For the past few years certainly, I have dealt with this overwhelming (ironic) feeling of apathy. It stems from the tough few months and years I've had, and I would file it under "unconscious coping".
The more work I have done on myself, the more I can find my "flow" - the opposite of apathy - during the day at some point.
Things I have found helped are exercise, genuine communication and eating well. For the most part, I need all three to find flow or presence.
To me, apathy is complete indifference, an "I don't care" about anything attitude. I find myself to be someone who is very passionate about certain things, and completely apathetic to things I am not interested in - so I am familiar with the feeling.
The scary part of my apathy, and particularly morning apathy, is how much I don't/didn't care about things I fundamentally know/knew I did care about.
As I said, I have been able to find more flow during the day, but mornings are particularly challenging. Some days, usually when I have something to do that I am accountable to someone else or I am excited to do, there is very little apathy.
As someone who runs their own business and has significant autonomy over what I do every day, there is not a lot of external accountability.
I just had the realization this week of what that feeling was - it's hard to recognize when you're in it and it's hard to believe that it will pass.
I have not found much help online with these feelings, but I have come up with my own system. Here are my plans:
- try to have something to look forward to immediately
- try to get my food, exercise and genuine connection as early as possible (helps with being present)
- have a list of things to do that I find fun to fall back on (Basketball, Tennis, going to a coffee shop to read a coffee table book)
- seek out genuine connection, exercise and a good meal
- go do something fun, novel
- seek out healthy inspiration (offline, off social media)
- do something artistic
- pick the project I am most excited about and do the most exciting thing to get started
Additional notes on Apathy -
There is some research or theory that apathy stems strictly from anger. I don't know that it's completely applicable to me, but I am going to apply it when those moments come to see how honest it feels.
Apathy is coping mechanism for situations where you can't express yourself or be yourself - again, looking into if that feels accurate for me.
For me, anything outside of window of tolerance (too high or too low) results in apathy - so I usually need to decipher which way I have gone to resolve.
I have noticed that my apathy comes from shoving emotion down - whatever that may be. I find giving myself space to feel or get curious helps. I also find consuming something that will produce a bigger emotion - something super funny, make you cry, etc. helps ground me.
My apathy towards things that I know I want to do is the scariest part, but is also a reminder of how much I actually do care about it. If I was truly apathetic, it wouldn't bother me that I wasn't doing it. I do not care about video games and zero percent of my life is spent worrying about it, wishing I had done more, feeling guilty that I haven't spent more time playing video games, etc.
Have you ever felt apathetic? How did you work through that?