How to Get Back Up When You're Down | Journal With Me Episode 6

How to Get Back Up When You're Down | Journal With Me Episode 6

Background Story

Within 3 months of moving to work in Japan, I was feeling depressed (although no one who saw me would know it). But this sadness didn’t happen overnight. It was brought about by years of exhaustion and pressure at work to perform and meet deadlines.

It was very tempting to quit quietly during those times. Quiet quitting is “to doing the minimum requirements of one's job and putting in no more time, effort, or enthusiasm than absolutely necessary.”, according to Investopedia.

But each time I was down, these 3 things really helped me get back up and run the race and run it with excellence. The three things are “journaling encouraging words”, focusing on the good, and taking refreshing breaks.

Journaling encouraging words

Journaling encouraging words helped me especially when everyone at work around me were also tired and under pressure. You don’t find a lot of encouragement when everyone needs it. So I had to find it somewhere else. I knew I couldn’t wallow in feelings of melancholy and helplessness. Most effective for me are promises from the Bible where I take great comfort that I can go on with God’s strength and not just mine.

Here are some entries from my journal:

Day 30 “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” Ex 33:14

Day 33 It’s not your job or what you do that defines who you are. God accepts you just the way you are. No pretenses, with all the weaknesses, no makeup, no achievements, no brands, no witty comebacks– exactly the way you are.

Day 62 “Do not fear , I myself will help you.” - God - Isaiah 41

Focusing on the good

I also journaled about good things that happened such as passing my Japanese language proficiency test N2 - which I did not expect to pass. Even small good things such as a cup of coffee or free dinner from my boss are all good.

On day 42, I wrote: Free dinner - unexpected from my boss and my seatmate!

Taking refreshing breaks

It’s easy to panic and use up even break time to catch up on work. But believe me, who survived a decade of high pressure work and burnout, just take your breaks!

Get up from your desk and get some tea at the cafeteria even if it just takes 10 minutes.

Sleep at lunch time if you can. Don’t skip meals! Don’t talk yourself out of taking breaks. I highly recommend taking 4 breaks in a day: morning tea (10 to 15 minutes), lunch (30 minutes to 1 hour), afternoon tea (10 to 15 minutes), and dinner (at least 30 minutes).

I even binge-watched cat videos on YouTube when I got home over dinner.😉

Here are some entries from my journal:

Day 52 - go for a drive, go strawberry picking, stew in a nice cafe with coffee

Day 55 - ofuro

Not bad. Staying home and doing things I love to do plus a hot tub bath (ofuro) really cleared my mind. If I keep thinking I’m on the wrong track, or wrong career, I’ll not only pile up with emotional dissatisfaction but I’ll miss out on what's right in front of me. I might even end up doing a lousy job. So I better snap back into reality here. The book I read yesterday– I missed the point. It said there that yes God’s giftings and desires given to you are in line with what you have and what your main goal will be. But usually it has something to do with what you’re doing right now. Or starts from there anyway.

Journal With Me: Journaling Prompt for Getting Back Up When You're Down

Do you feel like “quiet quitting”? I encourage you to do those 3 things each and every time you feel down. Process and write them in your journal. Here are journaling prompts to help you.

  1. What encouraging words can you hold on to?
  2. What one good thing has happened today?
  3. List down 4 break times in your day and write down how you can stick to them.
  4. What are 3 things that help you relax and recuperate?
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About Journal With Me Manga

Journal With Me manga comic is about an office girl who worked in a high pressure job while learning a new language and culture in a predominantly male work force. Each episode is an entry from her journal, which she shares to serve as a guide for surviving burnout for others in the same situation.

This manga was made using digital manga stickers (from Lines and Grace - check them out here!) and manga assets (from Clip Studio Paint's Asset library). Using these two and the amazing Clip Studio Paint software, anyone can make a manga even if you can't draw! (Of course once you've started making manga, you won't be able to resist that doodle!)