Apathy is an everyday battle. There are days I go to bed hoping that the next day would bring with it hope, energy and excitement, but invariably it’s another boring, slow and listless day with nothing to do, nothing to look forward to, and nothing that challenges me. I begin slipping into an apathetic state, not able to channel my creative juices into anything worth doing.
How do I overcome my seasonal Apathy then? Here are my all time favorite tips. And like all Great, Tried-and-Tested Tips, these Total Ten in number 🙂
1. Revel in Apathy
Just for a few hours though. Anymore and you are likely to slip into that precipice called ‘depression’. Slouch on your couch, brood about the meaningless universe and the rather attractive thought of the world ending – at least there would be some fireworks! – and munch on high-carb food. After about three to four hours of doing this, get off your backside and….
2. Listen to Music
What sets you moving? What gets you singing along? For me, it’s 1980s Retro music or the Disco music of the 70s. I strictly avoid my favorite music, Jazz and Blues, when I am apathetic or dull, because that puts me in a foul funk. Music is the single biggest motivator for most people. It brings you out of yourself and you can’t help but smile and cheer up if the music is right.
3. Freshen Up
Nothing like a good face wash, light shower and perfume to put you back in a peppy mood and sober frame of mind. Most of us apathetic folks tend to be lazy by nature and we avoid freshening up often. Get up already, face the mirror and do something about that shabby countenance! Even if it’s as simple as changing out of your PJs or last night’s jeans and tee, do it.
4. Comedy Central
Music is something you can play in the background and still continue to work when you are in the office or at home, even in your apathetic state. But watching comedy tracts a la Friends, Seinfeld, Arrested Development, etc, is not always possible at work. But if you are at home, facing an apathy crisis over the weekend, go to www.youtube.com and type in ‘comedy videos’ and prepare to be shaken and stirred on your couch. Half an hour of laughter therapy works wonders for those blues!
5. Reach Out
Most often in my apathetic state, I simply cut myself off from my friends and family. I don’t want to burden them with tales of my boredom or depression. Which is fine if you know that your apathy is a temporary condition and you can slip out of it soon, or if this is a monthly phenomenon related to your hormones, or if it’s seasonal depending upon the weather.
But if you believe that you are unable to come out of it, call up your friend or mentor or sibling, or an acquaintance with whom you share a good rapport. Message them, email them, but do reach out and be upfront: tell them you are feeling a bit low and could do with some cheering up. If you trust them enough to be friends with them, I am sure you can trust them to help you out when you need it the most.
6. Time Pass Activities
I read the news or check social media updates to while away the time until lunch or dinner or evening snacks. Yes, apathy involves a whole lot of tuning out of the daily chores or assignments that need our urgent attention and tuning into useless activities like checking out the latest BuzzFeed articles, funny photos of celebs, or reading about weight loss stories of your favorite stars. It helps me take my mind away from my apathy and I get a good laugh just observing all the silly news and headlines. Take it easy though with the Facebook updates. It’s the worst time to find out your best friend is planning a trip to Switzerland next week when you are at home in your PJs, munching on donuts and havign a bad hair day (with lots of heat boils thrown in).
7. Step out
Yes, I understand it’s the last thing an apathy-suffering person would want to do. I know you want to revel in your listlessness and boredom – first world problems, anyone? But if you follow a combination of Steps 2, 3 and 4 (Music, Freshening Up and watching Comedy Central), I guarantee you would want to now explore the area directly outside your apartment’s main door. Just walk for 10 minutes, deep breathe, look at the sunset or the moon and stars, window shop, buy some ice cream or chips, take a walk in the park – anything to get you moving and taking in some fresh air.
8. Keep Your Emotional Barometer Under Check
This is applicable for when you have successfully come out of the apathetic state: maintain a lighthearted, slightly cheerful, yet casual attitude. Don’t go overboard in doing hyper-energetic stuff. We are aiming for light-energy here, not Raging Bull enthusiasm, which is much difficult to recover from if you do slip back into apathy the next day. It’s all about balance. I get overtly happy and overtly bored too easily, so I am now learning how to keep these extremes under control. It’s a learning process and I won’t be turning into a meditating Buddha overnight. But awareness is a first step. Some days I might forget and go crazy with excitement and other days I might realize that I am about to lose control and hold on to my calmness. Whatever works, do it.
9. Prevention is Always Better Than Cure
I can tell two days in advance before apathy sinks its claws into me. It’s a gradual, creeping sensation isn’t it? A slowing down of your hyper-active thoughts, a slowing of your energies, your body feeling a bit tired, your lack of enthusiasm for an event / movie / celebration when others around you are going la-la-la about it. Most apathetic folks know when they are about to be attacked and I would say: keep a look out! If you feel you are slipping, follow steps 2, 3, 4 and 6 (not 5, because you are trying to sort this out by your independent self!).
10. Share your story and talk to others who are apathetic
If you are reading my post, then I figure you are a blogger yourself and right now, you are probably facing a bit of apathy attack. You have already covered Step 10 then by trying to understand why you feel so low and bored! Write down your experience, what triggered your apathy this time, or what are your general triggers – and share it on your blog. If your family and friends read your blog, it will help them understand your mood cycles better and may be even keep a lookout in case you are slipping into a foul funk. And your blog will help the rest of us apathetic folks into feeling a bit better: knowing that I am not alone in my suffering takes me one step closer to breaking apathy’s hold on me.
Are you feeling better now?