What to Eat When You’re Exhausted

Everyone reaches a point when feeding yourself seems an insurmountable task. With my mental health, this can often occur more frequently than I’d like. I also know, however, it is important to eat even if I’m too depressed to cook dinner. Exhausted, lazy, depressed, for whatever reason, here are some quick and simple ideas for meals.


  • Fast Food: It isn’t the cheapest or the healthiest option, but it’s better than nothing. Get it on the way home or order online.
  • Microwavable Meals: One of my favorite easy meals is to microwave frozen lentil noodles and add pre-cooked chicken. Canned soups can also be quickly heated in the microwave.
  • Cereal: Again, perhaps not the healthiest choice, but at least you’re eating. Bonus points if you can add protein powder and/or fruit for more calories and a balance with the carbohydrates.


  • Ramen or Other Noodles: This earns a medium difficulty because you have to boil water. Top with pre-made sauce or butter with salt and pepper. You can add rotisserie chicken/ pre-cooked chicken as well!
  • Sandwiches: As long as you have peanut butter and bread in the house, you can make a sandwich. Peanut butter with honey or jelly is the simplest. If you have deli meats and cheeses in the house, you can slap those on some bread with or without condiments.
  • Tomato Soup with Pasta: Pour canned tomato soup in a pot of cooked pasta. Add some cheese (goat cheese is my favorite) if you want. I like a little pepper as well.


  1. Overnight Oats: This takes some planning. If you know there’s going to be a rough day ahead, prep these for your fridge the night before so you can come home and just eat.
  2. “Pizza” Pasta: All you need is cooked pasta, a jar of pasta sauce or marinara, some pepperoni, and balls of mozzarella. The hard part here is having the ingredients on hand, but it’s a good habit
  3. Egg Salad: Boil some eggs, peel, and mash with some mayonnaise, mustard, salt and pepper. My favorite egg salad also uses onion and curry powder.

I hope these relatively simple, cheap meals help you when you need them.

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