How To Push Through Apathy

“Change doesn’t require motivation. It requires discipline.” I stumbled upon this quote by Mel Robbins and it hooked me. The past couple of weeks I have been struggling a lot – even though things are ‘getting better’ according to the general public, I have been confronted with a lot of anxiety, sadness and confusion.

Recently I have become impatient more often – not to say cranky, enraged or just plainly mad! Briefly: I’ve been doubting my sanity.

“How long can I handle this?” – It is easy to get stuck these days in a downward spiral.

On many occasions it was easier to not ‘do the work’. It was easier to blame the circumstances instead of taking responsibility for my own actions. But I wouldn’t be me if I wouldn’t find a way through…

What I learnt at the very beginning of the ‘pandemic’ (Or maybe even long before?) was that my mind doesn’t present answers to me that soothe the troubled waters of my psyche. 

My body does – if I listen. And my body wants to scream and shout a lot at the moment…

But yesterday my body forced me to move inward. It forced my heart to soften, my tears to clear the wounds that are flaring within me from the loss and the dissatisfaction of the past well over twelve months…

“Be the change, but be patient,” I recalled my own speech from the beginning of 2021. 

This morning I woke up at 6 am and I remembered: I have a choice. Either I seize the day, do my work, keep getting stronger. Or? Or what? There was no other option, but to move forward – to take another step.

Will my mental health become stable by itself? Hell, no! Will anybody apart from myself take care of my mental health? Probably not.

I got up, cleared my space and I went for a run. And no, I didn’t feel like it after a day of nearly only crying. But I knew that I had to do it in order to hold my head straight.

With every step my sight got clearer and the weight that I carried fell off my shoulders. By the time I reached the lake in the park close-by I had a smile on my face.

This threesome works as a reminder to myself. A commitment to my own power.

Writing it all down is my leap out of the apathy that I am facing right now.

So, how do I move through apathy?

1. Movement

Surprise, surprise. I get my body moving! “If you want to scream and shout. Dance it all out.” If you can motivate yourself to do one step, you can probably do the next one too. As soon as you start moving your body your muscles and all of your cells get flooded with oxygen, your breath gets deeper. The responses of your nervous system start to change and so does your way of thinking.

2. Do Things Differently

The other day we had no electricity at home (and in a big part of the city) and honestly: It was the best thing that could happen. It forced me to change my routine and to get out of my head (my computer). It forced me to change my perspective completely. “Let’s go and have breakfast,” I agreed with my partner and we left our ‘home office’ behind. It sounds like such a small incident, but it was a big thing as we were both suffering from some sort of cabin fever and inability to move on with our personal projects. Our cabin fever was gone. The phenomenon is called a pattern interrupt. 

3. Change Your Point of View

What paralyses you? What do you have to worry about right now? Is there truly something to worry about? Do you really have to take things personally? The other day I was paralyzed because of one message that I received. It triggered some painful memories inside of me. After a while I realized that I chose to take it personally. I can choose to step back. I understood that it is just words. They have nothing to do with me if I don’t make them about me.

 

Uli

 

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