No one is immune to the occasional lack of inspiration. Whether it manifests as writer’s block, fatigue, or a loss of interest in daily activities, it can be a difficult obstacle to navigate around no matter who you are. Getting to the root of the problem is the fastest way to find a solution, but it can be tricky to even know why you’re feeling out of sorts in the first place; it may have nothing to do with the task that’s right in front of you. A myriad of factors have an influence on our mental wellbeing, so be patient with yourself if it takes some time to narrow it down.
Here are 7 reasons why you may be feeling uninspired:
1. You’re Burnt Out
If every day seems to be a bad day, burnout should seem suspicious. Researchers with HelpGuide define burnout as “a state of emotional, physical, and mental exhaustion caused by excessive and prolonged stress.” Jobs, school, or even family obligations can leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, so don’t feel bad about taking that coffee break you’ve been waiting for since morning. Because burnout can affect your physical health just as much as your mental wellbeing, it’s important to keep up your sleep and hygiene habits as well. Headaches, changes in sleep and appetite, and even lowered immunity can be blamed on this prolonged stress; your body will thank you for taking a step back every now and then.
2. Worries Are Blocking The View
If you were asked to sit in a burning room while you send all those emails from the office, could you do it? Most people would be too preoccupied with the danger of the fire to focus on the most professional way to word a message, but fewer people are aware that smaller, less life-threatening worries can be just as distracting–which is completely valid and human. If you can avoid what’s troubling you or ask for help in solving the problem, you may be in the clear, but be prepared to take care of the root of your worries before taking on any other pursuits.
3. You Need To Change It Up
Doing the same thing every day will get old. And when it gets old, it loses its appeal and you’re no longer interested. Any activity can get old after long enough, no matter how much you may enjoy it at first. You may not have the motivation, attention, or even the desire to focus. Trying something new might be the trick, whether you change up a few details or your whole routine. When in doubt, ask a friend for ideas! Try studying outside, eating lunch with a coworker, or giving yourself a change of scenery every now and again.
4. It Wouldn’t Hurt To Catch More Z’s
Honestly, what doesn’t sleep affect? Your mental health, physical wellbeing, and social life will all thank you for catching a few extra hours whenever you can. Think of it as a reset button for your brain: researchers with the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (yes, sleep affects those too!) found that sleeping literally removes toxins in your brain that accumulate while you’re awake. Talk about a clean slate!
5. You’re Not Sure What You’re Looking For
It will be nearly impossible to find direction and motivation if you don’t know what result you want to create. Take some time to stop and think about what your goals are, what you can do to achieve them, and when you want to achieve them by. Write all of this down to make your goals concrete and hold yourself accountable; it might also help to make a step by step plan of everything you need to do to reach your goal. Having a clear plan will make anything at least a little more manageable.
6. You’re Taking It Too Seriously
Nine times out of ten, the project or task that matters the most will provide more pressure than fun. Taking something seriously is a great strategy for getting things done the right way, but at the cost of losing interest and focus. Even important projects are worth enjoying while you pour your heart and soul into them, so you should try to find a few moments of joy in the chaos, at the very least. Take it one step at a time, and focus on each step as you go, no matter how hard it might be not to anticipate the final result.
7. You May Be Experiencing Something Larger Than A Lack Of Inspiration
Feeling unmotivated or uninspired may be a signal to check in with yourself about your mental wellbeing. Depression doesn’t always mean extreme sadness; it can also be a very numbing or dissociative experience. You may not be interested in things you usually enjoy, which makes it difficult to get anything done. Be kind to yourself if you are struggling! There are countless resources to help guide you toward healing, such as hotlines and guided meditations, so don’t be afraid to reach out for help in finding what works for you!