There are days when we manage to do everything, others ...

There are days when we manage to do everything, others ...

There are extraordinary days, days when you have enormous energy, you feel strong and happy and you could conquer the world. There are days less beautiful - or frankly horrendous - when everything feels like a titanic effort to you. These are days when you think "I don't want to do anything".

Although we tend to think that the most common way of touching the bottom on a psychological level depends on a deep depression or intense suffering, in reality there are other affective states that can take away our energy and motivation, leaving us without the necessary strength to face life. As the Japanese writer Haruki Murakami said: "nothing is more cruel than desolation of not wanting anything".

Abulia: when I don't feel like doing anything

Lack of desire is not laziness, apathy or fatigue. It is a psychological condition in which you lose the ability to act because you think that setting goals and objectives in the short or long term does not make sense.

In the most extreme cases, abulia can be reached, which is an alteration of motivation and begins to manifest itself with problems in making decisions and putting them into practice. Abulia is lack of willpower, initiative and energy. It's a kind of extreme apathy where every activity will feel overwhelming to you and you will lose interest in the things that thrilled you before.

Apathy is generally accompanied by anhedonia, which is the loss of the ability to enjoy activities and experience pleasure in life. When we suffer from both, when apathy and anhedonia take root, it's easy to fall into the black hole of depression.

However, without reaching the most extreme cases of abulia, you can experience apathetic days, days when you don't want to do anything. Depends on what?

Why are there days when I don't feel like doing anything?

1. Exhaustion, you have reached the limit

After a grueling project, it is normal to experience a period of extreme fatigue and apathy that can last several days or even weeks. When you are immersed in a very demanding project, your body responds with eustress, a type of positive stress that gives you an edge. But eustress consumes physical and psychological energy, and ultimately presents you with the bill. That's why, when you finish the project and can finally relax, extreme exhaustion is likely to occur.

2. You have neglected yourself, for a long time

Sometimes this fatigue does not come from a very demanding project, but only from a demanding lifestyle in which you have neglected yourself. If you go from one commitment to another, like living in an eternal marathon, it is understandable that sooner or later your body and your mind will say enough, because they need to rest. If so, the desire to do nothing could also be considered a defense mechanism, a warning sign that you need to take a break and disconnect.

3. Vital boredom, I start all over again

It is not typical boredom, but a state of vital boredom. If you don't love what you do, you don't find the activities motivating and they don't satisfy you, it is normal that you unconsciously refuse to start the day and respond with abulia. If the days have become a copy of each other, the routine is automated and you don't know how to get out of that sort of "Start over" (the film), you are likely to sink into boredom and monotony, two feelings that you they take away the desire to do things. Just remember the phrase of Max Stirner: “the habit of renunciation freezes the ardor of desires”.

4. Frustration, you don't see the light at the end of the tunnel

There are times when the desire to do nothing comes from frustration. If you feel trapped in a life you don't like but don't know how to get out of the situation, you are likely to feel overwhelmed and frustrated. Actually, if you've tried to do things differently, but - for some reason - it didn't work, you probably end up developing learned helplessness, which means you've given up and plunged into complete abulia. But "resignation is a daily suicide", as Honoré de Balzac said.

5. Depression, simple and clear

There are times when the desire to do nothing is the prelude to a depressive picture. Depression is accompanied by apathy, anhedonia and more generally the loss of the meaning of life. In some cases, depression is the result of a loss - of any kind - that leaves a huge void in life and generates a feeling of emotional sterility. Other times it could be the result of an unresolved existential crisis in which the meaning of life is lost.

Finally, it is important to be aware that this apathetic state can also be the result of some physical problems, so it is essential to go to the doctor to rule out a possible pathology. Hormonal changes, thyroid problems, anemia, diabetes, and heart problems can lead to extreme fatigue and weakness.

How to recover the desire to do things? The power to surrender

When you don't feel like doing anything, just give up! It sounds like a contradiction, but you will find that giving up is extremely liberating. Surrendering doesn't mean spending all day in bed, even if what you need to do is rest to regain strength, but it does mean accepting the state you are in.

This surrender contains the seed of radical acceptance. It means to stop thinking that you constantly have to do things. Stop pushing yourself to increase productivity. Embrace tranquility and doing nothing. Don't force yourself. Allow things to be as they are.

The first result of this unconditional surrender is that you will start to stop feeling bad about yourself. And this is already a big step.

The second step is to find small things that become dynamizers of behavior and that do not require superhuman effort. A relaxing shower, listening to the music you like, making yourself a gift… Anything that makes you feel positive emotions that will make you feel better.

It's about taking advantage of the state of apathy in your favor to:

• Reconnect with yourself, with those things you like and have probably neglected for a long time

• Take some time to rest, giving yourself permission to get out of the hustle and bustle of everyday life

• Change the direction of your life, if necessary, to find new, more motivating goals

On a practical level, to recover the desire to do things, it is sufficient to set short-term goals. Divide the activities into small tasks that you can manage better. This way you will be less stressed.

Just focus on the next step you need to take. And when you have, congratulate yourself. You deserve it! As you take small steps, you will feel stronger and the apathy will gradually disappear, just as it came.

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