This past month, I’ve not gotten enough sleep, and we have had quite a few rainy days. I don’t know about you, but that combination often leads me to a place where I don’t feel like doing Anything.
Not my chores, for sure! Maybe not my Bible time. Not spending time playing with my kids who switch gears (and activities) faster than my brain can keep up with. Or gets fixated on one activity that is my least favorite, and want to play that for hours! Coming up with another dinner idea? Really? Do I have to??
Obviously, Some of it is Selfishness and Laziness (Ouch. Did I just admit that out loud?). I’m sure I could come up with 20 more excuses, but I would rather focus on how to solve this, and you probably would too. Remember, my goal for this year is to be Intentional.
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Why I Don’t Want to Do Anything
There are many reasons someone might find that they don’t feel like doing anything. Whether it’s medical, or emotional, or even physical, there’s a real reason I don’t want to do anything.
Getting to the bottom of the reasoning is the best way to overcome it. If there are natural activities, foods, and supplements that work, I’m all for it. Sometimes, though, there needs to be more medical involvement.
I believe there’s no shame in prescription anti-depressants or even birth control to control extreme symptoms, despite the negative press both of those get within church circles. If you can find a natural strategy that works, awesome.
The less foreign pharma that enters my body the better. But that doesn’t mean we should judge anyone’s faith based on their medical needs. You wouldn’t tell a diabetic on a prescription that they don’t have enough faith, would you? Why are these issues any different. (okay I’ll get off my soap box)
Experiencing Less “Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything” Days
In recent months, I have far less “I don’t want to do anything” days and weeks, because I’m more in tune with my system, and how it works. And my system has been tuned up, so to speak, making it work so much better. There are far fewer ‘brain fog’ days to cope with. Because I learned about my cycle, things I hadn’t learned as a teen or young adult.
I don’t want to do anything sometimes, especially during certain times in my cycle. I recently discovered the way our hormones work*, and have learned some cool **strategies to help balance that naturally, with just a little effort.
*I don’t believe in astrology and horoscopes, but this site had the most succinct and simple explanation I’ve seen on how the hormone cycle works. Information that isn’t plainly taught, especially in most Christian circles, unfortunately.
**This program has been extremely helpful for me. The science and information is taught in plain English, but helps you understand the whys and hows. He does refer to ‘millions of years ago’, but the same things he was talking about could be said of the pioneers and pilgrims, so I just tuned that part out. I firmly believe the base program is more than sufficient. I would not recommend purchasing the upsells, by any means. And checkout takes nearly an hour, to get through those upsells, unfortunately. No, I am not an affiliate for this one!
Overcoming Those I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything Days
When those annoying I don’t feel like doing anything days hit, I have a fallback list of strategies that help me.
Generally, to shake that feeling of disinterest, I will start by taking a walk. 10 minutes or less, and we can go down to the mailbox and back, or make quite a few laps around the kitchen/living room loop (great when it’s raining, the bugs are out, or the kids are napping). This gets the blood flowing, which naturally triggers more energy and interest.
Picking a reward for reaching your goal, some fom of incentive, can also help break the logjam when you don’t feel like doing anything. Or listing the benefits of completing a project, instead of focusing on the project itself, can be a big boost in motivation. Reminding yourself how good it’ll feel when it’s done can work wonders.
Creating a routine could be just the ticket! I enjoy the freedom of not having a schedule, but some routines are helpful because you know you’re going to sweep the floor around 4 every day or do the bathrooms on Tuesday, or whatever.
Remembering just how often in scriptures something “Came to Pass” (457 times in the King James!). Rarely do things come to stay. There are seasons and cycles, but change is coming, and that is normal. It is comforting to know in the rough times, that it came to pass, not to camp out and stay.
When I Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything Work Related
Let’s tackle the obvious one first. Because, seriously, it’s pretty rare to actually Want to do the chores, right? I mean, it is a never-ending cycle, and by the time you finish, its usually time to start over again, isn’t it? Sometimes, I Really Want to clean the house. I do. But that’s not often. More likely, I look and see the dirty dishes, clothes, floors, etc. and just want the cleaning fairy to show up while I go do something fun.
Can you honestly say you don’t feel like having fun?
So here’s what I do when I don’t feel like cleaning: I MAKE IT FUN! Either by putting in one of my favorite CDs, a book of the Bible played through Blue Letter Bible, or using my Audible Subscription, I will listen to an audiobook (Current listening choices: Past Forward, Mrs. Pollifax, or the Restoration Chronicles) and get to work.
