How to get moving when you have no clue what to do next.
Today was one of those days, I just didn’t want to get out of bed.
Actually, this week was one of those weeks when I just didn’t want to get out of the bed, or out of the house. Sitting and staring into space seemed like a hassle. The task of putting that lone sock lying on the bedroom floor into the hamper seemed gargantuan. The world, my entire being, seems heavy. Moving my limbs takes effort.
All I want to do is…nothing.
Nothing at all but sit alone with my racing thoughts and unravel the tangled threads knotted up inside my head.
Have you ever been here? It’s a little place I like to call Depression. Just up the road from it’s a-hole neighbor Anxiety.
Who knows why I ended up here this week. Divorce paperwork? Negotiating with my ex? A full moon? Too much caffeine?
It’s a strange combo; depression and anxiety. If you’ve never felt it, let me explain.
This malady is called depression but I think they should call it Nothing instead. Nothing. That’s what you feel. You are emotionally flatlined. At least for me, you don’t feel down as much as you feel numb.
And then the anxiety kicks in. It’s as if my body is so afraid of feeling nothing that it wakes me up in the middle of the night to hyperventilate. My body sends shocks of adrenaline and cortisol coursing through my body to jumpstart my nervous system and get me to get up and take some action, even if that action is to end up crouched in the middle of the living room rug at 3am having a panic attack. I guess as far as my body is concerned, even panicked action is better than no action at all.
My emotions are turned off but my anxious mind is racing.
And so I sit and stare. Nap. I’m too panicked to decide what to do. And so I do nothing.
I’ve been at this spot in the road before. I’m angry that I’m here again. But I do know what to do to make it end. I do know what to do when you don’t want to do anything.
Any small action.
Sweep the kitchen.
Put that sock in the hamper.
Put the cap on the pen.
It doesn’t have to be right. You don’t even have to do it well. You just have to do it.
The only way out of inaction is with action.
Usually one small task will snowball into another task and then yet another. Suddenly I’m on a roll.
I start off by putting the cap on the pen and end up calling on a job lead.
It just starts with one itty bitty, teeny tiny decision to move forward.
So tonight, unsure what to do, I swept the kitchen, which led to loading the dishwasher, after which I packed my daughter’s lunch for tomorrow.
And before I knew what was happening, here I was writing a blog post that I’d been putting off for an entire week.
The moral of the story. What to do when you don’t want to do anything. JUST DO SOMETHING.