I've struggled and am struggling with: feeling overwhelmed by the size of important problems, feeling alone in wanting to have an impact and also feeling like I don't want to take away time and resources from important people doing saving-the-world things.

I don't have much original to say about this at the moment, but I don't think I'm alone, so this is my attempt to be a little bit helpful. You could also browse the Self-care tag.

The desire for impact:

Reconciling EA and self care

  • Nate Soares: Replacing Guilt - I don't know if anyone reading this post hasn't read it already, but I think it's important that it's here. If you haven't, also, caveat[1]
  • Tessa Alexanian: Aiming for the minimum of self-care is dangerous - I really appreciate the honest and pragmatic approach to the question of self-care, since I've felt that EA-external discussions about self-care can be somewhat dishonest: for example, I sometimes see the claim that self-care inevitably makes you more productive. This isn't necessarily true, but self-care is still important.

Beyond EA: On being a full human being



  1. ^

    Everyone is different, but if I were to try to give  advice to a version of myself who hasn't read it, I'd say: 

    If you're struggling, read the Half monkey, half god segment, especially Not yet gods, but avoid The dark world, and the related articles On caring, and The value of a life. I've found those a little information hazard-y

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6 comments, sorted by Click to highlight new comments since: Today at 6:04 AM

Sorry to hear you are struggling. It is difficult. So do look after yourself. I am sure those around you in EA really appreciate and value what you are doing and that you are not at all being net-negative, do talk to the people you know if you feel like that.

Some extra links that might be of use to you:

Idk, I like the attitudes found in pain is not the unit of effort. Summarised: Effort is a dangerous proxy variable to maximise. And for most human beings, maximising impact means trying to have plenty of mental and practical slack in your life. If you feel like you're only putting in enough effort if you're at the brink of how much pain you can handle, you should probably try to find and test ways of getting out of that trap (like acquiring SSRIs to try). :)

Thanks for this! There are some resources that I haven't read before. Would you mind if I copied this list over to my post, Mental Health Resources tailored for EAs (WIP)?

Thanks for your list and please do!

Thank you for this list! I research communication within EA and a large factor in ineffective communication is neglectedness around emotive responses when discussing these topics (I call the sum of these emotive responses the 'lean out effect').


All of these readings are super useful for my research so thank you so much for striving to metabolize your experience into something that can help other community members. Feel free to reach out and schedule a 1-on-1 and thank you again!