No matter how disciplined or driven we are, we all have our moments of laziness.
From time to time, we all like to sit and do nothing, even if there is a lot of stuff to do.
It’s almost as if your body and mind demand that you unplug and take some rest every once in a while.
But what if this phase of laziness lasts for more than a few days?
What if you feel a lack of will to do anything for weeks or even months on end?
In times like these, you might wonder whether you’re just lazy or depressed!
You see, laziness and depression have a lot of similarities.
In both cases, you feel demotivated, sluggish, unable to concentrate, and disinterested.
So, it can be difficult to understand what exactly is going on.
However, for the sake of your mental and emotional well-being, it’s important to know what you’re going through. It may be a prolonged phase of laziness, or it might be depression.
In both cases, you need to take corrective steps to make sure your life doesn’t start crumbling around you.
To that end, let’s take a look at how you can tell whether you’re lazy or depressed.
1) See If You Are Fatigued
One of the quickest ways to gain some clarity is to monitor your energy levels.
If you feel exhausted most of the time, even though you haven’t done much physical work, you might be going through depression.
In fact, psychologists say that exhaustion is one of the most common symptoms of depression.
Sure, fatigue can also lead to laziness. However, we also tend to get lazy when we are fully energetic.
For instance, you might have a lot of chores to do at home, but you might avoid them to watch your favorite tv show. In this case, you have a lot of energy, but you choose not to do the work.
So, depression makes you unable to do your work, and laziness makes you unwilling to do your work.
2) Are You Still Enjoying Your Hobbies?
Hobbies are usually things that people love doing in their leisure time.
If you have a certain hobby, by definition, you enjoy it.
However, when people are depressed, they find no joy even in their hobbies. They are completely demotivated, and they would rather just sit in silence than engage in an activity.
But things differ in the case of laziness.
If you’re lazy, you might avoid your hobbies for a little while, but you will get back to them sooner or later. Plus, even if you’re feeling lazy, and somehow you start engaging in a particular hobby, you will actually enjoy it. It won’t feel pointless or forced.
3) Are You Sleeping Too Much?
One other thing you can do is monitor how much you’re sleeping. If you feel like sleeping all the time, or you take frequent naps during the day, you might be going through depression.
Like, fatigue, sleeping too much is also one of the most common symptoms of depression.
It’s said that it might be your brain’s effort to boost your mood.
When you are lazy, on the other hand, you don’t generally sleep too much.
Sure, you may take naps here and there when you’re feeling a little tired or unwilling to do something, but this typically doesn’t last.
4) Are You Having Difficulty With Self-Care?
Self-care activities are all those things you do to boost your mood and improve your health.
They can be meditation, taking care of your skin, taking showers, eating healthily, practicing gratitude, and so on.
Now, when you normally engage in such activities, you feel uplifted. You feel as though your life is full of colors, and you are enjoying it to the fullest.
But a depressed person has a lot of difficulty with self-care.
Even simple things like taking showers take too much effort to get done. And there is certainly no joy or satisfaction in engaging in these activities.
On the other hand, if you’re merely lazy, you might only have a couple of self-care practices in your daily routine, and you might be irregular with them, but you still feel great while engaging with them.
5) How Is Your Behavior With Your Loved Ones?
This is perhaps the best way to figure out if you are lazy or depressed.
If you are lazy, your behavior with your loved ones won’t get affected. You will still want to see them, spend time with them, share memories, and so on. Sure, you might want space for yourself from time to time, but your overall interaction with them won’t get hampered. And the dynamics of your relationships won’t falter.
However, if you are depressed, you might withdraw from your loved ones.
In fact, you might even push them away. It’s not because you don’t love them anymore, but because you are just not in the right mental state. And sometimes, you may not even know why you’re doing it. It can get really confusing and painful at the same time.
So, if you’re experiencing all this turmoil, it’s a telltale sign that you’re going through depression.
6) Observe Your Thoughts And Emotions
There is a huge difference between your mental and emotional states when you are lazy versus when you are depressed. And I think we all know this by experience.
When you are lazy, you feel like taking a rest, plugging out, or doing things you really enjoy doing.
In this case, laziness is more about putting off things that your brain considers as “work” and doing things that your brain considers as “fun.” But you still feel okay for the most part.
Depression on the other hand is a dark state.
Your thoughts and emotions take a turn for the worse and you are usually sad, hopeless, irritable, anxious, or distressed. You feel like nothing in this world is worth living for. There is no mistaking it when you are depressed. You just know it with the way your body and mind feel.
7) Did You Develop Physical Ailments Lately?
If you have recently developed physical ailments, you might be suffering from depression.
Yes, usually, depression causes mental and emotional symptoms. However, there are times when it can manifest as somatic symptoms. These can be back pain, frequent headaches, physical pressure, muscle ache, difficulty breathing, and so on.
If you have suddenly developed these ailments, you will now have more clarity as to what may be going on.
On the other hand, laziness doesn’t lead to such physical ailments.
At the most, if you have been lazing around all day on your couch, you might get a little backache, but that has nothing to do with your well-being.