How To Care Again When You Don’t Care About Anything Anymore

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So… you don’t care anymore, about anyone or anything. This is likely a consequence of depression.

Depression is an ugly thing. It swallows up your joy, erodes your happiness, and deprives you of the ability to feel the full spectrum of your emotions.

Depression smothers everything that it touches, both positive and negative. People tend to focus on the positives because they are bright, shiny, and feel good. But even the absence of negative emotions can be a bitter loss.

“I’m supposed to feel sad, upset, angry, happy, hopeful, joyous! Anything at all!”

Instead, all you get is emptiness and apathy, a hole where those things are supposed to be.

And what’s worse is that after a while, you just stop caring.

It feels like that’s just how life is – challenging, painful, difficult, full of loss, and turmoil. People are terrible to each other. Politicians don’t care. The planet is dying.

The boss at work just wants performance and for you to smile more because you’re bumming everyone out. “Leave your problems at the door!” they say… Thanks. I’ll get right on that. Only, I just don’t care anymore.

That’s just how life is. Isn’t it?

Well, no.

Life can be challenging, painful, and brutally difficult, but there are so many things worth caring about.

Hidden in all of the pain, tragedy, and ridiculousness of life are bright and brilliant things worth looking for. But you have to care to look for them. They don’t just jump up and slap you in the face.

How can you care again – about something, anything?

Seek professional help – always.

Addressing depression and the hopelessness that comes with it probably isn’t going to happen from reading a few articles on the internet.

The issue with depression and much of the advice you will find surrounding it on the internet is that many different things can cause it.

It can be a side effect of a medication or an illness caused by temporary or permanent circumstances in your life, genetics, trauma, grief, or the general state of your life. It may also be created and made worse through substance abuse and alcoholism.

The key to unraveling this problem is to figure out where that problem is coming from in the first place.

That will likely require a certified mental health professional who can help you dig through your mind, life, and history to find the culprit.

Unresolved trauma is a significant source of depression and substance abuse for people. And that kind of serious mental work is not something you can do safely by yourself or through the information you find on the internet.

You will need professional support. Click here to begin that process.

Don’t use up your emotional energy on current events.

Compassion and empathy fatigue are real problems that many people face. A person can only care so much before they run their internal gas tank entirely empty.

There is a lot out there to care about with all of the turmoil of social injustice, terrible news stories, and the fear, loss, and trauma that happens all around.

You simply cannot care about everything all the time and expect to maintain a healthy mindset.

News organizations don’t help. They feature a lot of slanted or biased reporting that aims to create emotions in their viewers. And the pundits and commentators they regularly feature are often working an emotional angle of their own. It’s hard to stay informed without expending a tremendous amount of emotional energy yourself.

The solution is to limit your intake of current events and the news. Yes, do stay informed, but do it in a limited way from a neutral, unbiased source when you can.

We live in an era that features a 24/7 news cycle, but our brains are not built to deal with all of the tragedies from around the world. We just didn’t evolve that way. [source]

Unsubscribe from social media groups that perpetuate outrage, negativity, and bad news.

Block or remove people who continually talk about current events from your feeds.

Give your mind and soul a chance to rest, even if it means taking a break from electronics for a little while.

Focus on caring about one small thing, and then build on that.

It won’t be easy to jump straight into caring about all of the major things going on in your life. In fact, you may find that to be entirely overwhelming and impossible to do.

It’s a better idea to start by trying to care about something small. Or maybe you already do have something small in your life that you care about and have just overlooked that.

A pet is a great option to focus on because they are something you can unconditionally care about and love. You don’t need to worry about a pet stabbing you in the back or doing the shady things that people sometimes do.

A pet is something you can give your love to, be concerned about, and curl up with when you need a little unconditional love.

But hey, maybe a pet isn’t the right choice for your life situation. A plant can be an okay substitute.

Pick yourself up a small houseplant or a succulent to care for. They generally don’t require a whole lot of upkeep. However, they can still help you be mindful and present about taking care of them, making sure they’re neatly trimmed, watered, and fertilized.

You may consider a potted tomato plant. They aren’t hard to care for, and you’ll get tomatoes out of it!

Whatever little thing you find to care about, focus on it for a while. Then, when you feel ready, use the care you feel for it as a stepping stone to find another thing to care about, and then another.

Go slowly so as not to overextend yourself and your emotional output. If, after adding a third or fourth thing to care about, for example, you start to find it difficult or apathy creeps back in, take a step back from one of those things.

Do things that once gave you that motivational spark.

Grab yourself a sheet of paper and a pen. Make a list of ten things you used to do in the past that gave you a spark of motivation; things you once cared about.

They can be anything from socializing and spending time with your friends to doing volunteer work to art to exercise or whatever, really.

Take a look at the list and consider how practical each of those things is to accomplish right now given how you feel. Rank them from most to least practical.

Next, go down the list and try to do some of the various activities.

This exercise may be enough to spark up your brain’s motivational parts and facilitate some caring. It may be challenging to do, or you really may not feel like doing anything.

Still, those feelings are something you’ll just have to push through to try to generate some of the benefits of doing the activities you have listed.

Set some goals and get to work on them.

“I just don’t care anymore! I don’t care to create or meet any goals!”

And that’s precisely the reason why you should create and start working toward some.

Motivation isn’t often something that just falls out of your brain. Sometimes you have to create your own motivation by setting some goals to chase and then pursuing them.

The act of pursuing a goal can be enough to spark up and create some caring, particularly when you have the results of your efforts in hand to enjoy.

This is also a big part of discipline. There are times when pursuing any goal is difficult because motivation can wane when the job gets tedious or you lose sight of the end goal.

Setting smaller goals that will lead you to your bigger goals can force you to care about those steps in the process, which then filter out into other areas of your life.

Just be mindful that you can’t reach all of the goals you set. Sometimes you will fail. Everyone does.

But when you fail, try not to throw your hands in the air and exclaim, “I don’t care!” Because, you know what, if you truly didn’t care about failing, you wouldn’t get upset by it.

If you feel something when you fail – even though it’s a negative emotion – it’s because you did care. Take that care and see what else you can transfer it to instead. Set a new, different goal, or try a different approach to your original goal.

The fact that you are even reading this article shows that you do care enough to want to care more.

That’s your starting point; now see where your next step leads.

*Apathy is an insidious thing that robs us of the experience of life. If you are having a hard time finding motivation, caring, or meaning, particularly if you are considering harming yourself in any way, it would be a great idea to seek out professional support. Not caring may be a symptom of a larger problem that needs to be addressed before you can reclaim your caring.

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