Sometimes my little guy is in a helping mood, and we make a game of it. Other times, I put in a show for him, so I can work solo. Then, while my brain is following some adventure, I can get the house cleaned up, and barely notice that I was working.
If you have a Kindle Fire and a pair of headphones (or a stereo if you and your family enjoy the same type of listening material), you’re all set! If you don’t have Audible, you can try downloading something like Mary Louise or Aunt Jane’s Nieces from Librivox, directly to your smartphone. I find that engaging my brain in this way when I don’t feel like doing anything, makes a big difference in my attitude, motivation, and interest.
This method also works great for when you don’t feel like chopping and working on dinner. If you take the time to meal plan, awesome. Otherwise, at least do a list of favorite meals, so making dinner isn’t a big deal. Just skim your list, decide what you have the ingredients for, and enjoy your adventure while making dinner.
When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything Like Studying the Bible
That usually means you desperately need to. I find that praying, then picking a book, and diving in, is the best way for me to rekindle that desire. Yes, I freely admit that sometimes that book is Biblical Fiction, which triggers a desire to see how close to accurate they were. Sometimes, though, it’s Philippians, or Isaiah. Or Jonah. Or Luke…
I was recently reminded that until we’ve spent time studying God’s Word for ourselves, being spoon-fed secondhand revelations from someone else’s time in God’s Word (your pastor, or your favorite Bible Study author included) is not only unhealthy (would you willingly sit back and hear secondhand about how your favorite relative is doing, or do you spend time together, one on one?), it can be risky because of faulty interpretations. But taking that initiative and studying on our own can be intimidating for many of us.
Is it that you don’t feel like studying, or don’t know how?
This Spring, I took a course called How to Read the Bible for All It’s Worth, which was a great challenge. Learning more about the different types of literature, and remembering things like ‘it can’t mean to us now what it couldn’t have meant to them then’ was pretty cool. Emphasizing larger blocks of text to start with, to really grasp context before burrowing down and focusing on one verse at a time, prevents a lot of misuse and misapplication of scripture.
It’s a whole lot harder to take things out of context when you take the time to read in larger blocks. Knowing that chapters and verses are relatively new additions that weren’t very well thought out, reading an entire book (or listening a few times-while cleaning or driving?) will cement context a little better in your mind, before you zoom in your focus.
Next, when you are ready for a more focused study, Arabah Joy has a neat course, Bible Study Methods: 7 Ways in 7 Days, where she covers 7 different methods, complete with worksheets you can copy to use on a regular basis. You could pick a favorite passage or an unfamiliar passage (or both), and try all 7 methods to see what connects best with you.
Some of the methods only take about 10 minutes, and can easily be done with the kids (especially Method 5). Some take longer, up to an hour, for when you have more time (Method 7 is great for getting the Big Picture).
When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything About Your Relationships
First, when I feel disinterested in engaging in family life, working on my relationship with my husband or sons, etc. I really think about how I feel when I DO want to engage.
- How I feel when I can’t get them to respond, either because they are tired, or engaged in their device of choice. Put yourself there with me. You’ve got that picture-complete with the emotions and feelings?
- Okay. Now think about how you feel when you Do get them to engage.
Starting from there, choose to act, whether you feel it or not. I know, it’s not that easy. But it is simple. Remembering how worthwhile it really is, changes everything.
Prayer changes you. Praying about a person or a situation is a powerful game-changer. Instead of getting stuck in the overwhelmed I don’t feel like doing anything about fixing this relationship mentality it allows you to trust God for something big, and softens your heart in the process.
Having someone you can talk to, a few years ahead of you on this journey of marriage and motherhood also can be a great help.
The Homemaking Ministries conference, Finding Purpose in Your Home, is a great way to help with the motivation issues here. I hope you’ll check it out!
When You Don’t Feel Like Doing Anything, What Helps You?
I’ve shared what works when I don’t feel like doing anything, but what motivates you to push through? What verse or person inspires you to just Do It Anyway? Or haven’t you found one? I know it’s hard when you’ve been going nonstop, and would rather hide out and do nothing! I’ve been there (last week, honestly) and don’t like that feeling.
It makes me sad when my husband comes home from a full day of work, and it looks like I’ve done nothing. It’s a toss-up. Sometimes, I’ve done Nothing. Other times, I’ve been busy all day, and it just doesn’t look like it. Let’s work together to overcome this problem, and do the good work, even when we don’t feel like it!!