In our regular mental health and wellbeing piece, we’re chatting this time about the times in life where we feel good for pretty much nothing.

Hello and a very warm welcome to our bit on the site where we talk about mental health and wellbeing. It’s a place where we chat about things that may be affecting you, us, or people around us. Not every article we run is going to be of use to everyone, but hopefully across this series, there’s something that’s of use to you.

This time around, I just wanted to have a quick chat about the moments in life – sometimes longer – where we just feel absolutely useless. No good to anybody, no good to ourselves.

This, of course, can be a by-product or symptom of depression, about which there are excellent resources here. Also, I’d suggest that however we feel, it’s also not true. Nobody is useless, but that doesn’t stop the feeling creeping in.

Easier said than done – as always – but it always helps to find the cause and source of the feeling. Is it work? Is it home? Is it falling out with somebody? Is there something you can pinpoint that’s making you feel this way? It can be really tricky of course, but knowing where the problem is originating can, inevitably, be very helpful.

If it’s more general, or more overpowering, then that’s trickier. But there are a few go-to things that hopefully might shine just a little bit of light in. Because we’d argue it’s really important to break the cycle.

First and foremost, some degree of being nice to yourself can help. Nobody is perfect, nobody is useless, and if you can acknowledge that, that’s important. Furthermore, in the moments where you’re feeling at your lowest, might that be the moment to go for a walk? To talk to someone, to open up about how you’re feeling?

One thing that helps me when I’m feeling no use at anything is to try something I know I’m not awful at. It might just be cooking something simple (actually, scrub that if you’ve tried my cooking), or playing a game, or something of that ilk. A bit of volunteering, even. But something to stop my brain sending me down a dark rabbit hole.

Likewise, I go back to basics: making sure I’m not staying up late, eating and drinking properly. Just something.

I’ve learned a lot over my life, and I’m sure you have similar experiences, that oftentimes I have to find a way myself to re-energise myself, or dig up some self-belief from somewhere. That there’s not always someone who can see what’s going on, or know what’s in my head. Turning things around often has to come from within, and hopefully some of the ideas above are of use.

As always, please chat and add suggestions in the comments. And most of all, you take care of yourselves. This column will return next week.

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