Dear 100 Hour Board,
Hello friends! (I really do think of you all as friends. I love the Board.) I am seeking some advice on how to manage life better. This semester it's pretty hard for me to stay focused and motivated. With anything. Also, I'm planning on starting working soon and I'm worried that will make it worse. I used to be very, very good at sitting down and getting my assignments and whatever other things done but I feel so tired lately and lack motivation often. I also just completed my mission a few months ago and had to work through some PTSD due to some not-good-experiences that happened during those months, and while I've mostly been able to recover, I can track my lack of ability to focus to that time. I am so tired of it and want to be better. Any advice or comforting words? Thanks!
Well, since you love the Board you probably saw this first piece of advice coming: go see a therapist.
Now that's out of the way, I'll tell you some things that hopefully will be at least partially comforting. Just because you're having a hard time focusing right now doesn't mean that your capacity has been permanently damaged and you'll never be able to function at the same level again. You will still be able to lead a happy and successful life. It's okay to extend some compassion and patience to yourself. It sounds like you're dealing with a lot (and on top of that, it's 2020--there's a lot of atmospheric things you're now dealing with too thanks to the situation we're all in). Of course you're not going to be operating at the same level you're used to in these other areas because a lot of your energy is required to cope with things you previously didn't have on your plate. And that's okay. You're going to be okay.
If you ever want a friend or just someone to listen, my inbox is always open (firstname.lastname@example.org).
In addition to what the other writers suggest, I think it's a good idea to get a check-up and make sure your physical health is okay. Recently I'd been feeling depressed and unmotivated and tired all the time, and it turns out there was a medical reason for that other than my general laziness.
Even if there isn't an underlying medical cause besides PTSD, eating well and exercising have always helped me to feel more energetic and able to accomplish daily tasks.
I don't have much to add in terms of advice, beyond what the other writers have said. But I wanted to chime in to let you know that I'm feeling very similarly, right now. You're not alone, and you're not broken. As awful as it feels to be "less productive" than you were once able to be, I hope you remember that it doesn't actually have anything to do with you or your worth. I like to think of it like this: You're not being worse or less productive right now, you are just shifting the focus of your productive energy. Because you're recovering, you're having to redirect a lot of the energy that you would usually use for school toward healing and caring for your health. That's good; that means you're prioritizing what you need to prioritize.
I'm sorry you're tired. I wish I had the solution to your problem, because I get it and I also just want to be able to work like I used to. But I hope this perspective is at least somewhat comforting, and I wish you luck on feeling better. I'm glad we're friends; if you want to talk more or want cookies (I love sending people cookies) or need another irl friend (assuming you're in Provo), feel free to email me at email@example.com.
There is plenty of advice from the other writers, so I'll just add some words of encouragement: You are important, and you can do anything you set your mind to. You have got this!
-Sunday Night Personal Cheerleader