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Do you feel tired of life? Not necessarily suicidal, but damn, isn’t it about time for this to wrap up?
The day-to-day grind gets to be so tiresome, especially when you don’t feel like you’re making progress or you’ve been carrying a heavy burden for a long time.
Frankly, life can feel pretty unimpressive when you are deep in that grind. You look around, and it’s like, “Is this it? Is working for decades and then dying all I’ve got to look forward to? Where’s the excitement? The adventure? Anything that makes life interesting and worth being a part of?”
And then sometimes you do go out and get some of that excitement and adventure, but it doesn’t feel as good as it once did. The party is fun until it’s not. Then it just gets sad and troublesome because why did I care so much in the first place? It didn’t solve anything. It was just a meaningless distraction that was fun for a few minutes, and now I’m staring back down into the hole of oblivion, waiting to see if I fall in.
What can you do when you feel like you’re sick of life? How can you get some of that zest back?
1. Feed your spiritual self.
By spiritual, I don’t mean religious. You don’t need to go find God, though some people may interpret it that way.
Spiritual health is about doing things that feed the intangible aspects and beliefs of the person you are. To feed your spiritual health is to do the things that spark your flame and nourish your soul. People who feel tired of living have often lost that important spark.
Are you an artist? Go create something!
Do you love animals? Volunteer at a shelter or walk some dogs!
Do you love to travel? Go take a day hike somewhere within driving distance if you can’t afford to venture further afield right now.
But what if you aren’t the kind of person who enjoys those kinds of things? Well, what does speak to you?
Is it working with your hands? Like building something or working on a car?
Is it creating something from your mind? Like coding an app?
Is it being out in nature? Like fishing or hunting?
Everyone has something that speaks to them, calls to them. That voice might be very quiet if you haven’t had an opportunity to do these activities recently. Try revisiting old passions and interests to see if it sparks anything new for you.
And whatever you choose to do, don’t make it about money. There’s this massive hustle culture where many people encourage you to turn your creativity into a side-hustle. Creating for someone else and the almighty dollar is much different from creating what calls to you. Not everything needs to be about profit or turning your time into cash. Let a hobby be a hobby.
2. Do something different.
The lack of interest and exhaustion with life may be telling you that it’s time to do something different.
Maybe you’ve been at a job for a long time where you’re no longer growing or being challenged in any way. It’s just day after day of the same old bullsh*t with the same people that you may not even like all that much. Your coworkers can’t always be your friends, no matter how hard you might try.
Maybe it’s your regular life. Maybe it’s relationships and friendships that aren’t providing the kind of nourishment you need. People can fall into ruts and just stop trying when the passion starts to wane. That’s something you see plenty of in relationships.
Sometimes, people aren’t happy with the way their life is going but they are too comfortable to bother trying to make a change. They want more, but they aren’t willing to reach for it. They may just talk about all the things they’re going to do without ever doing them.
Or maybe they just don’t see a reason to change. Some people yearn for that kind of stability because they don’t have it. Yeah, it’s not exciting to show up to a 9-5 job five days a week (at minimum), but some people crave that kind of stability and balance in their life.
But if you’re exhausted and tired with life, look at what you normally do and see if there is something you can change. Maybe it’s time for a job change, a relationship to end, or to look for new friendships.
3. Look for a way to move forward.
Many people find themselves just treading water, trying to stay afloat. You kick your feet, keeping your head above the surface, but sooner or later, you just start getting so exhausted from all of the effort. You’re not going anywhere. You’re still at the mercy of the currents. You’re still stuck in place even though you’re expending all of that energy. And you are just so tired from all of that exertion.
In that scenario, you must find a way to either rest or start moving forward.
“Easier said than done!”
Of course, it is. Literally, everything is easier said than done. How hard is it to move forward when you’re working two jobs to pay the rent? Worrying about getting the kid off to school on time? Taking care of a loved one? Doing whatever it is that your life requires you to do?
It’s a lot, but still, you need to look for a way to move forward. Maybe it’s taking an online class, looking for a different job, anything that can help break the cycle of just treading in water and staying in one place.
It doesn’t have to be a huge goal, either. Instead, make it something small, like a 15-minute walk after work or reading in the morning when you wake up. Just a little something to help you make some progress in whatever the thing is that you feel will help you break free.
