I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything: Tips To Regain Motivation

Many people wonder … why I don’t feel like doing anything? Let’s look at the possible causes.

I don't feel like doing anything

Many times it is taken for granted that there is only one way to hit bottom psychologically: feeling deeply sad and suffering intensely. However, this is not so.

There is also another class of psychological exhaustion based not on excess but on absence. Specifically, the lack of energy and motivation. This feeling of emotional stagnation and lack of motivation is usually reflected in a very simple thought: “I don’t feel like anything.

In this article we will see what are the characteristics of this mental state and what can be done to stop it.

I don’t feel like doing anything: the warning signs

The lack of desire to do anything is something totally different from laziness or exhaustion. It is a psychological disposition by which the person feels that it does not make sense to set goals or objectives in the short or long term.

Among the most common signs that something is wrong in someone who does not feel like doing anything, we find the following:

  • Maintenance of a very sedentary life.
  • Isolation and lack of social interaction.
  • Abandonment of the projects that remained afloat, or happened to invest in them much less work than expected.
  • Feeling that you live without exciting goals and without direction.
  • You just want to sleep or try.


In the most extreme cases of this phenomenon, this is called abulia, and it is one of the typical symptoms of depression. Apathy is the total absence of desire to live or to do any activity. On the other hand, abulia frequently appears together with anhedonia, the inability to experience pleasure, with which it feeds back, promoting an extremely sedentary life.

In these cases, it is very important to attend the help of mental health professionals as soon as possible, since the problem is serious enough to seriously deplete the quality of life and even increase the chances of suicidal thoughts appearing.

Possible causes

There are different possible causes that can cause the lack of desire to do any activity. It is, as with practically any psychological phenomenon, multicausal, and part of what originates it is biological, while the other part has to do with our experiences when relating to the outside and with others.

What to do to regain motivation?

Anyone who feels identified with that idea of ​​”I don’t feel like doing anything” can follow these tips to improve and get out of this stage.

1. Make commitments

From the first moment a person decides to get down to work to get out of that state where they don’t feel like doing anything, this is already great progress, given the nature of the problem to be solved. However, that won’t do much good if it doesn’t translate into action, if it doesn’t materialize.

Therefore, it must be clear from the first moment that what comes is to do the opposite of what the body asks of us, since in the first place the problem is that the body requires us to stay still and do nothing. The logic to follow from this point on is to force yourself to be involved in tasks.

2. Practice physical exercise

Physical exercise is probably one of the things you least want to do when experiencing apathy or a similar psychological phenomenon. However, much of the solution is to literally activate yourself : indulge in tasks that are moderately physically demanding.

This is a simple solution for the good and the bad: it is easy to understand what needs to be done, but having the strength to act on it and spending time putting in the effort is not pleasant.

Doing this helps to reach a minimum state of activation that will help us to be able to feel excited about a greater number of projects and experiences, so it is one of the most important tips when starting.

3. Connect with others

Social relationships create contexts in which it is easier to get in touch with new and exciting situations. Breaking the routine by expanding the circle of friends is almost spontaneous, which occurs without having to make an effort.

The situation already provides these kinds of experiences in which other people bring us new philosophies of life, new perspectives and sources of motivation, and that in general, give reasons to do something more than sleep or stay in bed.

4. Live a healthy life

Get enough sleep; not too little, not too much. Also, do not stay for hours in bed if it is not to sleep, and eat healthy so that you do not easily run out of energy.

5. Divide your projects into shorter goals

Lack of motivation is a problem especially in the beginning; Once you have started to do something, it gives more pleasure to continue doing it, and it is more rewarding for the effort it takes.

Therefore, you have to try to make it easier to start doing the activities, and dividing them into small sequential tasks is the most effective way to achieve this. In this way, the prospect of getting into it doesn’t seem so harsh.

6. Go to therapy

Having the psychological help of a therapist is always a way to bet heavily on the recovery of motivation. Having the desire to do something else other than sleep often goes through a psychologist’s consultation.

Bibliographic references:

  • Pantoni, L., Basile, AM, Romanelli, M., Piccini, C., Sarti, C., Nencini, P., et al. (2001). Abulia and cognitive impairment in two patients with capsular genu infarct. [Article]. Acta Neurologica Scandinavica, 104 (3), 185-190.
  • Schuch, FB; Vancampfort, D; Firth, J; Rosenbaum, S; Ward, PB; Silva, ES; Hallgren, M; Ponce De Leon, A; Dunn, AL; Deslandes, AC; Fleck, MP; Carvalho, AF; Stubbs, B (July 1, 2018). “Physical Activity and Incident Depression: A Meta-Analysis of Prospective Cohort Studies”. The American Journal of Psychiatry. 175 (7): 631–648.

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