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How do you get things done when you really don't feel like doing anything?

  • Ever since I got out of the hospital in October I have been having trouble wanting to do anything. At first it was because of the trach and feeding tubes getting in the way. Now though I don't have that excuse anymore and I still can't seem to get anything done. I am not allowed to go back to work yet so this is part of the problem. Do you have any ideas on how I can remotivate myself?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jacqueline on 4th December 2007
  • OMG, I just read your post. What a strong woman. If I had been shot I'd be AFRAID to leave the house.

    The obvious here is to find something that you love doing: walking, biking, movies, museum, shopping, etc. Do it once, see how it felt. Reflect on what it would take to get you to do it again. Then do it again.

    Make a list of the things you ARE. Mother, wife, strong woman (I said so which means you can write it down). Remind yourself of these things often. Not just daily but several times a day.

    Lastly, remember your little guy needs you to motivate. I'm sure you have already in so many seemingly impossible ways since your injury but look ahead to the future. Who will you be/what will you be doing when he's 4, 6, 10?

    A huge part of our lack of motivation is in our heads. Just like physical therapy reteaches you how to do physical things, you have to reteach your brain how to do the mental things.

    Good luck and please keep us posted on your recovery! Have you posted the story around here anywhere?
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 4th December 2007
  • I don't think that I have posted it around here anywhere yet. I should do that. I will try to get it done as soon as possible. It is almost time for Nick and Paul to get home tonight though. Maybe tomorrow. It will only be about 34 for a high here tomorrow.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Jacqueline on 4th December 2007
  • wow!! i have to go read your profiile/bio now!!

    i agree with Mandy, sometimes we get so stuck in that recorded mental message of 'ugh i dont want to do ANYTHING" that we dont do anything... particularly after long periods of forced to not do anything.

    To elaborate on Mandy's suggestion, pick even one thing that you used to love. think about how it made you feel when you did it and really think about how you want to have that feeling again! if doing it to the fullest extent isnt possible now, break it down into smaller pieces.

    For example, if you used to enjoy running 6 miles a day (haha sorry i have to laugh at myself for this example because i so dont run and it's on my live 'to do' list!)

    think about how you would feel when you got dressed, how you would get kind of excited that you were going to have time for YOU, how you felt starting out, how your body felt, how it felt half way through when you would start to sweat and get warm! remember how you felt at the end when you would be out of breath but with an extra spring in your step and smile on your face! and the shower after when you are cooling off and you feel SO CLEAN when you get dressed because you have rid your body of all kinds of toxins!!

    now! once you do that for a while... take the baby steps... just get dressed in the gear and wear it around the house, do this for an hour a day as if you had gone running and do the cool down/shower part too!

    then work your way to walking for 15 minutes during the middle of that hour around the neighborhood or somewhere and think about how that makes you feel a little better than just 'being' in the clothes

    and so one.. work you way up to it little by little! the smaller actions will entice you into the bigger actions!!

    of course you dont have to do this with running, but i would suggest you pick something you really enjoyed previously so you can draw on the positive memory! and this is just a really tangible example

    let us know what you choose to do to motivate yourself!!

    oh! you can also set rewards for yourself for doing little things, even if you think it's silly. like setting up a 'chore board' for yourself with gold stars! laugh at yourself! it's ok! and share with us so we can cheer you on and laugh with you

    there is an article here (i HAVE to find it, it's the 2nd time i have wnated to reference it today!) that talks about the 'did do' list intead of a 'to do' list so that at the end of the day make a list of your accomplishments! this helps you end the day on a positive note of what you WERE able to do! and i bet week to week it grows into a bigger and bigger list

    sorry for such a long post, i just felt inspired LOL
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Kate on 4th December 2007
  • Jacqueline, what an incredible story - please share it in an article!!!

    As for remotivating - I am with Mandy. For me it's always about finding something I actually enjoy vs have to do. Is there a favorite book? A favorite craft project? A favorite meal you like to cook? I think it can be pretty small, but something you hugely enjoy.

    so much looking forward to hearing your story!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Nataly on 4th December 2007
  • What good advice from all of you. I just want to agree with those great suggestions. I have never had to go through an ordeal like this, but when I've had problems in the past getting motivated I take my husband's wonderful advice: just do one small thing a day. You will feel so much better knowing you did that one thing. Even if it's just throwing out some old magazines, washing your hair, writing a friend you haven't heard from in ages, organize your cds etc. That is, try not to focus on what you're unable to do right now. Focus instead on what you can do. It's amazing how inertia sets in, yet once you keep busy you feel better and your motivation returns through staying active.

    Another thing to consider: do you think you are depressed? If so, you might want to talk to your doctor about therapy/medication. It would make sense given the trauma you've been through.

    We all wish you well. Please keep us up-to-date on your progress and please write us anytime you need some moral support!
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Diane on 4th December 2007
  • Hi, Jacqueline, I'm so glad to meet you online at Work It Mom! In your profile, you wrote that you enjoy needlework and soapmaking, among other crafty things. How about turning those hobbies into something you can work at from home while you recuperate? You don't have to worry about how much income they'll bring in, but just the routine of making them and marketing them may kick-start your motivation.

    Set up a marketplace on Ebay, think about a table at craft fairs or farmers markets, make gift baskets of your soaps and embroidery for your family and friends this holiday, hook up with Blogger or a similar free blogging program and write about your latest creations, get involved with the amazing people here at Work It, Mom... start small, do a little bit each day, and maybe soon you'll look forward to doing more.

    When I'm feeling unmotivated, I try to make a to-do list, and right up at the top I put a couple of things that are super-easy or that I've already done that day (I'm not kidding about super-easy... one particularly unmotivated day, my list started with "Get up" and "brush teeth"!). Being able to cross things off my list right away makes me feel better about tackling the rest of the stuff on my plate.

    Good luck! Please keep us posted on your progress, and know that your new friends here are thinking about you...
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Lylah M. Alphonse on 4th December 2007
  • Jacqueline, you've started a crazy series of posts here! Makes me think we WIMers should push for a book for other WIMers. I'm printing this list so that I can reference it the next time I'm feeling unmotivated.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Mandy Nelson - Dandysound on 4th December 2007
  • York, huh? I'm originally from North Platte, then Omaha.

    My suggestion? Find a support group, online or phsyical . . . where you can lend yourself to others . . .

    There has to be another *someone* out there going through something similar to you - only a couple of steps behind you. Use the *stuff* you've made it through to help someone else.

    To me, that's the most motivating thing ever - - using your experience, your history and your wisdom . . . to help someone else along.
    Flag as inappropriate Posted by Naomi on 4th December 2007

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