

Do you have any self-care tips? What do you do to take care of yourself?

Further Info:

NAMI Helpline – a free, nationwide U.S. resource that offers experienced peer-support guidance and advice

CheckPoint – global (by country) resources for mental health support

Why Self-Care Is Hard For Depressed Individuals – Psychology Today

Why You Struggle With Self-Care – NAMI (National Alliance On Mental Illness)

10 Ways To Reduce Stress By Decluttering Your Life – Huff Post

39 thoughts on “Self-Care Tips For When You Don’t Have the Energy To Do Anything”

    1. I need to remember that one too so wanted it as number one, haha! As soon as I do it, I create space to actually do things that help me self-care and get to a point where I can get back to doing the things I’ve had to leave for a while. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  1. I always love getting out in the sunshine (if it’s out of course). I need to find my ‘origami/colouring’, it might just be writing that helps with my creative outlets, which then de-stresses me. Great tips there 🙂


  2. Love the number one about giving yourself permission to let some things go. Sometimes we just have to say not right now so can take a step back and recharge our batteries.


    1. Exactly! I’ve piled on the pressure with thinking I have to do everything but as soon as I gave myself permission not to do them, I gave myself the space to start caring for myself so that I can get back to doing those things. Thanks so much for stopping by!


  3. I always feel so much better when I take an item or two off my list of things to do and just accept that it isn’t going to happen. I love scented candles for just sitting and breathing for a while. Or ASMR!!! Xx


  4. Great tips! I find the getting a little sunshine one to be especially useful for me when I’m feeling in a funk. Lots of clutter tends to cause a bit of anxiety for me as well, so that’s very helpful. I like the theme of starting slow and being kind to yourself. Thank you!


  5. Brilliant post and so apt right now. There’s so many things I want to do, sometimes just breathing takes my energy and that’s ok! If all I can do is breathe then I’m winning!


  6. Great tips, thanks for sharing them! I have a little book with mandala and I use to colour them every time I feel overwhelmed by the events. It really helps me 🙂


  7. These are all just really good tips for self-care. So important even in the best of times, and even more so now that so many people are struggling. If we don’t take care of ourselves now, big problems can result later. Great post!


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