We all have those days when all we want to do is stay in bed all day. A day off every now and then can be good for the mind and body. Realistically, though, when you don’t feel like doing anything days in a row, it can become quite a problem.
Here are a few simple changes that can help motivate you when you don’t feel like doing anything:
1. Change Your Outfit
Changing your outfit is a small thing, but it helps enormously. I discovered that a large part of the reason why I didn’t feel like doing things some days was because I spent all day in my yoga pants and a comfy T-shirt.
There were many days when I didn’t feel like leaving the comfort of my bed and combing the Internet for my next job. Swapping my sweats and T-shirt for jeans and a nice top helped motivate me to spend at least a few hours looking instead of lazing the day away in front of Netflix.
Changing into a collared shirt and blazer (and suit pants) also helped me get into the mood to prepare for my interviews in whatever way I could. For me, that usually meant recording myself on my computer and watching the footage back.
You don’t need to get dressed to the nines, but changing your outfit can definitely help shift your mindset, even if you swap your yoga pants or sweats for jeans and a T-shirt. Not only will you look more put together, but it can help motivate you to do something, even if it’s something small.
Changing your outfit is a small thing. However, it can definitely help you move forward with your day and do things, however small they are.
2. Talk Out Something That’s Bothering You
Everyone has different ways of working through problems, but I like to talk out problems when journaling doesn’t seem to do the trick. I find that talking things out with a friend or someone you trust is a great way to get out of funk. The other person can offer an objective perspective and sound advice that you may not have considered otherwise.
I can’t tell you how many times talking through problems with my best friend (or even my parents) helps me get my head screwed back on straight. This is not to say that I go to them for every little problem. But talking through a problem when you’re overwhelmed can help you see the problem objectively.
Recently, I called my parents to talk through a problem that popped up rather unexpectedly. I was confused and overwhelmed, and I genuinely didn’t know what to do. I explained the problem to my parents. The resulting conversation allowed me to objectively view my current situation. Including what I wanted to do, what I could afford to do, and what would be the best course of action considering all of those factors.
Talking through the factors that allowed me to arrive at the decision I did made me feel better. It actually made me shake my head a little bit. I could have easily come to this decision on my own had I simply listened to my instincts. However, talking through the factors in my decision and making the decision with my family ultimately made me feel better.
An objective perspective when you’re overwhelmed can help tremendously in making smart decisions. That can motivate you to move forward when you don’t feel like doing anything.
3. Get Out of Your Current Setting
Sometimes getting out of your current surroundings is something that can help you reset your mind.
Doing something different for a few hours can reset you and allow you to come back ready and motivated to accomplish something. Going somewhere different on a day off for a few hours, for example, can allow you to come back refreshed.
By January of this year, I had been teaching for a little less than 5 months, but I discovered that I was starting to experience burnout. I went to Taipei to celebrate my birthday and watch a figure skating competition. Experiencing a different part of Taiwan for a few days allowed me to reset and gave me energy to get through some tough times.
I’m not saying that you need to go to a different city every time you feel the symptoms of burnout creeping in. But shaking things up by changing your surroundings can help more than you think when you’re trying to motivate yourself to get things done.
There is a reason people keep talking about the benefits of exercise. Science has proven over and over again that exercise is good for both your brain and body. It’s also important that you find a form of exercise that you enjoy and feels good.
Start with a form of exercise that you enjoy and a manageable amount of time. If you push yourself to work out for an hour 5 days a week when up until now you’ve been a couch potato, well… you get the idea. If the idea of kicking and punching a bag doesn’t sound appealing, find an alternative form of exercise that you enjoy just as much. Mixing up your workouts will also keep your body guessing.
Yes, a workout won’t fix absolutely everything, but it can give our energy a useful outlet. I like to do yoga, jump rope, or kickboxing while watching one of my favorite shows. Sometimes a short workout is just enough to let me come back feeling refreshed.
It’s important to take breaks every now and again, but it’s also important to prioritize when to get things done. Making little changes can often be enough to motivate you again. Even on those days when you don’t feel like crossing things off of your to-do list.