Don't you have those days, weeks or months where you feel like you're in a rut? Lack motivation, hard to get out of bed, no energy to do anything and often times feel depressed? A lot of us have been there, and I'm probably still fighting my way through another period recently.
Work has been a little stressful, going through some bumps and learning curves with the new team. It's frustrating you can't perform the way you want because a key member of the team is dragging you down. Personal relationship is troublesome as well, although I usually try not to let that affect work.
And talk about the stock market! Crazy ride lately right...?!
Yeah....so my point is, it's been rough.
Good thing is I've been there before, even though every time is different. I know it's just a phase and I'll eventually get out of it.
You will too! That is just part of life!
Unmotivated? Burnt out? You're not alone
Do you feel unmotivated? Burnt out from work or life? No purpose or passion? Life is a mess and you don't know how to get out of this rut? Maybe it's an age issue, and you feel you're running out of time for some reason.
You just feel so exhausted and have no energy everyday that it's difficult to have an optimistic view to take on the world!
Well good news is that you found your way to this article, and that already tells me two things about you:
How do I know this? Because if you truly given up, you wouldn't be seeking answers. Without the slightest motivation, even I wouldn't be able to help you get out.
Life has been hard on you lately, yet you're still actively taking action to stay ahead! Good job!
Now let's get down to practical strategies that I apply myself to get out of an epic rut!
Change your mindset
You're only human to feel the way you do. Sometimes it's ok to let it sink it and feel how crappy it is. But please don't let it drag out. A few days to a week of misery and be ready to get back on your feet. Don't be a little bitch! Life is long and dig deep to fight through this. Every time I experience a struggle, there is always a new revelation and something even better comes out of it. Dig deep and find all the positive sides in life that you can scour up. The more negativity, the more you feel sorry for yourself, the more that disruptive emotion will consume you. Find the light inside you and fight towards it, do something different. Whatever you tried, it's obviously not working, so try something new even if you think it's stupid. You'd be surprised what could happen.
Here are a few simple methods I try when I am feeling unmotivated:
1. Find Love
Love doesn't have to been a significant other although having the right partner can help a lot. Unfortunately for me, this is an area I lack at the moment. So I find love elsewhere, such as family and friends or Church. Being around loved ones help, because it will boost your mindset and bring positivity. Good friends and family will always be supportive of you, encourage you, make you feel loved and appreciated.
Often times, they won't have the solution, but they should give you encouragement if you're willing to take it. The moments when you feel lost or uninspired, remembering the people or passion that make you uniquely you gives you that sense of purpose that you need to feel motivated to rise, even when you feel like you have nothing left.
Or maybe they will be the reason you fight for to better yourself? This is a discovery path you need to walk and figure out for yourself. And we all have those family members or friends that tend to be more negative. STAY AWAY FROM THEM!
Go out with your friends, meet more people, have fun this weekend. I've heard friends tell me they are in such a rut, they can't even find the energy to go out. That is a load of crap. Mentally they do feel drained and unmotivated, so the mind tricks you into thinking your body can't handle it. This is not true! Go out! Force yourself if you have to! The chances of any change with you being home alone is 0.000000001% because nothing really changes, and the outcome will most likely be the same as the weekend before.
Atleast if you go out and meet some new people or hangout with friends, there is that 1% chance that you will come across someone that can help you through the process. Whether it's a new job offer, business opportunity, love attraction or a simple advice that clicks. (It's a lot higher than 1% chance, but even at 1% it still beats 0%)
2. Exercise, Sleep, Stay healthy
You must think this is crazy when you're already doing long hours at work, feeling burnt out, your body has no energy, bla bla bla right?
I get it, I've been there as well. But set a routine or schedule where you force yourself to go! Or sign up for classes! When you exercise, your body releases chemicals called endorphins. These endorphins interact with the receptors in your brain that reduce your perception of pain. Endorphins also trigger a positive feeling in the body, similar to that of morphine.
Yes, it's painful at first, but overtime you will physically feel better and better along with proper sleep. This is a scientific fact!
