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  Life can be tough, and sometimes it throws us curveballs that knock us down. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, drained, and struggling to get anything done, you might be experiencing a mental breakdown or unproductivity. But don’t worry, you’re not alone, and there are ways to climb out of this slump. In this article, I’ll share clear steps to help you deal with these challenges and get back on your feet.
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  1. Spotting the Signs

The first step is recognizing the warning signals. Here are some signs to watch out for:
  • Feeling Burned Out: You’re constantly exhausted, and overwhelmed, and everything feels like a chore. Even small tasks seem impossible.
  • Motivation MIA: Activities you used to enjoy no longer hold any interest. You struggle to find the energy or willpower to do anything.
  • Sleep or Appetite Issues: Trouble falling asleep or sleeping too much, changes in eating habits like skipping meals or overeating.
  • Negative Self-Talk: Your inner voice is harsh and critical, filled with doubt and negativity. You might feel hopeless or worthless.
  • Social Withdrawal: You isolate yourself from friends, family, and social activities. Social interaction feels draining.
If you see yourself in several of these signs, it’s important to reach out for help.
  1. Getting the Support You Need

  • Talk to a Pro: A therapist or counsellor can offer a safe space to talk about what you’re going through. They can help you develop coping mechanisms and create a personalized recovery plan.
  • Lean on Your Support System: Don’t bottle things up! Talk to trusted friends, family, or support groups. Sharing your feelings with someone you trust can make a big difference.

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  1. Taking Care of Yourself

While professional help is important, you can also start feeling better with some self-care strategies:
  • Sleep is King: Aim for 7-8 hours of quality sleep each night. Develop a relaxing bedtime routine and create a sleep-friendly environment in your bedroom.
  • Eat Well, Feel Well: Nourish your body with healthy foods that give you sustained energy. Focus on plenty of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and lean protein.
  • Get Moving: Exercise releases endorphins, natural mood-lifters. Start with gentle activities like walking or yoga and gradually increase intensity as you feel better.
  • Mindfulness Matters: Techniques like meditation or deep breathing can help manage stress and improve focus. There are many free guided meditations available online or through apps.
  • Unplug and Recharge: Set some boundaries! Limit screen time, especially before bed. Schedule time for activities you enjoy, even if it’s just reading or taking a nature walk.
  • Practice Gratitude: Focus on the good things in your life, no matter how small. Keeping a gratitude journal can help shift your perspective towards the positive.
  1. Getting Back on Track

Once you start feeling better, you can take steps to regain your productivity:
  • Set Realistic Goals: Break down large tasks into smaller, achievable chunks. Celebrating small wins along the way will keep you motivated.
  • Make a Schedule: Establish a routine that balances work, sleep, exercise, and relaxation. Having a schedule helps create a sense of control and normalcy.
  • Minimize Distractions: Turn off phone notifications and close unnecessary tabs while working. Consider using apps that block distracting websites or social media.
  • Don’t Be Afraid to Delegate: If possible, delegate tasks to lighten your workload. Asking for help isn’t a sign of weakness.
  • Reward Yourself: Celebrate your accomplishments, no matter how small. Rewards reinforce positive behaviours and keep you motivated.

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Final Thoughts

Healing takes time. Be patient with yourself. Mental breakdowns don’t disappear overnight, but you will get better. Setbacks happen. Don’t get discouraged if you have bad days. Focus on the progress you’ve made and keep moving forward. Be kind to yourself. Mental breakdowns are not a sign of weakness. They are a sign that you need support and self-care. By seeking support, implementing self-care strategies, and adopting healthy habits, you can navigate through this challenging period.
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This article was first published on 16th March 2024


Chidiogo Shalom Akaelu holds a degree in English and Literary Studies, from the University of Nigeria. She is a freelance writer, editor and founder of Loana Press, a budding online publishing outlet.

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