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I am a mid 20-something man living in a city that I love with several close friends and a good job. However, I feel listless in my day to day life. I try to get out of the house to hang out with my friends and feel like I have things to look forward to each day, but can’t help but ask myself what’s the point? There are some days when I have a hard time getting out of bed when I don’t have to and I’m just not sure there is much to be had in life besides working my job and paying my bills. Any help?
I’m sending you a huge hug! Hang in there! When did you start feeling this way? Is this a recent feeling or something you’ve struggled with throughout your life?
I certainly have battled with seasonal listlessness. It typically creeps in during the dead of winter, when snow has piled high on Chicago avenues and I prioritize hibernating rather than socializing or making a trip to the gym.
However, when I get into a funk, I also know how to pull myself out. Social activities and the release of natural endorphins from exercise can do wonders for the spirit. Have you done either recently? Sometimes day-to-day activities can make us lose sight of what brings us joy. There is something else that might help pull you out of your funk. That is doing something for somebody else. It can be as simple as expressing gratitude to someone who could use a kind word or picking up take-out for your roommate. Random acts of kindness can go a long way to help yourself and others. It’s a win-win!
However, when I get into a funk, I also know how to pull myself out.
If you experience chronic listlessness, it’s probably time you seek help from a medical or mental health professional to find the underlying cause of your sluggishness. However, if you think it’s just a season in your life, it’s time to make a change. Get out and see your friends, go on a walk, volunteer, engage yourself in an activity that brings you joy, do something nice for a friend or loved one. Hang in there. Brighter days are ahead.
Although not typically given as much attention as the big-ticket emotions like sadness, shame, and loneliness, apathy can be just as dangerous. As the day-to-day struggles of our modern world become less about survival and more about what others are posting on social media, apathy may be the modern day emotion of Americans.
For you however, it sounds like this may be a bit more for you than the occasional down day. It sounds like you may struggle at times with symptoms of depression including sleeping more than usual and depressed mood. While it does not appear to have created significant problems for you at this time, it is worth continuing to monitor yourself for an increase in these symptoms. If you find yourself spending more and more time in bed and less and less time in things you usually enjoy, it may be time to seek treatment.
Beyond these feelings and symptoms, it sounds like you’re experiencing an existential crisis.
Beyond these feelings and symptoms, it sounds like you’re experiencing an existential crisis. You’re asking yourself the question that all of us must answer in our lives, the purpose of your life. For many people they find their purpose in helping others, giving back to their community, or a higher power.
If that seems too overwhelming or out of reach for you right now, consider starting smaller. What are causes that you value or organizations that you care about? Consider taking up a new hobby or volunteering. Ultimately, you will need to discover what you find valuable and meaningful and find some tangible way to begin pursuing that value in your life. It isn’t easy, but neither is apathy.