If you eat right, exercise properly and stay healthy, you will physically feel good. That gives you one step towards your goal.
Plus, as you progress in physical fitness, you are bound to see results. These results will motivate you to do more because you feel feel a sense of accomplishment.
But nothing comes easy! So if you want to get out of a funk, you need to push yourself! There will be a million excuses that you can't or won't, but you only need one reason to go!
3. Try something different
When we’re burnt out and unmotivated, it is so easy to play the blame game and feel victimized by our circumstances. I’ve seen it way too many times and consciously refuse myself to be that person. Don't be a little bitch! Own up to your situation!
You are your own hero of this story, and if you want any change in your life, you have to make it happen yourself! Don't expect someone to hold your hand or come save you.
In my case, I knew there were certain team members that was draining my energy and causing issues. Sometimes its working with very difficult clients that always seem to find reasons to blame you. Family has brought stress to my life as well. And the unavoidable love relationship issues.
And for you it could be a boss you're facing, an annoying coworker, bad work environment, commuting, financial issues. In the end, it's a problem and there is always a solution. You just need to figure it out!
What is usually clear to me was that the stress I was feeling wasn’t going to get any better if I kept doing what I was doing.
So do something different! Even though it is a big client, maybe you'll be happier dropping him/her and earning less money? If you're in the wrong industry or work environment, change to something different!
I did! I went from manufacturing for almost 10 years and jumped into retail and digital marketing. I had to learn everything from ground up! But it was a fantastic move! I was grinding in the manufacturing world. It's stressful and physically tiring. Moving into retail, branding, digital marketing, it was more creative using my brain and working with people I enjoyed! It definitely was a changing point in my life even though starting over after 10 years was hard at first.
Imagine if I didn't make that change after 10 years? I would have been in misery the rest of my life!
If you’re honest with yourself, have you been playing the Hero or the Victim of your story?
Claiming your role of hero, what’s your next play?
What are you secretly wanting permission for that you need to grant yourself?
Take up an art class like me! I have no patience to draw, so this was a challenge and outside my comfort zone.
- Speech class
- Career Change
- New group of friends
- Fitness challenge
- Learn a new skill
- Join a small group
There are so many things you can try that you usually wouldn't. Important part is to take that first step.
I am a very impatient person. I like to be on the go, get things done and don't like to lingerie around. I refused to do meditation for the longest time because I thought it was a waste of time. I felt that I could accomplish so much more rather than just sit there and "collect myself". As I got older, I did discover I was wrong. Meditation is quite important thanks to a friend that introduced me to headspace.
The app was perfect for me, only 10 ~ 15 minutes of my day and I felt refreshed afterwards. You can grind through the day, but are you effective? You maybe working, but how is the quality of work? After I discovered meditation, I realized I can quickly recharge my batteries or "reset" and come back to tackle the problems I need to face.
It may not be for you, but it's worth a try!
Be honest with yourself
All those steps above is to help drive you towards self discovery. Self awareness is the hardest part! We often lie to ourselves and believe it.
Remember, burn out happens to all of us from time to time. Sometimes finding your motivation again requires making a huge life change, as in my case. It could also be as easily as fixed as with a new habit such as shutting down your computer, putting your phone out of sight and giving yourself some down time.
After every burn out, I feel so much more motivated, energized and happier as a person. I also tend to learn a new skill and gain more as a person from that experience.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed with all of the responsibilities on your plate and with all of things going on in your life. Try to stay focused on the ONE thing that’s going to make the biggest impact.
Make attainable goals that you can achieve.
My thing was changing career paths. And as soon as I did it I instantly felt more motivated and relieved, but I spent so much more time worrying if that will be the right move. (See the difference?)
Save your precious energy for only doing the things that truly matter right now and your motivation will start coming back sooner than you thought possible.
And maybe, just maybe, all you really need is to just get away, have a nice vacation and come back to face it all!
I still see the world as my playground! Just sometimes it needs a little fixing and adjusting.