There always comes times for all of us when we’re unmotivated, uninspired or just quite frankly can’t bring ourselves to do anything. Sometimes, it’s down to depression or feeling low, other times, it’s just “one of those days”. But whatever the cause for feeling unmotivated, it’s still pretty annoying. Especially when you actually have stuff to do.
If you work in an office or are employed by a company, it’s arguably easier to avoid slipping into a state of not being bothered to do anything because you have a boss who’s relying on you to complete your work.
If you’re self-employed, like me, it can be a bit harder. With nobody breathing down your neck and your entire workday resting in your hands, it can be all too easy to throw in the towel. Even more so if you work from home.
But this isn’t a discussion about the pros and cons of working from home versus working in an office.
There are a number of reasons why we might find ourselves in a state where we’re completely unmotivated to do anything. Sometimes it might just be an off day – I’ve certainly had those specific days where I just don’t want to do ANYTHING.
Or it might be a more prolonged period of time that you’ve felt that way. Perhaps due to a big life change, like losing a pet or another bereavement, a job loss, a medical diagnosis, depression or something else.
There are just times in life where nothing feels “right”. Every task you need to do feels like preparing to walk Everest and requires more effort than you thought possible.
Where no activity elicits any sort of joy or spark from you, you don’t “fancy” doing anything and well, the world just feels a bit bleak.
I’m sure you can remember a time you’ve felt that way.
On those days where I don’t want to do anything, I typically find myself lying in bed, just staring at the ceiling. I always feel guilty for not doing anything and wasting a day but in reality, I don’t think anything could hold my attention anyway.
So, chances are, you’ve felt this way before. And in this post, I’m going to share some things that you CAN do when you’re unmotivated to do anything.
This isn’t self-motivation advice that’s going to have you jumping up and running a 10k around the park. But a gentle self-care-based approach to how you can manage when you don’t want to do anything.
Just don’t do anything
Talk about start with the obvious. But sometimes, when we’re feeling so unmotivated to do anything, it’s because our body and mind is craving just that – nothing. Were surrounded by stimulation all day every day.
Phones, computers, books, games, socializing, chores, music, people – it’s no wonder we need to just lie in a dark room on our own every now and again.
If you really can’t motivate yourself to do anything, then don’t. Follow your intuition and just do what feels right.
Take care of the basics
When we find ourselves in these states of being unmotivated to do anything, sometimes we can go past the point of it being an act of self-care and into a state of self-sabotage.
This is usually the case if we’re feeling unmotivated due to depression, anxiety or a low mood.
So even if you don’t do ANYTHING productive (or even fun) all day long, at the very least, look after your basic self-care. You deserve that much.
Try something completely different
When I’m in these awful moods where I’m not motivated to do anything, anything I think of trying to do is quickly batted away. However, most of the suggestions that crop up inside my own head are things that I do all the time anyway. Reading, playing PlayStation games, having a bath – you know the gist.
Sometimes when you’re not motivated to do anything, I can be because you’re bored and need to step outside of your comfort zone and do something new – something that will bring some excitement.
Not something that you usually do on a daily basis anyway.
Physically slow down
We’re often rushing through life and rushing through our days. Trying to get as many tasks complete as possible. In the end, all the tasks blur into one and things sometimes start to feel a bit meaningless.
Physically slowing down will help you hone in on what’s important. Start taking your time with every task – especially if you’re feeling low and unmotivated.
Try and grab those small pockets of joy in the mundane tasks. A great book to help with this is Washing Up Is Good For You.
There will be a reason we feel the way we do. Sometimes it’s obvious, like burn-out. It might be low mental health. Or just one of those days. Whatever the reason, sometimes the best thing to do, is to surrender to it.
The more you try and change how you feel, the more likely you’ll be to feel worse. Especially if whatever you’re doing isn’t working.
Surrender to the big picture. Let your body lead the way and tell you what it needs and what to do.
Shift your focus and perspective
When we’re so unmotivated to do anything, it’s no surprise that we focus so much on the negatives. And whilst I do think it’s important to feel what you need to feel, sometimes a slight change in perspective can make the world of difference.
This might be taking yourself to a different place to work; a coffee shop or a co-working space. Going for a walk somewhere new. Or ditching the routine completely and taking yourself on a day out.
Ditch social media
We all know the pros and cons of social media by now and when we’re in one of these states of feeling low and unmotivated, being on social media can – unsurprisingly – make it worse.
When we’re scrolling through Instagram and seeing everyone else doing the things, we don’t feel like we can do right now, it’ll only lead us to feeling guilty. Or like a failure.
But don’t forget, it’s only the highlights we’re seeing, and those people will get days like this too. Try and switch off from social media and focus on doing things in your “real” life.
Go into nature
Nature heals you on a spiritual level. When we go into nature, we’re starkly reminded of how small we are and how we’re just one tiny piece of the bigger picture at play. This leads on nicely from the point about shifting your perspective.
And nature can be a wonderful way to help you make that shift. Nature can often help us clear our mind, tend to our body and soothe our soul.
Getting out into nature might just give you that small boost you need to help you gain some more motivation.
The important thing is not to beat yourself up if you do feel like this. It can be very jarring, especially if you’re normally a very productive, proactive and determined person.
But even the most determined of us need a rest every now and again.
And even if these feelings have come about through mental illness, physical illness or a negative life event, there’s still absolutely no reason to beat yourself up.
We all work through these feelings in different ways, and these were just a few kind suggestions in case you’re struggling to know where to start.