Photo by Camila Quintero from Unsplash
It would be a lie if I tell you I go about my day efficiently and productively. Even if I’m a lifestyle blogger in my early twenties who preaches about productivity and mental health, I’m no exemption from those long, exhausting days. I, too, experience the feeling of waking up in the morning and already hating myself for starting the day opposite from what I planned the day before. The first time I open my eyes to embrace yet another day, I’m already inviting negative energy to dwell in me.
By forgetting that gratitude above all else should be my number one priority, I’m putting myself in a bad, pessimistic disposition throughout the day. When you start the day feeling off and bitter, you carry that dark cloud over your head to your work and day-to-day interactions with family and colleagues. Even if there is still enough time of the day to salvage what’s left on your to-do list, your ego tells you not to bother. The tendency is your obsessive need to start the day exactly the way you planned it has undermined your ability to make small steps count.
When the mind yields to the ego, you’ve already wasted a pretty good day (that you can never bring back, by the way.) This is when you start feeling like you don’t want to do anything because of your perfectionist trait instilling fear and toxic habits in your mind. Feeling unmotivated is not always a bad thing. There are many causes for your loss of motivation in your work, hobby, or career; some of which are beyond your control.
Blaming yourself for all of those reasons is downright harsh and unfair. However, some of these reasons happen because of your stubbornness and expectations. One reason can be your perfectionism holding you back from doing your priorities despite your plans not panning out. Another reason can be a lack of rest. You may have been working so hard, surpassing your physical and mental capacities, resulting in burnout.
Overworking yourself can be a cause of a lack of patience and people-pleasing habits. Whether you admit it or not, stressing yourself out too much can be the reason you physically, mentally, and emotionally can’t do anything at all. Life is unexpected and dynamic, and regardless of how you feel, you’re forced to step up the pace and move forward. Forgive yourself for feeling a little tired. Give yourself time to unwind and release the stress off your mind and body.
7 WAYS TO HELP YOURSELF WHEN YOU FEEL LIKE NOT DOING ANYTHING AT ALL:
TAKE A STEP BACK AND REST
When you feel like not doing anything at all, it means you lack rest. This may be a sign that you’re burned out from juggling so many things at once. Let go of meeting the expectations and demands of other people at the cost of your health. Enjoy a day where you take it slow and do only what you can. Remember that you can still be productive by doing things that you enjoy. When you’re exposed to things that cause you to stress, take a step back from work without leaving room for judgment on your part. You can even listen to music to alleviate your suffering as a form of relaxation. You can go on dates, play games, or participate in outdoor activities that boost the desire in you.
KNOW THAT IT IS ALL PART OF THE PROCESS
Feeling unmotivated to do your priorities can last several days. During this time, you may feel guilty about procrastinating your work which paves the way for the inner critic to get the better of you. Remember that mundane days like this are all part of the process. The lows are part of your journey to success and self-growth. Without them, you don’t appreciate the good days. Without things that contribute fear, you forget to thrive in gratitude and confidence.
Remember to not rush yourself in the process by not fully embracing what you feel in that exact moment. Take comfort in the idea that everyone goes through the ups and downs of life. You are not alone in figuring out the next step or feeling left behind on your dreams. You’re still young and you have a lot to learn. A solid advice is to bee inspired by other successful people’s examples in accomplishing their goals.
Trust me, no matter how you’re feeling, nature is the best place or outlet to meditate. You can always go for a quick run in the park, walk the dog in your village, or simply sit outside and look up the clouds. I do this 30 minutes to an hour exercise with my dad every day. Despite my hectic schedule among school, blogging, and household chores, I make sure to squeeze in some of my time to walk and stretch outside.
Burning a few calories while spending time with my father is a wonderful way to de-stress and hit pause. Plus, it feels so rewarding when my body is all sweaty and warmed up. It reminds me that my body needs movement and exercise, and I feel good about prioritizing my physical state as well. If you feel like it’s unsafe or inconvenient to go out from where you’re staying, then indulge yourself in anything, place, or activity that resembles the presence of nature.
Be creative in looking for alternatives where you can get benefits similar to being present in nature. It can be listening to raw sounds of the river or the beach, chirps of birds and insects, or setting the room with scented candles to exude a calm and peaceful ambiance.
LET GO OF YOUR WORRIES ABOUT THE FUTURE
Usually, when we feel so discouraged to do anything, it’s because we’re in a panic about the future. We worry if our current actions support the future we’re trying to create or if they further derail us from the right direction. All these worries make us lose interest in doing anything because of the overwhelming fear and doubt. Little do we know, every negative thought costs an opportunity to connect with people and to learn new skills. Everyone ruminates about the future, so don’t beat yourself up.
Make it a habit to snap it out of it once you find yourself stuck in that mental paralysis again. Stop worrying about things that you can’t control because it won’t make your future any better. What it will do, however, is drain your energy to the point that you lose all motivation. Let this be a reminder to do things today. Think about the power you hold in the present to decrease your fear for tomorrow. We may not know exactly what’s in store for us in the future, but big results will come if we do the work now.
AVOID JUDGING YOUR EFFORTS TO SURVIVE THE DAY
Everybody goes through this dispiriting feeling of not wanting to do anything. When going through a negative state of mind, don’t allow the enemy inside to bring you down further. Instead, show kindness to yourself by understanding that we all have different paces and that it’s okay to take breaks in between. Always remember to be compassionate to yourself by listening to your body. Be mindful of how you manage your emotions and take responsibility for whom you offend or hurt if you lose control. Your health must be of the most importance.
