what to do when you feel like you just can’t do anything

Lately, I’ve been voicing more & more about how I am just so unmotivated to work. I’ve been extra tired, uninterested, & have lacked any or all drive to do much of anything. Last week I had a few good days of getting work done & a few days of little to no work getting accomplished. You might be the kind of person who is just going to point fingers at my generation & call me lazy, but I promise that is not the case. I like working, I like getting things done, & I enjoy creating a satisfying outcome. Being unmotivated to work has to do with being emotionally unable to function & not with the lack of wanting to complete the tasks at hand. It sometimes is a struggle that I think is worsened because I work for myself & therefore am alone all day, & I am taking big steps on trying to work through it.

Last week, on a day that I just felt like I couldn’t get anything done I had happened across some Instagram stories from a fellow girl boss & internet encourager, Lindsey Eryn. I have followed her for years since her #coasttocoastchallenge days (which was about fashion) & have always loved the light & love that she shares. She now is a graphic designer who also sends out weekly Pep Talks full of truths & encouragement. She is also self-employed just like me & so when she shared about her struggle of sometimes just not feeling like working I wanted to shout a huge, I FEEL YA, GIRL! Her advice for others feeling the same way was to just push through it, tell yourself that the work that needs to be done is important, & to just show up regardless. (Her words were deff a little different than that, but that was basically the call to action feeling that I got from it.) And ya know what? It worked for me.

I’ll be honest, I didn’t have the energy to put those words to good use that day, but the next day I woke up with a different perspective & I told myself, no matter how you feel today, you are going to show up, & work regardless. All day long, I kept telling myself these words, & it motivated me to get things done. It was a constant mantra that I had to keep chanting all day long, but for me, for that one day, it worked. I felt so recharged & ready to work after that. I even DM’d Lindsey & thanked her for sharing her struggle that I could so relate to & her encouragement that helped me to move forward.

I know that showing up isn’t always the easiest thing to do when emotion seems to be holding us back from doing daily tasks. I understand that it’s not always so simple to just tell yourself a few words of bold encouragement & to expect your body to listen & function. I get it because I have had days where I’ve told myself THIS has to get done today, now get up & GO do it, & it doesn’t work. But, if we are kinder to ourselves, if we get to know our struggles better than anyone else, if we speak to ourselves with confidence & endearment, I think it can be a place to start.

So today, if you’re not feeling like you are able to get much done, that’s okay. Maybe your body is telling you that you need rest. Maybe you need a day to recharge & read a book that always makes you feel better. Maybe you need to schedule a coffee date with that one friend who is always there to listen. Or maybe, try & show up. Try & put one foot in front of the other & get the work done regardless. We don’t ever regret showing up, being there, or succeeding, but we always get down on ourselves when we don’t.

I’ll end with a story from last week… My friends & I had planned to go to the pumpkin patch for a girl’s night to take photos & hang out. I was so excited about it when we planned it last month & was looking forward to it. The day rolled around, the hour to showing up got closer, & I didn’t want to go. I didn’t have the energy to socialize & I would have much rather stayed at home that night. I love my friends, I’m so grateful to have friends that I’ve recently met who are into taking photos & traveling & doing things that I enjoy doing, so it wasn’t that I just didn’t want to be around them. I had just had an unmotivated & emotional day that had all but drained me. We were in a group text that I hadn’t replied to yet, but my friend messaged me individually to ask if I was still going, & I told her that I was even though I felt like ignoring that the planned night was about to happen. I didn’t want to go when I got in my car, I didn’t want to go as I drove myself there, I didn’t want to go as I parked my car at the pumpkin patch & could see my friends arriving too. But, I showed up. I kept telling myself to show up regardless. I knew that once I was there I would be surrounded by love & encouragement. So I showed up.

This isn’t always easy. This isn’t always fun. This isn’t always even possible. I’ve voiced these weird energy levels to a few friends before, & so when I showed up that night one friend even asked how I was doing without even knowing that I was having a hard time. That is real friendship, guys. A friend that you can be honest to, a friend that will listen when you need to talk, a friend that asks you how you are doing because they truly know you & your struggles…that is a friend that you need to have, & it reminds me of the kind of friend that I need to be too.

It all starts with honesty. Be honest with yourself about how you feel, about how you function, & about what it takes to live a life that encompasses both. Be honest with those around you. Voice your struggles, one, because someone you know might be going through the same thing, & two, because the people in our lives need to truly know us in order to truly live life with us. We are not alone in these struggles. You are not alone in this world. If the people around you don’t understand or can’t relate, then they still need to be the kind of people that are there for you no matter what. If they’re not, find new friends, make new relationships. Humans are made for community & community means leaning on one another & showing up for ourselves & those around us.

I showed up that night for my friends. They showed up for me. I had conversations that were good, photos that were great, & interaction that was giving. Showing up in life & work is sometimes half the battle, but the reward & victory are worth it in the end.


Always know that showing up is hard, but you have the strength, power, & capability to do it. Be kind to yourself when you succeed & even when you don’t.

– abbey kay


*brought to you by a girl who is pushing through & showing up regardless



Overalls – JustFab

Top – similar

Hat – similar

Booties – similar





4 responses to “what to do when you feel like you just can’t do anything”

  1. Brandi Avatar

    Awww I love you Abbey!! You are an amazing friend, woman and boss babe! I love reading your blog posts! Thank you for being that for others too! The world needs you!!! More and more of you! ❤️

    1. abbey kay Avatar

      You’re too sweet! Thank you for reading & for the encouragement!

  2. jenny26lee Avatar

    Love this! sometimes not wanting to work can be so challenging

    1. abbey kay Avatar

      Yes!! I’m glad you could relate!

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