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My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

I've been feeling elevated lately. Finally got out of depression. I'm still struggling with uni, keeping myself focused. I'm so behind. I'm not quite sure if I can hand all my assignments on time. Or how much exam revision I can do before my exams. Keeping in mind my mood fluctuates, I feel really unfunctional when I'm depressed. 


I can't help but lose my focus, and my focus may deviates to other things like writing, thinking about my characters. daydreaming, shopping, singing, socialising etc. I also have a desire to do multiple things at once, its overwhelming, and I get lost. I want to do a lot of things, because I finally feel like I can do a lot during the course of my day. Sometimes I have the desire to move around the room, I have way too much energy, and I start bouncing like a bouncy ball. I've tried excercising, but I'm still restless, I have way too much energy in me, I don't know what to do with it. 



Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

That's something I struggle with a LOT @Creativegirl12 so I understand how frustrating it can be (and also, how it simultaneously feels good and bad to not be doing what you're supposed to!)

Have you heard of the Pomodoro Technique? It's really helpful for staying on track with one thing at a time. It's much easier to stay focused on something for 20 minutes than it is to have finishing a whole essay looming over your head.

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

Hey @Creativegirl12


Firstly, glad to hear you are feeling good and wanting to do lots of things Smiley Happy  I think getting distracted and behind in work is something that every uni student struggles with from time to time, especially when all those assignments start building up. If it makes you feel any better, I am 5 weeks behind on all my coursework and have no intention of starting tonight so I think we are in the same boat Smiley Wink



I can really relate to what your saying. Its so hard to start uni work when your mood is all over the place- sometimes it feels like the last thing you want to do, and even if you manage to open a textbook it can feel impossible to concentrate. If it helps, what I do when I am in a low mood or finding it hard to concentrate is to do all the "easy" stuf that doesnt take much thinking - eg if its an assignment do the referencing and formatting, or even if you have lectures to watch choose the easier or more interesting topics. Usually I find that after making that first step I end up getting some work done.


Perhaps you could even try some meditation or breathing exercises to help calm you down physically, and then your thoughts and concentration will probably follow Smiley Happy I also really like @ElleBelle time management suggestion, I'm sure that could really help. Good luck!!

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

hey @Creativegirl12


Glad to hear that you've been feeling a bit better!


I know it's a really simple suggestion, but i'm wondering if you've tried studying in different places? I find that I can't get barely anything done at home because there's so many things to distract me, but working at the library in a little quiet cubicle.. I can really focus and get stuff done. 



Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

@ElleBelle I could look into that approach, maybe I just need to try something new. I'll see what I can do, I have my next psych app in a week and a half, I'll see what I can do till then. Then maybe I can talk to her about it. How to get around studying when I have major mood swings.

@Aria I guess its common among uni students. I guess its frustrating that I feel like I don't have control over how I'm feeling. Up and down, round and about. It's like either way, I lose my focus. Whether I'm up or down. I really want to do well and get through this degree.

@benjamin_ I could try studying outside my room. My room is definitely a huge distraction, there's so much I can do. I think I'm also less likely to move around everyone and start singing when i'm outside of my room.

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

hi @Creativegirl12


 I want to reemphasise what @benjamin_ said about studying in a neutral environmenet such as your university library.


I am a reasonably effective student, but.....leave me alone in my room and it can be a disaster. Web browsers, books, music I just go crazy and two-three hours later feel annoyed iv done no i got to the kitchen to find food Smiley Tongue. The cycle really does continue.


In terms of the mood elements coming into play, that sounds like it makes things that much more difficult. Perhaps even more of an incentive for you to go to a neutral environment away from your house to focus.


Are there any other things you can think of that help you focus and study? 

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

Hi @Creativegirl12, it is really great to hear you are not feeling depressed right now! Well done on hanging in there, and I hope this can help you with any future struggles with depression. 


In your case of struggling to concentrate, I think it is really important to separate a) being easily distracted, daydreaming and having difficultly working, from b) a genuine and real inability to stay on task, experiencing flight of thoughts, and constant severe restlessness.  If it is the latter, than that could be cause to see a GP.  If it is the former, here are some tips on how to control your mental 'clutter'.  I also find it is far easier to work if I am motivated to do so.  Have you tried any goal setting regarding what you want to get out of uni?


Hope this helps, good luck!

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

It helps a little to be out of my room. This semester has definitely been the most challenging. I'll see what I can do. Thanks for all the support guys. I've been irritable/angry due to stress and mood swings. 


I'm trying to sort out my academics, because unfortunately its hard to get assignments in on time. One of my assignments was extended twice, haven't handed it in, and it was due yesterday and its not close to being done.

It's almost end of semester, just before exams. I'll see if I can do these units later without penalty. I'm not entirely sure if they would accept severe depression (its more intense than it used to be) as a reason to discontinue and try again later. I'm pretty sure my studies don't help my mood swings.

Mood swing=lack of concentration, lack of concentration=frustration=worse mood swings.

My psychologist is working on my diagnosis at the moment (I know she's working out if I have a mood disorder), and we will work on how I can cope better with my mood being all over the place.

Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

Hey @Creativegirl12 - i wonder if there is anything you can pinpoint that has helped you feel elevated lately? You said you finally got out of depression - that's amazing what helped you get there? it's really important to notice and remember those things as it can help you in the future if you want to try and improve your mood... If you can write some of the things that helped you this time and keep them in a self care box to remind yourself of them later...

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Re: My thoughts keep racing and I'm distracted easily

Hey @Creativegirl12


I’m sorry to hear this semester has been so tough on you. University is definitely a balancing act, and it’s really hard when you’re having troubles with your mental health. I’ve been in a similar situation where I had to discontinue a semester due to severe anxiety.


If you are thinking of trying to do these units later, I would definitely recommend talking to a course advisor as soon as possible. The sooner the university knows, the more they can do to help you.


I totally agree with what @Sophie-RO said. Creating a list of self care items that have helped you in the past can be really helpful. Can you think of some that would work for you?


If you do decide to take your exams, check out this factsheet for tips and tricks Smiley Happy I’ve done several semesters at uni and yet still have small freak outs over exams!


Just remember you’ve gotten through the majority of the semester, and that is something you should be very proud of Smiley Happy