What can you do if you don’t want to go out anymore?

In this article we will be discussing what you can do if you do not want to go out anymore.

We will also explore some reasons why you might be unmotivated to go out so that you can take mindful steps to getting yourself out there. 

What can you do if you don’t want to go out anymore?

Here are a few things you can try if you feel unmotivated to go out:

  • Reflect on the why
  • Be mindful and assertive
  • Try to go out and do something new
  • Pick and choose
  • Create a stay at home event
  • Spend time alone 
  • Consider online therapy

Reasons why you might not want to go out anymore

While it is normal to experience days when you do not feel like getting out of bed after a stressful week or a busy day prior, it is concerning if you begin to shut yourself in for weeks whilst avoiding all social connection with others. 

Your desire to stay in could be reflective of what is happening in your current life and it can also indicate an underlying mental health condition that makes it difficult for you to engage with the outside world. 

Let us take a look at some of the possible reasons why you might not want to go out:

Stress and negative experiences

If you have had a stressful week or months or year, or you have faced a stressful event outside, you might choose to stay in as you recuperate from the stress. 

The stress that you have been exposed to can reduce your desire and motivation to engage with the outside world. A study done on rates to understand the social behaviour of rats after a single exposure to a negative event reduced the rats motivation for exploration for more than 5 days.

You might have experienced a traumatic event when you were out which is causing a build up of anxiety with the idea of going out.

The people you go out with

Negative relationships who are part of your weekly outings and get-togethers can be another reason why you do not want to go out because of the negative experiences that come with being part of that group.

It could be your friends or your romantic partner or even your family that behaves in unhealthy ways- extreme criticisms, shaming, bullying- which influence your sense of happiness and well-being. 

Infact, a study finds that intimate unhealthy  relationships impact a person’s anxieties- including social anxiety- due to fear of negative evaluation and criticisms.

The activities you do

One reason you don’t like going out with people is because you simply do not like the things that you do. It could be because you do not have a say in the decision or that you do not want to speak up. 

You might not want to go out on the weekends because all your friends want to do is party while you want to go trekking or visit galleries. 

If you go out alone, it could be that you do not like what you are doing without even realising it. The lack of exploration and trying out new things could be unmotivating for you to go out.

Anxiety and depression

As mentioned earlier, you might be dealing with anxiety- social anxiety and agoraphobia which are often a result of negative experiences in your life like trauma, abuse, bullying. 

The reason why you do not want to go out could be because you are afraid of embarrassing yourself, feel that everyone is going to cristicse you or are judging you. You might also be dealing with the fear of your own safety. 

If your desire to stay in is also accompanied with low moods, fatigue, suicidal thoughts, feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness that has been consistent for more than two weeks- it is also possible that you have been affected by depression

Here is what you can do to cope

If you think that the reasons listed above are some of the reasons why you feel like you do not want to go out, here are some steps you can take to help yourself:

  • Reflect on the why

The first thing you can do, as an act of self-love, is to reflect on the reasons why you do not want to go out. 

Is it because of the people you go out with, or a negative event that left you fearing for your life? Take time to reflect on the whys and give yourself time to acknowledge your personal reasons which you might not even want to accept. 

  • Consider therapy

If your reasons are because of trauma and abuse which has left you struggling with anxiety and panic attacks it is advisable that you talk to a professional about it. 

You might not have a diagnosable disorder but a therapist or a counsellor can help you understand what is going on in your mind and guide you through strategies to cope. 

In case you do have social anxiety or agoraphobia, they can help you understand the disorders, help you cope, and guide you through the process of healing.

If you find the idea of going out and meeting a therapist daunting, you can consider online therapy which can be effective if you keep yourself open to the fact that it is effective if there is motivation to get better.

  • Be mindful and assertive

If one of the reasons why you do not want to go out is because of the people you hang out with , be mindful of how much time you spend with them. 

Set boundaries with them if you cannot avoid them and if you are able to identify that some of their behaviour is extremely abusive, consider cutting them off.

If it is the case of your opinions not being heard, be assertive when plans are made for the next time, tell them how you have been feeling and that you’d like to try doing something you like with them. 

  • Try something new

If the mundane routine of your weekends is getting in the way of your motivation to go out, try something new. Even if it is by yourself. 

Trying out new things, giving yourself a chance to meet new people and learn new things can be a challenge you set yourself up to which can make it exciting and motivating. 

  • Pick and choose

If you live a busy and stressful life, be mindful of how much you do even if it means being choosy with your time. Avoid agreeing to everyone’s plans and choose moments of rest for yourself.

Give yourself the privilege to say no to what you do not want to do and yes to the things that bring you joy. 

  • Create a stay at home event

If you do not want to go out and you want to avoid the traffic, the loud music, the bad food- create a stay at home event for yourself and your loved ones. 

Have a movie night or a game night at home, make the food you want to eat and share with them. You can even have a party at home if you want to. Allowing yourself to have fun without going out can also be a way of switching up your routine. 

  • Spend time alone 

You can also gain a lot by spending time with yourself and your desire to stay in could also be your body and minds way of telling you to rest- to pause- and spend time with yourself. 

This can be an opportunity for yourself to take stock of your life, your relationships, and the direction of your career. 

Or it can be a moment of rest where you do the things you like, learn new hobbies, paint a picture, or read a book. 

Conclusion

In this article, we have discussed some of the reasons why you might not want to go out and what you can do about it. We have discussed some things you can do to get yourself motivated or get your undiagnosed mental health condition treated.

 

References

Haller J, Leveleki C, Baranyi J, Mikics E, Bakos N. Stress, social avoidance and anxiolytics: a potential model of stress-induced anxiety. Behav Pharmacol. 2003 Sep;14(5-6):439-46. doi: 10.1097/01.fbp.0000087735.21047.e7. PMID: 14501256.

Porter E, Chambless DL, Keefe JR. Criticism in the Romantic Relationships of Individuals With Social Anxiety. Behav Ther. 2017 Jul;48(4):517-532. doi: 10.1016/j.beth.2016.11.002. Epub 2016 Nov 11. PMID: 28577587.

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Frequently asked questions related to “What do I do when I don’t want to go out?”

What is it called when you don’t want to go out?

If you do not want to go out and you have been cooped up at home after a traumatic event you could be struggling with Agoraphobia which is a fear of being in situations where escape might be difficult or that help wouldn’t be available if things go wrong. 

If you are fearful of going out and engaging with people because you fear judgement and criticism, you might be struggling with social anxiety.

Is it okay if I don’t go out?

It is normal to want to stay in and rest however, failing to go outside for extended periods of time will only hurt your health in the long run. The lack of socialisation, exercise, and vitamin D can impact your mental and physical health. 

What happens if you stay in your room all day?

Staying indoors in your room all day may fuel anxiety, insomnia, and depression. 

You might begin to lose opportunities to experience new things, create memories, get the exercise you need, and even the nutrients you require from the outside world which can impact your mental health. 

Why do I dread going out?

If you dread going out you might be experiencing social anxiety and agoraphobia. 

When you have social anxiety, you might be struggling with going out in public spaces because you fear judgement and criticism that might not really be a real threat. 

If you struggle with Agoraphobia, your fears of getting trapped or not being able to get help in a dangerous situation keep you from getting out into the world. 

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