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How to get back to happy?

Hey, since first joining and posting, I've been a bit of a lurker the past few days but now I'm thinking maybe sharing could do me well.

 

What do you do when life gets a bit overwhelming, and you just can't get anything done?

 

Recently I've had a bit of a struggle with my boyfriend, and now family life and uni life has all come piling on top of me. I also really need to get another job/internship, as the future is really scaring me right now. 

 

I'm feeling pretty terrible, because I had the most incredible time of my life last month, full of travel and study in a land I love, and now I'm back home and falling into a bit of a depression right now. I'm struggling to keep up with my uni, work, family and social commitments. It's just all so hard to do when you just don't even want to get out of bed in the morning.

 

I feel so ungrateful, but I just want to feel how I felt last month again, so happy and carefree. I'm really struggling right now.

 

It would be so nice to hear if anyone has ever been in a similar situation, and what you did to keep going!

 

Thank you!

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hi @gezellig, it's really brave of you to share how you've been feeling so thank you for doing that Smiley Happy 

It sounds like you do have a lot on your plate, and it can be quite difficult transitioning from a period of being carefree back to real life, where there are commitments and responsibilities waiting. I'm so sorry to hear you've been feeling down about it but we are all here to listen and help how we can ❤️

In terms of the feelings you are going through, I can completely relate as I am currently in a very similar situation. Am I correct in that you may be feeling there are expectations from all places (as you mentioned, uni, social life, family etc.)? And if you don't mind me asking, what specifically about the future is scaring you?

 

It is natural to feel overwhelmed, and when this is compounded upon by feelings of depression, it makes it even more difficult to keep up with such a busy lifestyle. Two techniques I personally use in this situation are:

  • Being compassionate to yourself. Even accepting that you've got a lot going on, and patting yourself on the back for completing one task, might give you the motivation to keep doing what you need to do, instead of pressuring or forcing yourself.
  • Mindfully pursuing self-care - this can sometimes feel like another chore because you want to use your time for your tasks, but taking out 1 hour of the day where you do what you enjoy (without feeling like you are procrastinating or wasting time), can really be beneficial. Any particular hobbies you really enjoy?

 

Would you also consider seeing a psychologist at all since you've been struggling with lack of motivation and feelings of depression? When I came home from exchange, I had a very similar response to you and did find a bit of counselling allowed me to talk through my feelings of being overwhelmed, and find strategies to deal with my emotions.

Re: How to get back to happy?

hello @gezellig
@sweet_baking has covered heaps of things here so dont have alot to add but wanted to re-welcome you Smiley Happy

its sounding super tough for you right now! i dont think your being ungrateful, mh issues can come and go (good/bad days) and often we dont suspect when itll hit esp when weve been going really well.
the lack of motivation is a toughie and i struggle wth that one too but something i try to do is plan one good activity that makes me want to get up out of bed or as a reward for getting up like a favourite chocolate at the end of the day or an icecream for a treat, a nice bubble bath perhaps. but it could be anything that you like to do.

would you like to talk about the things that are bothering you though like whats happening within your relationships (bf or family) and what your struggling with the most at uni?

this thread ( https://forums.au.reachout.com/t5/Everyday-life-stuff/Uni-Student-Support-Squad/m-p/173578 ) might help and your welcome to post your struggles with uni on there too as im sure many can relate and offer some advice too.
**NEVER be afraid to ask for help because you're WORTH it!**

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hey @sweet_baking, thank you so much for your reply. It was really nice for you to do so!

 

Yeah, there are a lot of expectations on me right now, and I'm also feeling very pressured to keep up with all these expectations as well as getting good marks so that I can get into an honours course for next year. It's all quite stressful! 

 

About the future, I think it's really the fact that everything is really hard at the moment, and I don't know what I want to do, and I know that I'm not smart enough to do the one thing I actually would like to do.

 

Thank you so much for your suggestions, I'm definitely trying to practice some self-care, mindfulness and compassion towards myself, but it's just not good enough right now and I'm struggling hard with it.

 

I do go to a psych, unfortunately I haven't been able to get in for a while (and everything's booked up for a few more weeks) but I'll be alright until I go again.

 

Thank you so much for your support! It means the world to me!

