Doing nothing all day- is it depression?

This article will discuss if wanting to do nothing all day is a sign of depression. It will explain what depression is, its main symptoms, what can cause people to be depressed, and how the feeling of doing nothing all day can be a part of that. 

Besides that, the article will reveal strategies a person can use to deal with when they feel like not doing anything.

Is feeling like doing nothing all day a sign of depression?

Yes, not wanting to do anything all day can be a sign of depression. But one should be aware of their emotional state so as not to mix a one-day situation with a mental illness. 

To clarify the differences, one should understand that depression is a mental condition in which a person feels an intense sense of sadness, feelings of hopelessness, lack of purpose and meaning in life. They might also feel that their eating and sleeping patterns changed.

They can feel less energetic, problem focusing, and execute everyday activities. Besides that, people with depression tend to be self-isolate and have a diminished sense of self-worth and low self-esteem, along with unexplained pains and headaches.

To affirm someone has depression, a person needs to have some of these symptoms for two weeks, and if that’s the case, they might want to look for professional help to learn how to navigate this situation.

Why do people with depression tend to want to do nothing all day?

When a person is depressed besides the lack of energy that comes with it, a person might feel like the world has turned black and white. Nothing interests them, that condition is called anhedonia. When someone feels like this, they lose the ability to feel pleasure with anything.

When you lose the pleasure of doing things you tend to give up doing things that once were a source of joy and soon enough you might even stop doing basic things like taking care of yourself.

If you feel like that, it might be time to reach out for help. A good idea is to get in touch with family members or friends to help you with some little chores, which might make it seem like they are not as hard to do as you were thinking before because when you are depressed things tend to seem harder than they are.

It might also be important to look for professional help, to have a therapist hearing you can give you a sense of acceptance, support, and understanding, in the therapy process you might understand what may be the cause of your depression and how to deal with the symptoms of it.

Another thing that usually helps people deal with depression and might give them a little of the energy that depression takes out of a person is by doing exercises. Research has shown that moving your body can be great to reset your body and breathing and get endorphins, which are responsible for the feeling of week-being, running through your body.

Frequently asked question(FAQ): Doing nothing all day means I have depression?

Is being lazy a sign of depression?

Yes, feeling lazy can be a sign of depression. It may be hard to get motivated to do things when you are depressed, you might feel a lot less energy, and aside from that, the depression might make you lose interest in doing things.

That can make it seem like a person is being lazy when they are depressed. So it is important to understand that a person that is just lazy doesn’t want to do a certain activity, in a brief period, on other hand, a person with depression might want to be productive and do things, but they find it impossible to do it for an extended period.

If you feel lazy for a small period, a good idea might be to embrace it. We don’t have to be productive all the time. Use that moment to take some time to yourself. Think about your life and try to understand where the laziness may be coming from, it can be from a poor eating diet, because of drug and alcohol use or maybe you are procrastinating.

If those are the reasons why you feel lazy, it might be time to rearrange some things in your life, like making your goal a little more reasonable and focusing on getting there step by step and not doing everything at once, if you let go of the idea that everything needs to be perfect, it might make it a lot easier to find the motivation to do things, since perfection can add a lot of weight to activities.

It is also important to ask for help when things become too hard to do, and reward yourself once you are done with every little accomplishment, that might make it easier to focus on what you are doing, while you know some pleasurable activity is just around the corner.

On the other hand, if the feeling of laziness persists, it might be depression, and if that’s the case, it might be important to look for professional help, someone that can support you through this, and count on family and friends as well.

Find relation techniques that give you a sense of well-being, it can be meditation or exercising, but doing those activities might give back a little of the energy that depression drains out of you.

 Why do I feel so guilty about doing nothing?

In the world we live in, nowadays it seems to be a crime to not be productive all the time. Because of that, we can easily develop anxiety and live with the constant feeling that there won’t be enough time to do all the things we want to, and that can make us feel guilty if, for a brief time, we try to take some time to relax and leave all the other things behind.

In this context, it is important to allow yourself to create balance in all this. It is an impossible goal to be productive every hour of the day, try to manage your time and expectations, and set more realistic plans for yourself. Think of doing a planner, that might help you look through all the things you need to do and establish priorities.

But also remember to put in this planner small windows of time so you can just relax and enjoy, maybe go out to do some exercise, meet friends or do other things you love. In being productive, the reward is a key factor, it is important to know you will have time to do things you enjoy once you are done with your responsibilities.

Is it normal to relax and do nothing all day?

Yes, it might be normal to just relax and do nothing all day. There actually might be some benefits to it.  The urge of doing nothing becomes a problem if you notice it is happening a lot and if you don’t feel pleasure in doing anything, but if that’s not the case, it can be that being alone with your thoughts is something that gives you pleasure.

When you stop and have time to think about life, it might make you feel more compassionate, because taking your time to relax may give you time to think about human emotions and understand them better. Aside from that, you will feel more rested, and get better at dealing with the unexpected.

It might not seem like it, but taking a day to relax may actually make you more productive and creative, and even give you the ability to concentrate better. Taking some time off will clear your mind, and when you come back to your activities you will feel rested and with better energy to do it.

Why am I lacking the motivation to do things?

Sometimes, when faced with a lack of motivation, it might seem as if you are stuck and can seem to do the things you are supposed to. It might be a good idea to try and understand why that is happening.

It could be that you are lacking purpose, once we don’t understand why we are doing something it is hard to continue doing it. It might be studying, working, or any other activity, so try to reflect on why you started doing this, and what is the reason to go on with it.

It might also help to create a routine for yourself, even though it may change sometimes, but it can give you a structure and a clear notion of what needs to be done each day, which will make it easier to create a habit out of things.

Setting yourself too high might also be something that crushes your motivation, it can make you question yourself, as it may also make you feel like reaching your goals are too hard. Try to divide your big goal into some small goals to help you get a better sense of accomplishment.

What can I do to improve my motivation?

The first thing that might help you improve your motivation is knowing why you are lacking motivation. It might also help to observe what time of day you feel more motivated and energetic and make use of that time to do the things you feel might be harder.

That perception of routine will help you feel more organized and a lot less overwhelmed. To keep you motivated, it might also be a good idea to know where you want to get with your actions, although you will divide your goal into small ones, having a notion of where you want to get might keep you focused on it.

Remember that even with the toughest of goals, it is always important to understand that your body and mind need time to relax and recharge, so lit in your routine a time you can spend doing things that you love and that gives you a lot of energy in return.


In this article it was discussed if not wanting to do anything might be a sign of depression, why this happens to people with depression, and what they can do to deal with that feeling.

The article also showed that the lack of motivation to do things can also be a momentary thing, and it might have its benefits. Besides that, the article also revealed ways a person can feel more motivated.

If you have any comments or questions about this article, feel free to write in the space below.


Kanter JW, Brusch AM, Weeks CE, Landes SJ. The nature of clinical depression:Sym

Toms, Syndromes, and Behavior Analysis. Behav Anal. 2008 Spring; 31(1):1-21.

Gorwood P. Neurobiological mechanisms of anhedonia. Dialogues Clin Neurosci. 2008 Sep; 10(3):291-299.

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