So, assuming that the Final Boss is Learned Helplessness. What can be done? I’m going to outline a strategy for an attempt. Seeking feedback, if anyone has any to give.
First, cut out a lot of media. Anything that you can’t change can be safely jettisoned. Stop watching the news and reading the paper. Eventually comedy and satire may be ok. Regular news can be phased back in once you learn to quickly shut-off any triggers.
Second, it may be important to accept that there are some things you cannot care about, and learn how to care about them less. This is closely tied to the first point. Yes there’s people dying in India. You can’t do anything about it directly, so don’t watch that exposé on corruption in the Indian government.
Third, and most importantly, do something that alters your future. Don’t do anything grand. This is not the time for grandiose gestures! In my case, I had just lost 20 lbs due to outside circumstances and I decided I wanted to keep it off. Simply not going back to my previous weight was my goal. You can build from there. Decide to lose a few extra pounds maybe. Join a book club (even if you have to take two shots of vodka before you walk in the door). Anything at all. Just do something that’ll have some small impact on the future around you.
Don’t worry about the rest of the world. It’s too big for one person to change it all. Can you lift one person that fell into a ditch? Sure. But you can’t lift ten. You lift the person next to you, and you trust that he will lift the person next to him, and so on. You can’t do everything by yourself, you can only be the type of person that would cooperate with themselves.
I already know the problem with #3 though. The problem is that when nothing matters, you cannot motivate yourself to do something. You can’t motivate yourself to do anything. There is no point. I have no idea how to overcome this problem, and I’ve been racking my brain and googling for days* . All I can say is that “finding your passion” and “searching for your meaning” is bullshit. Don’t bother trying to find something you are passionate about, it’ll only lead to greater disappointment when you realize there’s nothing to be passionate about. Just say “Yes” the next time someone on Facebook asks for a favor. Start small.
*btw, a common answer is “get professional therapy”. I strongly support that, but 1. it’s probably not enough, and 2. a lot of people can’t afford it