How to focus when mental illness doesn’t want you to

How to focus when mental illness doesn’t want you to

It’s no secret that mental illness makes it really difficult to concentrate. It’s easy to find your mind wandering when you know you need to focus, and that kind of pressure only exacerbates the anxieties that you’re already feeling.

Being unable to focus means that you might struggle at work or school, feel overly anxious when making decisions or be unable to concentrate on hobbies that you used to enjoy.

Whilst struggling to focus isn’t an easy symptom to eliminate, there are ways that you can make things simpler for yourself.

Carry a Notebook

If you remember something you need to do, write it down. If a notebook doesn’t work for you, find an app that is good for you. Set yourself phone reminders, take photographs, do anything that will help you remember what needs doing. When you find that your brain feels like a cloud of fog, it’ll help to know that you have a list of things that need doing.

Confide in a Friend

When things get overwhelming, tell a friend that you’re struggling to focus. They might be able to talk you through the task or even do it with you. Sometimes a small task like cooking dinner can seem impossible but with someone on hand to help out if you lose concentration, things will be a lot easier.

Prioritise Sleep

Everyone knows that it’s easier to concentrate when you’ve got enough sleep. Sometimes mental illness can take over and mean that sleep just isn’t something that you have control of but getting into a night routine can really help. Even if you struggle to sleep, just resting or lying down will help you recuperate for the following day and might mean that your memory and concentration aren’t so bad.

Show Yourself Some Love

Mental illness can make you feel like you can’t accomplish anything and the simplest of tasks seem mountainous but it’s okay! So you’ve locked yourself out of the house? That’s okay. Be kind to yourself.

Rachel x-x-x



  1. May 7, 2017 / 5:16 pm

    Carrying a notebook is one that I always forget but need to start forcing myself to do! I end up cluttering my iPhone notes with random words and forgetting why I wrote them when I go back to check haha. Such a helpful post! xx

    • rach
      May 7, 2017 / 5:23 pm

      Hahah I do that too! But I find it easier to remember what I meant if I’ve written it down rather than typed!

  2. May 7, 2017 / 6:14 pm

    I really needed this at the moment. Thank you so much for such a useful post 🙂 xxx

  3. May 8, 2017 / 10:12 am

    Great post! I’m forever taking screenshots or photos on my phone to prompt me later, I always mean to carry a notebook and pen but that never seems to last long and after a few days, I’ve only one or the other- not both. Oh well. Being kind to yourself makes all the difference too, I try and imagine a friend’s done it- what would I say to them. We always seem more capable of empathy if it doesn’t include ourselves.

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