4. Avoid rumination.
Rumination is the act of dwelling on a negative circumstance more than you need to. In mental health circles, you’ll often hear messages like, “Talk about it. Talk about it. Talk about it.” And while that can be a good message in certain situations, sometimes all it does is encourage rumination, where the person will sit in their misery, think, and talk about it constantly, but not do anything to fix it.
Or, maybe they can’t do anything to fix it. Mental healthcare costs money that a lot of people don’t have. Sometimes problems can take years to improve. Sometimes they can’t be improved. Unfortunately, that’s just how it goes sometimes.
Rumination is harmful in that it reinforces the negative instead of doing anything positive. Even when you’re going through hard times, it’s only going to make you feel worse to sit around and think about how terrible everything is. That doesn’t mean you should totally avoid it. That would be equally bad because then you can have unforeseen circumstances cropping up to cause you problems.
Instead, you want to strike a balance. Take adequate time to think about the problem, and then shift your focus to something else. Force yourself to shift focus if you have to. Don’t just sit around and think about how sick of life you are. That just makes it worse.
5. Develop some healthy routines.
Routines may seem like counterproductive advice for dealing with the exhaustion of life, but routines can help improve your mental and physical health to break the unhealthier cycles. Routines can help reduce stress because your life is running more predictably. They can also help improve your sleep and provide meaningful structure to your day.
Good sleep is the cornerstone for improving mental health. This is because the brain produces many mood-balancing and feel-good chemicals in the deepest sleep cycles. Now, the problem is that it can take about an hour and a half to two hours to actually reach those deep cycles. So if you’re a light sleeper or constantly up at night, your brain is not getting the opportunity it needs to replenish these chemicals, so you run dry from them during the next day. This is also why good sleep is so important for people with mood disorders like depression and bipolar disorder.
A healthy routine can also help you improve your physical health. That could include regular exercise or meal planning and preparation. For example, it’s easier to eat less junk food if you create the time to make good, healthy meals.
Routine can also alleviate additional stress. With a clear routine, you’ll have a pretty good idea of what to expect in your coming day, when you’re going to get your work done, and have a schedule on how to handle everything.
Don’t forget to work self-care time into your schedule. If you’re a busy person, it’s easy to push away things like personal downtime or exercise in favor of what seem to be more demanding needs. Treat your self-care as being just as important as any of your other responsibilities. In fact, it’s more important. That way, you’re not constantly trying to run on an empty tank.
6. Focus more on what you can control.
What is within your control? What can you touch with your own two hands? Many people fuel their own unhappiness by constantly wanting something that is outside of their reach.
It doesn’t help that there is a lot of advice out there that tells you, “Dream big! Don’t let anything stop you from pursuing your dreams!”
Well, sometimes life stops you from pursuing your dreams. Sometimes you don’t have a choice in the matter. And how difficult is it to be happy or enjoy life when you just know you’re not going to be able to chase those dreams of yours?
Those kinds of messages aren’t really for the people going through difficult, sometimes insurmountable obstacles. Feeling sick of living can also just be exhaustion from things going wrong that are outside of your control.
Oh, you have a chronic illness that prevents you from earning a living? A mental illness that makes you unstable and erratic? Circumstances in your life that took all of your hopes and dreams, tossed them into a shredder, and burned the remains in an incinerator?
“Just dream bigger!”
Nah, that’s bullsh*t.
Sometimes our dreams can only be dreams. Sometimes we have to scale back and focus on what we can touch and appreciate around us. Sometimes it’s something as small as just having a roof over our head or something to eat.
You may not be able to control having serious problems, a disability, or an illness. But you can control what you do with the time that it’s not impeding you.
Sometimes we need to dream a more reasonable dream. Don’t get wrapped up in inspiration p*rn created around the people who were fortunate enough to have the ability to pursue their dreams. Unfortunately, not everyone has reasonable access to those resources or capabilities.
But what you do have is the power to look for something that you can actually reach and then reach for that.
7. Live your life in a way that makes sense for you.
Society places many expectations on the shoulders of the individual. And to some degree, those expectations are fair. For example, it’s fair to abide by certain rules and laws for the benefit of the whole.
However, not all of these expectations are fair or just. Look at how society has treated those that do not fit into the mold of a productive member of society. Look at how society has treated women, LGBT+ people, people of color, and the poor.