Being stuck in a rut is not a comfortable place to be in. When you go through a rough time, you feel like you’re in the deep end. People have different ways of dealing with the fact that they’re in their versions of rock bottom. Whatever efforts you make to survive the day, celebrate them. Don’t attempt to mock or judge yourself for making a setback or for not doing enough than expected. Hating yourself will only hinder your progress to fueling motivation in your mind.
Never underestimate the power of doing what you can. Even if you only perform a task at a bare minimum, it’s much better than doing nothing. It’s more inspiring to know you mustered some of the energy and fire left in you and used it to work on your priorities. No matter how insignificant the step, it still counts as progress. No matter how small the effort, it’s still one less thing to do the next day. You can do these simple yet often overlooked tasks like answering emails, doing the dishes, making your bed, sorting out your files on your computer, cleaning your mirror, etc.
Anything minor that makes you feel productive afterward is a great push to get the ball rolling. Then when you feel that rewarding feeling after accomplishing such, you would want to finish another task, and so on. Even the simplest things can cause you as much stress as complicated things if you delay them for a long time. If you divide your huge tasks into small ones, it’s easier to appreciate yourself and give the confidence boost you need.
WRITE YOUR FEELINGS DOWN
One way to get out of the emotional rut you’re in is to articulate your feelings by writing them down. Journaling can be a cathartic and helpful method to express your emotions in a way that doesn’t harm others. Latent angry feelings can be a struggle to live with if not communicated well. Spending some time writing in a journal can be a great opportunity to reflect on what you are feeling and explore some of the reasons you might be feeling that way.
To be honest, what I usually do when I want to express my bottled emotions throughout the day is talk with myself. I take a step back from writing down my thoughts because I already do enough writing from school work to blogging, to making engaging social media posts, and to working on my poetry collection. I know that writing is like a muscle that needs to be exercised, and the more I do it, the quicker I can improve.
But somehow, I also like communicating my emotions through talking. Most of the time, I talk with myself in my room or when I’m looking at the mirror at home. But also very occasionally, I film myself ranting or crying with my phone pretending to vlog. You can do all sorts of things to convey your thoughts and feelings without taking them out on other people. It’s much more cordial and polite that way when no one is saying what they’ll regret afterward.
Everyone struggles to find the energy and motivation to start, whether it’s doing something new or continuing unfinished work. Life is full of occasions that require you to work on days that you may not find the most excited or “in the mood” to beat deadlines. Despite your exhaustion and burden, you need to move forward. Indeed, getting started is the hardest part. But don’t you worry, you can try again and again.
As you grow older, you will learn to practice discipline in accomplishing your goals regardless of your mood or feeling. Life forces you to become responsible and resilient with your actions because face it, you have no other choice. Sometimes, you just have to deal with your doubts and inhibitions and do the work anyway. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s not impossible. Find a way to break down the physical, emotional, and mental barriers by inserting humor in your work, rewarding yourself after completing a task, or taking a break between busy schedules.
“Magic is believing in yourself. If you can make that happen, you can make anything happen.”Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe
14 thoughts on “7 Things to Remember When You Don’t Want to Do Anything”
I have days like this and it’s so hard to shake. My best thing to combat this is to get outside. Just 10 minutes of fresh air is all I need to get me moving, slowly, again!
That’s right! Slowly but surely. Thank you, Rosie!
This is an amazing list of the things to remember. My top tips are going for a walk and trying to get out of my own head. Thank you for sharing.
Releasing some steam from your head is key. Thanks for reading! I appreciate your support.
these are wonderful reminders and a post i really needed to read as of late. sometimes it’s good and healthy to take a step back and rest. i also love taking walks this time of year. the fresh air and getting outdoors before it gets too dark is key for my mental health.
Exactly! Thanks for reading, Brittany.
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Really enjoyed reading this Monique! The power of the little things accomplished is amazing. Even if they seem insignificant just the feeling of completing something simply motivates you to do something more also. And all those small things at the end of the day, month, year could become something great. When I don’t feel like I am in the mood to do anything I just do something small and as you said it is better than nothing.
I also force myself to go outside for a run. Even if it is for a little time. It is amazing how much more energetic I feel when I come back.
Ah, and during this run I might also be talking to myself. It feels so liberating. When I return from running I feel totally different. Physically and mentally.
This is so true. Even if you’re doing small things but you give it your all, it’s not that ‘small’ anymore. Love these insights, Eri.
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These are great suggestions. I always find getting out for a walk and getting some fresh air really helps.
Thanks for reading, Kelly!
I have these days sometimes and I feel that it’s my mind and body telling me I need to take a step back and rest up. These are really great tips to follow 🙂
Yep, it’s important to listen to our body.
This is a great reminder. I need to keep reminding myself to look after my body when I feel like this. My favourite thing to do is rest and sleep. Thank you for sharing these tips.
I totally agree with you. I was around 14 when I came across productivity vlogs on youtube and since then I have always wanted to become like those popular YouTubers.
I used to study for hours on end, burning myself out and the worst part is that I used to feel proud of myself for being so harsh on myself. I always kept telling myself “No Pain, No Gain”. Though burnout can be beneficial at times, it is very unhealthy in the long term.
It wasn’t until I came to a dark phase in my life that I realized that productivity is like a self-care routine. It’s about staying organized and studying/working not for better grades or better money, but to improve me as a person.