An 'empty dread' every day

Basically, every day I feel dread. On school days I just dread the next day and hope for the weekend to come. It’s empty in the sense that it is always just lingering there, subtly in the background. I can feel it, but it doesn’t feel like much. Only sometimes I think about it, and I get a sudden ‘hit’ of dread and I just have overwhelming thoughts about wanting to go home and not wanting to go to school, even if I’m already at home. It passes relatively fast, but the feeling is still there, just not as bad, and more ‘empty’ than dread.

Then on the weekends, I expect to wake up and finally feel new and get things done the way I used to. But now, every weekend feels the same, and honestly it feels worse than when I’m at school. When I’m at school the dread lingers a lot more subtly, but at home, especially on weekends, it’s very much there and it feels so constant.

I hate the feeling of dread, so I just scroll through social media and never get anything done. I always just manage to do what I need to do, like homework right before the due date. But I never end up doing what I actually want to do, like my hobbies.
Thinking about my homework and hobbies just make me feel so much more dread, but I ignore it all, and it stays empty.
I don’t know what to do.


Hi Koki,

Thank you for reaching out and sharing with me about how you are feeling. It seems like you are experiencing feeling of dread not just during school days but also during the weekend which you’re actually so looking forward to. I appreciate your courage in sharing as I could imagine how overwhelming and confusing it can be to constantly be in this unexplainable emotional state yet at the same time you’re unsure of what to do to make yourself feel better.

Here are some ways that you can try to help you cope with the feeling:

  1. Find out what is causing the dread—One important first step in managing any difficult feelings is to determine what is causing them. The answer may be evident to you but it can be hard to describe. By knowing the underlying condition contributing to the feelings, we can take the necessary steps/action to resolve the source of concern and free you to feeling good again.

  2. Write it down—If you find it a struggle to identify the cause of your dread, take a piece of paper and write out everything that you’re concerned/worried/unhappy about. This can give you a clearer picture of what is/are contributing to you feeling dreaded/empty and help you to emotionally distance yourself from all these unwanted feelings.

  3. Draw it out—If writing is not what you want to do, try drawing. Draw your dread. How does it look like? Expressing your feelings and emotions nonverbally can be a helpful way to reframe your attitudes and help you accept and better cope with them.

  4. Schedule your dread—You mentioned that because of this constant feeling of dread you’re unable to do the things which you wanted to do i.e. hobbies. Perhaps set a fix period of dread time, say 15 minutes. Rather than spending the whole weekend scrolling through social media and never getting anything done, commit to following the schedule you planned in advance. Once the dread time is over, we say goodbye to the dread for now and move on to doing other things.

  5. Practice mindfulness—Often times people spend too much time being caught up in the negative feelings/emotions that they experience and overlook the beauty of their surroundings. Try stepping back from the emotional state, and then take a deep breathe and see the feelings as they are. This can help heighten your internal calm and self-awareness, enabling you to focus on the present without getting overwhelmed by the difficult feelings.

  6. Do something different—Change the environment/atmosphere by going out for a walk or turning on your favourite songs. Doing things differently can be a helpful way to connect us back to the environment and bring our senses back to the current state.

  7. Talk to someone—Know that feeling of dread is normal. People can feel dreaded thinking about deadlines, meetings, exams, and sometimes even when having to run simple errands or going away for a holiday; you’re not alone in feeling dreaded. Find someone whom you can trust and share with him or her about how you’re feeling. The person may not be able to understand or get rid of your feeling of dread altogether but sharing may help you relieve the overwhelming pressure that keeps you feeling powerless.

Finally, navigating through feeling of dread and any kind of difficult feelings/emotions can be tough. I may not have the context to fully understand your feeling of dread, but I want you to know that you don’t have to suffer alone as help is always available. Do consider visiting a medical professional if the feeling persists and you sense that it’s interfering with your physical and mental health.

I hope this helps. Know that I care for you and we care for you. Take care (:


I have no idea how to cope. I think the dread comes from me not being able to get things done. And it makes me not get things done. So it just keeps repeating and I dont know how to fix it. I keep trying to tell my parents but they just tell me to distract myself from tge feelings. I dont know how to start. I can barely commit to any kind of schedule and I wish I could just fix it.

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Putting school and homework aside, what do you enjoy doing? I know someone who does nothing but watch drama all the time and she loves it. Maybe the key about overcoming dread is to figure out what you enjoy doing and do more of it. Small steps work best. Instead of having this big goal of overcoming dread, maybe just focus on doing something that you enjoy?

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I know what I enjoy but for some reason I jist dont follow schedules or time limits and I jjst never do it. Honestly the things I enjoy cause the same dread as school so I never end up doing them. Sometimes I just dont want to do anything. Every4hinf feels so wronf

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I’m feeling you right now. I have so much that I’ve planned to do tonight but here I am just browsing and replying posts on this forum :smiling_face_with_tear:

I don’t understand this part though. Any examples of things that you enjoy but still causes dread? Maybe one way is to do something completely different from your usual routine. Something that you’ve never imagined yourself doing and take that time to savour the different feelings that you’ll get. Maybe it’s a mix of excitement, anticipation and perhaps a fear of the unknown but I guess that could be a good change from the constant dread that you’re feeling. Maybe like wake up at 5am and go jogging or something :sweat_smile: