The other day I came across a social media post, it said — what do you do when you realize you’ve stopped caring? It got me thinking. This is the time of the year, the cold, dreary, winter months when we tend to lose touch with ourselves. We stop caring. We might feel stuck, bored, and unmotivated to do anything to make a change. Some of us might get pulled into a vice of our choice — comfort food, alcohol, trashy TV, etc. These moments in life are normal. We all have times when we are “in a rut,” moments when we want to throw in the towel and give up on certain things.
So, to answer this common question—what can you DO when you stop caring? How do you get yourself out? Pull yourself up out of the water to catch a breath? How do you get yourself motivated to make a change for the better?
If you have stopped caring about yourself, making a change probably doesn’t feel like something you are interested in but take a minute to check in with yourself. How do you feel right now? Probably pretty dull, unexcited, and unhappy. Do you want to feel this way forever? Probably not.
The best way to get yourself unstuck is to make a change—any change. It doesn’t have to be anything major. Small changes can lead you to feel more motivated to make bigger changes. Maybe it is picking up a new hobby, not allowing yourself to say “no” when your friend invites you to dinner or a movie, choosing a new book, joining a gym, applying for a job, trying on an outfit that takes you out of your comfort zone, trying a new recipe, etc. Try to pick something that excites you to think about.
Evaluate Your Perspective
Why are you feeling stuck right now? What about your life are you bored with? Sometimes it takes a change of perspective to get you motivated. What are you grateful for? Why did you stop caring? What good things are happening in your life?
Making gratitude part of your daily routine can go a long way in helping you feel better about the things in your life. Do you have a home? A job? Was the sun shining today? Did you find a dollar? Are you having a good hair day? There is always something good you just have to look for it.
Be Present in the Moment
We have a tendency to let our minds run wild. We overthink and focus on the past or future instead of what is happening right now. Training your brain to be in the present, practicing mindfulness and meditation can help to create a sense of calm. It also helps to keep things simpler.
Make yourself stop and smell the flowers. Take in the sights and sounds around you, the touch of a cozy blanket, the smell of supper, the look your dog just gave you. These little things can ignite feelings of joy within.
Get A Buddy
Having a buddy always makes things more fun. Find a trusted friend and share your struggles with them. Together the two of you can keep yourselves accountable. You can try new things together—maybe take a yoga class or start a meal trade. Change things up and make it interesting. Find a club or a class and share it with your buddy.
Feeling stuck at certain times in your life is often what precedes something great, you just need a little help picking yourself up and getting out there. So when you realize you did stop caring, do something about it. It might feel difficult to get started, but start small and the rest will follow.
If you are having trouble getting unstuck, a licensed mental health professional can help you develop a plan that works for your life.
Author: Alison Pidgeon, LPC
Alison is the Founder and CEO of Move Forward Counseling, a boutique private practice for women with three locations in Lancaster County, PA. She is passionate about reducing the stigma related to accessing mental health services. She can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org.