Social expectations can be a deep source of unhappiness and disenchantment with life because they encourage people to fit into a singular, easy-to-understand mold. And if you don’t fit or want to conform, then there must be something wrong with you. So why can’t you just be more agreeable?
Again, complete bullsh*t. It’s intellectual and emotional laziness from the judgmental people trying to force everyone else to conform. They don’t want to be challenged by anything different, so they strive to hammer down any nail that sticks out.
But suppose you’re not one of those people that fit into that comfortable mold. In that case, you’re going to be miserable while trying to conform. The tiredness you’re experiencing may not be from life itself but from dealing with people who don’t want to understand you. At some point, you just have to find a way to let that go to live the kind of life that is right for you.
Look for other people who are accepting of who you are and what you bring to the table. And yes, that might be a difficult thing to do. Maybe you need to move to a different area, find a different job, or erect solid boundaries with friends or family members. It might be that you end up creating some rifts in relationships if the people around you aren’t accepting or only love their mental image of you instead of the real you.
You only get one life, as far as I know. Don’t waste it dancing to somebody else’s tune.
8. Create purpose in your life.
“I don’t have a purpose in my life. I wish I had a purpose.”
In this writer’s opinion, people seem to be most interested in feeling like they have a purpose because they think it will provide them happiness and fulfillment. And you know what, for some people, it does. But what that sentiment assumes is that the purpose, and fulfillment of that purpose, will provide happiness and other feel-good emotions.
What if your purpose sucks? What if your purpose is being a children’s advocate or representative? Standing up for abused kids in terrible situations? What if your purpose is being a rape crisis counselor? Or a suicide hotline operator? Or a police officer? Or a firefighter? Or any of the other number of terribly taxing, very worthwhile things you can do with your life?
Chances are pretty good you’re not going to skip happily out of work every day. Sometimes purpose is staring down defeat where you know you can’t do anything, but you know you have to try. Sometimes it’s lying awake at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering if you did the right thing. Sometimes purpose does not feel good at all, but you do it anyway because every fiber of your being tells you that you must do this thing.
But no, purpose has been romanticized and equated to happiness. “All you need to do is find this one perfect thing, and it will make you happy!” “Love what you do, and you’ll never work a day in your life!”
Purpose isn’t that complicated. Pick something and go do it. It’s not going to fall out of the sky into your lap while you’re sitting at home. Create purpose if you feel you’re lacking. It can provide fulfillment, but it may not provide happiness. You may very well find purpose adjacent to the thing that you end up doing.
9. Embrace change.
The only consistent part of life is that it is inconsistent. Things will change sooner or later. They may not change for the best, but they will change. That’s just the nature of life.
People develop illnesses, get sick, deal with tragedies and traumas, lose their job, and suffer setbacks. But, they also accomplish goals, learn new things, set new goals, get promotions, start new relationships, and so much more.
If you’re tired of living, maybe you need to look at and embrace some change.
Are you struggling against life changing? Some people see change coming, and they just won’t step into it. Instead, they fight it. They struggle against it because they’re afraid or they’re comfortable with where they are at.
And it’s not always about negative things either. A person who’s struggled for a long time that is used to dealing with the anxiety and difficulty of a rough life can be terrified of peace and stability. It can feel uncertain like there’s something just looming overhead waiting to swoop in and mess everything up. It’s hard to feel comfortable in peace and stability when all you’ve known is chaos and uncertainty.
Still, things are going to change, one way or another. The best thing you can do is learn to embrace those changes and swim with the current. And yes, sometimes that means making the best out of a bad situation. We don’t always get to choose what happens to us, but we do get to choose how we respond to it.
10. Do seek some professional help.
Feeling tired of life can point to many different problems. For some people, it might just be overworking and not creating enough time for themselves. For others, it’s deep exhaustion from grinding and getting nowhere. And still, for others, it may be something more complicated, like a chronic illness that is just getting exhausting to deal with constantly.
If you can’t pin down the reason, it would be good to seek out some professional help to see if you can identify the problem. A fresh set of eyes from someone who is trained to deal with these kinds of problems may help you break open the problem so you can find a solution. A good place to start would be the online counseling service from BetterHelp.com because it’s quick, convenient, and won’t cost you an arm and a leg.
Your life is valuable. You are valuable. And suppose you’re stuck in a deep rut where life isn’t providing any kind of fulfillment, happiness, or anything to look forward to. In that case, it’s time to make a positive change toward something better.
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