Re: How to get back to happy?

Thank you so much for your suggestions @scared01, it's really useful and really means so much to me.

 

I think I lack the motivation and self-control to even try those things tbh, it's like my brain is telling me one thing but my body is doing the complete other, and no matter how hard I try I just can't get up and do the things I want to do.

 

Tbh I wouldn't even know where to start with my family, my boyfriend and all of that, but maybe I will contribute to the uni discussion! Thanks for the suggestion!

 

 

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hey @gezellig, thanks for replying back to us. I'm glad you've found our suggestions helpful Smiley Happy.

I also have quite a lot on my plate so I can resonate with what you're going through! I think what's worked for me is planning my schedule to include self-care first, and then plan my other commitments (uni, volunteering, etc.) around it so that you get some time to practice some self-care. Like @sweet_baking has mentioned earlier, practicing self-care is a really great way to combat overwhelming feelings and keep up with a busy lifestyle.

That's great to hear that you go to see a psych, and it is unfortunate that it is hard to get an appointment? Perhaps you could try seeing your uni counsellor?
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Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hey @Esperanza67, thanks for the reply!!

That sounds great, may I ask what you do for self care that fits in well around your other commitments??

In regards to seeing a uni counsellor, I don't really want to see one of the uni counsellors as it becomes a conflict of interest at our uni if I decide to do a masters in clinical psych (Currently 3rd year BA majoring in psych), so I'm not so keen!!

I'm honestly fine if I have to wait, I've got an appointment with my psych for later this month so I just have to manage until then!

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hey @gezellig, no worries Smiley Happy

To answer your question on what I do for self-care that fit in well with my schedule, well, I like to read a bit, watch Netflix, practice some mindfulness (the Smiling Mind app is really great for this!) - pretty much anything I like to do in my spare time. There is no one method that is better than the other, does that make sense?

I'm a psych student too! I can see how it would be a conflict of interest if you were to see a uni counsellor because you are a psych student. However, I'm not sure about your uni, but with mine, psych students can access uni counselling services, but not the uni psychology clinics (for the conflict of interest reasons you've mentioned earlier). Plus I've heard of heaps of psych students who access counselling services at uni. I think psych students are just as susceptible as non-psych students to tough times and so it is just as important that they seek professional support when they need it.

However, in saying that, if you still feel uncomfortable seeing a uni counsellor (and that's perfectly understandable if that is so!), perhaps you could try visiting a headspace centre in the meantime if you need extra professional support whilst waiting for your psych appointment later this month?
_________________________________________________________
Hope is just around the corner; you think it's not there when you first look straight ahead, but it actually is when you turn around

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hi @gezellig, having been a psychology student too, I can completely understand the absolute pressure at having to be on top of your game, especially with honours on the line! I'm really glad to hear you are implementing self-care strategies, even if they are not being overly successful, it shows how strong your character and will is, even while struggling, which is amazing! 

 

I agree with @Esperanza67 that while it is great you will get to see your psych later in the month, perhaps a walk-in visit to your uni counsellor (separate from the psychology clinics) or to headspace to help you through this tough time. Would you consider trying that if things feel too difficult to manage?

 

Since you mentioned the future as well, and that uncertainty, may I ask what it is that one thing you would actually like to do? It's really hard to feel that you can't achieve a goal that you genuinely want to, but what makes you feel you are not smart enough to pursue it? 

 

We're always here to listen and you're very welcome for the support Smiley Happy 

Re: How to get back to happy?

Hey @Esperanza67, thanks again for your reply!!

 

Those self-care practices you do sound great, I also do a lot of that and I'm currently doing a mini-thesis on mindfulness for my psychology capstone! 

 

Yeah, I'm kinda disappointed in my uni for not offering more services to psych students outside of the conflict of interest route, but I honestly do think I can get through this, and Id rather wait for my psych who knows me and my background tbh! It maybe it's just me being lazy and unmotivated again, I don't know Smiley Sad

 

And thanks again @sweet_baking! What I really want to do is stay at the uni I'm at now and get into honours (which is impossible with my marks) and then continue on to clinical or Ed psych masters. I'd also like to travel a bit but moneys a massive problem and making that looking a bit impossible too. So right now I just don't know what to do!