Relax and do nothing....or get up and do more?


It depends. I have a go to at home if my anxiety maxes out, which isn’t often thank goodness, but I clean the house. This never fails me because it keeps me occupied. I know I need this because the peak anxiety won’t last that long. It takes my mind off how I feel. The physical activity helps. Then the house is beautiful and clean and I love that. Part of it anyway. I won’t sit or try and lie down if I know my mind is in that space. It’s too much for me so I get up and fight it off with the vacuum basically. : )


Had a work call today. Only an hour but running a group session via Zoom. Haven’t felt in the mood for it all week but was determined not to cancel.

Had hoped/half expected that it would be a helpful distraction and that I might actually feel better/more energised during and after. But nope. Felt like dragging myself through treacle the whole time. Didn’t want to be there. Felt resentful. Faked my way through it but couldn’t wait for the hour to be up. Now feel…ugh! Feel frustrated and fed up about the call, on top of how I felt (not good!) beforehand.

Perhaps today has given me an answer to the question I posed!


I think it depends. It can help me to get up and moving. But I'm also someone who is prone to overdoing. And if my anxiety is running high sometimes I'll be keeping myself busy to avoid dealing with my feelings. I'll go until I crash hard.

As far as making myself do stuff when feeling overwhelmed. Sometimes I've sort of mastered the art (in general) of breaking things into smaller and smaller pieces. Like instead of washing dishes (currently don't have a dish washer), it's just filling the sink up with hot water. And I'll make a goal like get three things done each time I get up from taking a break. So, fill sink up with hot water. Wash a dish. Rinse. Three things! I accomplished something. And then I decide if I keep going. Very often I do. If I'm melting down over those small bits it's a good sign that I really do need to rest, not push myself.


If I'm melting down over those small bits it's a good sign that I really do need to rest, not push myself.
This is a very helpful point @Muttly – I think I've been thinking that I don't really need to break things down into very small chunks as things like getting dressed, brushing teeth, washing up etc aren't generally challenges... But this is a good point...if I break things down more – not because doing more doesn't feel manageable, but because I can then see what the impact is...and then decide whether to stop there or do more – it may help me to find this balance I'm struggling with. Thanks!


Truthseeker I am really impressed. I need you as a coach. I can really relate to Barefoot in that I don't know what is best and don't handle things well in addition. I seem to have low mood....dont feel stressed...and want to stay in bed with my fatigue. Once I get going, I start feeling the stress to do more, so I don't have an answer.

Once I start, its like a diversion to (likely underlying stress) and I cant stop. I want to clean everything. However, most days I do the opposite and stay in bed a lot.

I know I need to find that balance. I think I feel displaced.

Barefoot I am struggling with both as well, and don't have a good answer, but you are not alone.
Thanks....The stress to do more things in life is good kind of stress. Stress from dysfunctional behaviors of others, crappy family, or dealing with unpleasantness of any kind is bad stress. They do two different things to your body. Good stress with follow-through builds confidence. Bad stress tears you down. So avoid all potential negative kinds of stress......and just do for you and self-reward.

Making a list to complete can be stressful because you know you have to plan and execute the list......and if you don't you'll feel like a failure. That's black and white's dysfunctional. If you create a "doable list" with a positive mindset motivated to accomplish will more likely succeed. So, accomplishing things is good start just plan 2 important tasks to accomplish your first day, and make sure you tell yourself you did a good job aloud when you finish..... (one in am, one in pm) and climb out of the bed and live elsewhere in the house.....on your couch is better than the bedroom (beds are for sleeping not living) + your self care (meds, eating, bathing/doing something to hair/brushing teeth), After you do your am task.....self-reward with a positive activity. If you don't know what makes you happy, think about things you've done before like dancing to music, watching a comedy show, drawing or painting, playing an instrument or listening to favorite music, riding to the park, going fishing for an hr or so....etc. The point is to pair a less desirable activity (e.g cleaning the kitchen) with something you can look forward to right after to take the focus off "how horrible cleaning the kitchen is-or whatever the task is that you are doing and not really wanting to do" and changing the feeling to one of enjoyment after doing it. Doing that does two things.....reduces one's dislike for the task.....and builds confidence in being able to complete undesirable tasks.....and makes us look at daily stuff we need to do in a different perspective. I always dislike "cleaning the kitchen" more when I'm having a bad week....I think things are "worse" when it's just my outlook at the time is worse.

I'm struggling this week, too. I call it going "back to basics" when I need to make a "3 things list." This method has kept me functional....when I'm feeling like I'd rather not do a darn thing but climb in bed. This past week, I had someone I love and care about pass away and my pet is dying and best a few more days. I used to run to the comfort of my bed and remain there for days....sometimes weeks. So right now, the bed is singing to me, calling to me to just stay there and hang out.....but in the end, if I listen to the bed it only makes me feel worse for longer-then I think about all the things I "should have done"-and that's a negative cycle thing just compounds a bad week.

My three things for the day are to go get my fasting bloodwork (just did that at the dr's office-checked that off!) and got home and rewarded myself with an online game of canasta and won, go to lunch with a friend I haven't seen in quite a while (not real motivated to do this but I'll feel better once I'm there......and getting out and recounting old times hopefully will be fun) and then go get my Moderna shot at 2pm. I will have earned a nap after this ......because I didn't crawl into bed and give up at the beginning of the day-but I stayed functional under trying times. Then I'll finish my self-care for the day and my reward is planning a present to make for someone special for the holidays.

So, that's about me and my day.....what things do you need to accomplish and what kind of rewards would make you happy and distracted?


So, when you’ve got both anxiety and low mood at the same time?
Yeah, I get this. Anxiety and depression are best friends - very often when there's one, the other isn't far behind. And although I can often identify that one is worse than the other at any given time, and direct the bulk of my energy towards managing that one? A lot of the time I deal with degrees of both.

And although it's said on this forum a lot that identifying the correct issue is key to figuring out how to move forward, this only true to an extent with anxiety and depression.

The medication? Is vastly different. But the core (evidence based) coping skills for both are actually very similar.

CBTing the really problem thought patterns that you're getting is rock solid treatment for both Anxiety and Depression. Not because those thoughts are wrong, but because they're creating problems with you functioning and enjoying life.

Aside from that, pulling apart your daily routine so that (1) you've got a daily routine; and (2) so you can make sure all the key ingredients are included. And for Anxiety and Depression, the Activities of Daily Living (ADLs) that are key there. So showering, changing clothes, getting a bit of exercise, regular meals with as much nutrition as you can manage, good sleep hygiene, connecting with other people, washing clothes and the dishes. Keeping the focus on those 'basic' (read: near impossible) tasks is super helpful for driving mood back towards your usual baseline, and getting your baseline SUDs back down to where it's manageable.


I can totally relate! Tired and wired.

Usually I have to force myself into some light exercise which will either propel me into doing more or land me back on resting. So then I'll try to rest. I'll do all and any relaxation techniques I can. Soft music. Etc.
Always taking it moment by moment. Some gardening could quickly turn into exhaustion for me at some very low points. So one step at a time is key.