What to Do When You Don’t Feel Like Life is Worth the Effort

The world is bleak right now.

silhouette of person standing inside room

The world is bleak right now. It is not easy to feel good about life right now and pretend everything is full of rainbows, because it’s not.

But that’s okay, my friend. We’re all here, together. Life is worth the effort, I promise you. We’ll get through this, together. Remember the video game you used to play, how hard it was, and when you defeated the final boss, how good that felt? We’re aiming for that feeling on the other side of this. Relief. Peace.

“I wish it need not have happened in my time,’ said Frodo. ‘So do I,’ said Gandalf, ‘and so do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.

— Frodo Baggins and Gandalf, The Fellowship of the Ring

It is easier said than done, but in these dark days, we prove to ourselves the strength we didn’t know we have, and we can do this thing called life, however hard it gets, and we’ll have the strength for darker days ahead. Life is never easy, we can only try.

But, what do we do on these dark days? And how? What’s the point of creating, working, living if no one sees it, if we die alone in our homes, does anyone even care? We have to believe they do, somewhere, out there, someone does. Believe that life matter, that we matter. Even when we can’t get out of bed and let ourselves be washed off the sadness, we feel in the middle of the night. We can’t force happiness and contentment, but at least we can try.

Now, do you feel down? Force a smile. Yes, really. Try it out a few times, however stupid this sounds. Do you feel better? I hope you do, even just a little bit. While you’re at it, take a deep breath. 1, 2, 3. Breathe in. 1, 2, 3. Breathe out.

Remind yourself this is all you got, all we got. Life sucks, really really sucks, especially right now, but we’re enslaved to this reality. If we can’t escape life, we might as well do something about it; make it a little better for those who come next. Let’s try to be better, shall we? Find a way to be kind to your enemies. Firmly though.

Pick up the phone. Call someone. Your mum. Your dad. Your chosen family. Your friends. Check in on them. Are you calling? Have you done calling? Do you feel less lonely?

white window curtain

Photo by Marko Kovic on Unsplash

Next, don’t forget to be kind to yourself, physically and mentally. Do some jumping jacks. Eat more than just chips. Watching your favourite TV shows. Read. Build a fort.

And then create something. Draw. Take a photograph. Write. Doodle. Trust the parts of you that create. Make something out of nothing, for nothing. Creating is difficult, but it brings us peace. Creativity is what makes us human.

Now, breathe in and breathe out again. Tell yourself “I’ve got this. We’ve got this.”

Death is easy. Yes, death is scary, but so is life, much scarier even. Life is hard and long and full of suffering. But it’s all we got. Until we perish. We might as well help each other through it.

It will get better eventually, and even easier, sometimes. And then other times, it’s much harder. But that’s okay. You’re okay. 1, 2, 3. Breathe in. 1, 2, 3. Breathe out.

If you’re suffering from any addiction or any other mental health issue, if you’re depressed right now, it’s okay, too. The world is a lot harder than usual, you’re allowed to grieve, to feel sad, to cry, to be angry. But don’t give up just yet, keep going, it gets better.

Life is very interesting. In the end, some of your greatest pains become your greatest strengths.

— Drew Barrymore

Life is long, and sometimes we need it to just… stop. But I hope, you and I, we both show up anyways.