Having a down day? Try this.

How to cope with blah language days

Recognize that moods go up and down

It’s OK to feel blah some days. Sometimes our bodies need rest and other days we need to get on with it despite how we feel. There’s nothing wrong with you – you’re just having a down day and that is okay! It’s just the way you are feeling and our feelings go up and down. Acknowledge that this is normal and just go with the feeling.

Take care of yourself physically

It’s important to give yourself breaks and allow yourself to rest. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or burnt out, take a break and come back to your studies later.

Make sure you’re getting enough sleep, eating well, and getting some physical activity. These can all help improve your mood. Remember to practice self care. Do things that make you feel good and help you relax, such as taking a warm bath, reading a book, or spending time with loved ones.

Take a break too.  Sometimes it can be helpful to take a break from your normal routine and do something different. This could be as simple as going for a walk or taking a day off from work.

Engage in something that brings joy

Do something that you enjoy, such as painting, cooking, or singing, but see if you can do this in the language you are learning. Embrace passive learning. There is no reason to force yourself to sit down and study from a textbook when you are feeling down. You can listen to a podcast in the background, read a graded reader for fun, or just listen to music in the language you are learning.

If you have the energy, try to bring language learning into your daily routine. Try to set aside a specific time each day to practice your language skills. This can help make learning a habit and make it feel less overwhelming.

Other things to try

It’s normal to feel unmotivated or lazy at times, especially when it comes to learning a new language, which can be a challenging and time-consuming task. Here are some things you can try if you’re feeling lazy to learn a language. 

  1. Set specific and achievable goals: Having clear goals can help you stay motivated. Make a plan for what you want to achieve and break it down into small, achievable steps.

  2. Find a way to make learning fun: Experiment with different methods of learning, such as using games, apps, or listening to music in the language you’re learning. I recommend LingoPie which is a platform on which you can watch TV shows in the language you are learning. They have content in German, French, Spanish, Korean, Japanese, Italian and more! Try it out here.

  3. Find a study partner or join a study group: Having someone to study with can make learning more enjoyable and help keep you accountable. Join my Discord server through becoming a member of my buymeacoffee club here if you want to join a group of dedicated language learners! 

  4. Reward yourself: When you reach a milestone or achieve a goal, treat yourself to something you enjoy. This can help keep you motivated.

  5. Seek help from a tutor: If you’re struggling to stay motivated or find it difficult to learn the language on your own, consider seeking the help of a tutor or language instructor. They can provide guidance and support to help you achieve your learning goals.

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Do something rather than nothing

Do a few mindless tasks so you don’t feel like you are wasting the day. I like to take lots of naps when I feel blah, but in between I’ll play a little but on Duolingo or write in my daily language journal in my target language(s), which are Hungarian and Korean. Even if my day is terrible, I just write one line in Hungarian and Korean in my respective journals. 

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A post shared by Lindie Botes ✦ Language coach (@lindiebotes)

Pat yourself on the back

Think about how far you’ve come. You started at zero and now you’re here with your language progress! That’s worth celebrating. Don’t forget to reward yourself for your progress.

Also, remind yourself about why you are learning. Think about why you want to learn a language and how it will benefit you. This can help you stay motivated and focused on your goals.

If the down days continue, seek professional help.

If you’re struggling to cope with your feelings and they are impacting your daily life, it may be helpful to seek the support of a mental health professional. They can help you develop strategies for managing difficult emotions and improve your overall well-being.

I have a psychologist and a psychiatrist who I see often to help me on my journey to better mental health, and it’s nothing to be ashamed of. They have even gone so far in noticing my burnout that they recommended me to quit my job! Listen to expert advice and take care.

Remember, learning a language is a challenging but rewarding process. It’s okay to have ups and downs, and it’s important to be kind to yourself and take it at your own pace.

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