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Luke Westby
Luke Westby

Posted on • Updated on

How do you stay focused when everything sucks?

When the news is really bad it can feel nearly impossible to care about or do anything else. I would love some thoughts from this community on how you keep up with life in the face of all the bad stuff.

Top comments (12)

andreybleme profile image
Lucas Bleme • Edited

That's a tough one.

Personally I just try to be strong. That means that I try to think that people need me to be strong and be able to fulfill my commitments.

There's always someone/something that can pull us up. Music usually makes me feel challenged, they kind of teach me how difficult life can be and show me: if you can't handle you won't last, GET USED, STAY FOCUSED, fail is not an option!

You might find this kind of motivation on books, thinking in people you love, or just getting a new perspective of how life works by listen to music, being more reflective. EVERYTHING PASSES;

Keep moving

jess profile image
Jess Lee

I go to a therapist regularly which is helpful.

Depending on the situation(s) I might try and find people who have experienced the same thing, so I have a supportive outlet to cope.

If you can muster up the energy, exercise usually has positive benefits. Ans if you can muster up the motivation, I find personal development books to be generally inspiring.

scottishross profile image
Ross Henderson

Learn about the Compassionate Mind. It's a brilliant way of thinking that basically changes the way you think. Instead of "Urgh I only did 2/3s of my work", you force yourself to re-think it as "Actually, considering how busy I've been I got 2/3rds of my work done, go me!".

Slowly every small thing becomes a little victory and your mood and motivation improves.

rkronschnabel profile image

I tend to focus on the things under my control. I read the bad news, I process it, I ask myself what I can do, and if there isn't something I can do I move on. If there is something reasonable I can do I try to act on it. Sometimes it is easier said than done, but I would rather spend my time on something productive than dwelling on the horrible things that happen in life.

elmuerte profile image
Michiel Hendriks • Edited

“If a problem is fixable, if a situation is such that you can do something about it, then there is no need to worry. If it's not fixable, then there is no help in worrying. There is no benefit in worrying whatsoever.”

― Dalai Lama XIV

Of course that will not help if you cannot convince that thing between your ears.

This might be considered really negative, or pessimistic, or maybe nihilistic. But nothing really matters. Society as we know it will, just like you, and every piece of software you create, die and be replaced my something else. But at least have fun living, and creating software. If it makes at least one person happier (which can be just you) it will be worthwhile.

This is fine
And it is a fine cup of coffee.

Note, the "This is fine" source presents actually the opposite of what I am trying to say.

lilyotv_ profile image

One thing that helps me a lot, either in my daily life or when things go wrong, is music.
I have playlists for everything, from "I need to focus and get things done" to "I really NEED some happiness right now".
Take some time to make yours, in the end of the day it's totally worth it!

maxwell_dev profile image
Max Antonucci
  • Play sad music
  • Lay down on my couch
  • Wallow in misery for a while, probably cry. Allow myself to feel sad
  • Allowing myself to feel sad helps me accept it, and this acceptance helps me start to move past it. Bad feelings are often like weather - you just need to wait for them to pass
  • Eventually I get up and start doing something small. Nothing important, just enough to get some mental energy going again
  • Keep doing this until, eventually, I start to feel better
kspeakman profile image
Kasey Speakman • Edited

Re: grief. I try to remember that there are people who love me and that tomorrow it probably won't hurt as much as today. I try to avoid painful triggers and distract myself (coding, hobby, sleep, whatever works at the time), even if just mechanically going through the motions. Pray if that suits you -- I do. When I feel ready, I might talk to someone. Nothing too deep, maybe a memory connected to the loss. Along the path of grief, I think I am finally in a good place one day, but the next day all the hurt comes flooding back. Grief is fluid like that, but on average it gets slowly better each day. One day, I may even be able to think about it without hurting.

One time when I was going through a loss, I read the short book "A Grief Observed" by C.S. Lewis. It was very cathartic. It is also ironic because prior to that, one of C.S. Lewis's books (and speeches) was reconciling why pain and loss is a necessary part of the human condition. But when he lost his wife... well the book goes to show that pain cannot hear reasoned arguments.

bizzy237 profile image

I don't. I'm still doing what needs to be done but my work slows down and becomes more error prone. But taking a break and thinking about something that doesn't suck usually helps, even if only temporarily

rderandom profile image
Rocío García Luque

When the news is really really bad, you can't. But there are a couple of things you can try:
-Relax: Breathing excercises, sports/walking, indulge from time to time.
-Music: There are some really good compilations in youtube (try searching something like "concentration"/"programming"/"relaxing" music) that will help you stay on focus for a while.
-Breaks: Use pomodoro or any other schema that forces you to alternate high productivity lapses with regular and compulsory breaks.

Good luck ace! :)

emkographics profile image
Emko • Edited

Patience. Do the right thing. Think of the good things in life and learn how to appreciate them.

bertilmuth profile image
Bertil Muth

I noticed how important fresh air, the sun and sleep is for feeling well. No matter how bad the situation is.