When depression takes a hold it can be really difficult to even get out of bed, let alone do something that gives you a sense of achievement. Fortunately, finding motivation when depressed can be achievable. Here are some tips for how to get motivated when depressed which hopefully will make finding motivation a little easier when you are battling with depression.
One Thing At A Time
Do you ever wake up and send yourself into a panic from being overwhelmed by the number of things you need to get done for the day? This happens to me frequently. I then end up spending the day in bed or on the couch because I end up being too overwhelmed to get anything done at all.
The trick is to break it down into small goals. One step at a time. Forget about getting through an entire to do list and just focus on the one task. It doesn’t matter how long it takes, just make that task your main goal for the day. What often happens is that when we achieve that task, it gives us a sense of accomplishment and a small boost to our motivation. This makes achieving the next task just a little bit easier. Focusing on just the one task is a good way to set yourself up for the rest of the day.
Don’t Schedule Too Much
Keep your list of things to get done to a smaller amount. If you have too much you are trying to do, you will never feel like you have achieved much because you will rarely be getting through the list. Keeping your list short will help to keep you in a positive frame of mind as you cross things off the list and can see the end of the list and know that finishing it is achievable.
Have A Support Network
There are several benefits to having the right support network of friends or family. They can be there to help you with the tasks you want to get done, they can encourage and support you to get it done, and they can also act as an accountability buddy. It is also good to have someone or several someone’s that you can talk to about things. If they understand what it is that you are trying to achieve then you can discuss things with them and they can help to support you or offer you advice when you are having difficulty. They can also be there to celebrate your achievements with you. Celebrating with someone else is always better than celebrating alone.
Stick To A Routine
Having a daily routine will help you not only to get things done, but also to give you a sense of accomplishment. Keep a list of your daily routine and mark things off the list as you do them. These can be simple things such as getting dressed or having a shower in the morning. As you get through these things each day, you can see your to do list getting smaller and smaller. With the time that is left in the day after achieving these things, you can use it to achieve even more. As you do these regular daily achievements, you will find it becomes easier each day to get them done. You can then aim a little higher each day to achieve even more.
Don’t Overthink It
The depressed mind will often talk us out of doing things or convince us that we can’t do things. It is important not to feed these negative thoughts as they will make it harder to achieve anything or find motivation. Just tell yourself you are going to do whatever it is on your list you are aiming for next and get started without giving it too much thought. You can then use that sense of accomplishment to create more positive thinking, and use that thinking to motivate you and tell yourself why you can achieve your goals.
Maintain Your Focus
In today’s world it is easy to get distracted by messages, social media, emails and phone calls. It is especially hard when maintaining concentration is made more difficult by depression. So turn your focus away from the things that will distract you and focus solely on the next thing on your list that you want to get done. You can still set aside some time for dealing with messages etc, but make sure it doesn’t distract you or keep you from achieving your goals. You can even use it as a reward for getting through your list. You can reward yourself with 30 minutes of social media and messages if you tick off a certain number of things on your list.
How To Get Motivated To Exercise When Depressed
You don’t need to go for a massive workout, just start small and focus on going for a walk. Studies have shown this to be effective at reducing overall depression symptoms. This is on top of the health benefits of daily exercise. Understand that the first step of your walk is the hardest one as far as motivation goes. Each step after that gets a little easier.
Usually it is not the walking that is the hard part, it is actually getting enough motivation to go for that walk. You can try having a walking partner. This will make you a little more accountable and less likely to cancel your walk, as you won’t want to feel like you let someone else down. You can also try listening to uplifting or motivational music to help get you going. As mentioned previously, if you focus on just one thing at a time it can make things easier for you. So don’t worry about how far you want to walk or where you want to walk to. Just focus on leaving the house and taking those first few steps of your walk.
I like to reward myself for doing it, so I make sure my walk takes me past a café so I can reward myself with a coffee. It also helps to give me motivation before my walk because I really like my coffee!
What To Do When You Just Can’t Find The Motivation
There will always be some days where achieving anything is just too much to handle. Depression is a very powerful illness, and you need to accept that there will be days when the depression just won’t let you achieve anything. What I like to do on these days is spend some time reading about strategies to help with depression. That way the day is not a complete loss and I am at least spending some time doing something that will help me and perhaps make the next day better. Often I will find motivation in what I am reading and am able to turn my day around.
My favourite resource is a product called Destroy Depression. It is a downloadable e-book full of advice and strategies for overcoming depression. Reading this on my bad days helps me to keep the strategies fresh in my mind and I am often able to turn those bad days around and end up achieving something. I have a bookshelf full of self help books aimed at managing my depression more effectively, but one of the most useful products I have ever bought has been Destroy Depression. If you want to read more about it you can do so by clicking this link.
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