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Ask A Therapist: How Can I Find Motivation Again?

Personal Growth, Coping Skills, Ask a Therapist
3 min read

Dear Therapist: After so much time working from home / limiting my social activity, I’m having a hard time motivating myself to reach out to friends. So much time has passed and I feel like I might not bring anything to the group any more anyways. It makes me feel lonely but I also don’t know how to, or even if I really want to reach out. How do you help people get out of this feeling of being stuck? Or not good enough?

Frame Therapist Allison Lieberman weighs in...
It is so hard when you are isolated for so long to be able to reach out. It is like starting new! When we avoid something (intentionally or not) it becomes bigger and bigger and then all consuming. I work with a lot of people on this in particular, especially new moms, because they struggle with the isolation and go out into the world again.

Another layer to this is that COVID has really made seeing and talking to people taboo, which can add an extra flair of anxiety. What I like to recommend is to start small and easy. Who of your friends is the least anxiety provoking to reach out to? Can you text them something like “hey, did you see the Oscars?! That was nuts!” or “Hey! Have you tried that new coffee shop yet?!” It seems simple, but sometimes that is the hardest thing to do. Once you get 1-2 text messages out of the way, it does get easier. 

In response to whether or not you want to see these friends again, that is a different question! I like to recommend reflecting on what benefit these friends brought to your life. Not every friend can check every box, but we want to feel good, not drained, when we see and talk to our friends. Maybe you accept the draining friends are out of your life, maybe you save them until the end in terms of reaching out. 

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About the Therapist: Allison Lieberman is a licensed marriage and family therapist specializing in postpartum anxiety. She is a mom of 2 and the host of The New Mama Mentor® PodFollow her for more content @rootedinharmonycounseling


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