How to Find Motivation When Struggling with Depression
Finding motivation when you are depressed or anxious can be incredibly difficult. You may feel overwhelmed at the idea of going to work, doing household chores, or getting schoolwork done. Depression can be disabling. Depression can cause you to fall behind in daily responsibilities, prevent you from achieving goals, and destroy your productivity.
When you are feeling increasingly sad or depressed about your lack or productivity and motivation, it can seem like a vicious cycle that is hard to escape. When you are struggling with depression, it can take creativity to begin taking small steps to achieve your goals and find motivation to get things done.
Strategies To Get Things Done With Depression
It’s important to point out that the first step is to take care of physical health issues that may be linked or contributing to symptoms of depression.
Address Physical Health Conditions and Pain
Physical symptoms are common in people with depression. Researchers have found that aches and pains are often the primary symptom of depression. In the aforementioned study, these symptoms included chronic joint pain, back pain, stomach problems, fatigue, sleep issues, and appetite changes. In addition, having a major medical problems such as cancer, asthma, heart disease, arthritis, diabetes, stroke, or chronic pain can increase a person’s chances of becoming depressed.
The everyday stress of chronic pain or illness can contribute to symptoms of depression. It’s important to talk with your physician about your physical symptoms in order to maximize your depression treatment, increase motivation, and improve the health and quality of your life.
What Has Helped Ease Your Symptoms of Depression In The Past?
While it can be challenging to muster up the energy to do your favorite activities, it helps to understand the strategies you can turn to during days where you are struggling to get things done. Even a single small positive step in the right direction can drive an improvement in how you feel. Action leads to motivation, not the other way around.
- Exercise – Even if you can’t find the motivation to exercise the way you would like, try starting with a short walk around the block in the fresh air.
- Music – Turn on some music that promotes feelings of happiness and calm.
- Read a Book – There is a world of books, find some that inspire you and keep them close at hand to turn to when you are feeling de-motivated.
- Family and Friends – If you have a close friend or family member who is an empathic listener, give them a call. It’s well-documented that strong social connections are protective factors against depression.
- Mindfulness – Many studies have been conducted to look at how meditation may be helpful for a variety of conditions, such as high blood pressure, certain psychological disorders, and pain.
- Yoga – The researchers in one study concluded that yoga was effective in reducing depression.
Get Regular Exercise
Sometimes, when you’re feeling depressed, getting out of the house and exercising can be the last thing that you want to do. The very idea of going to a gym or going for a walk can feel like your personal nightmare.
What most people don’t realize, however, is that exercising can have a hugely positive impact on your mental health. Exercising releases endorphins and other chemicals that help you feel happier and more relaxed. It can also boost your spirits and be a great way of finding motivation with depression.
Starting the day off with some exercise, even with something as simple as going for a pleasant walk, can help you feel motivated for the rest of the day and set you in the right frame of mind for anything you may encounter. It will also help your body feel better and will help give you better sleep at night.
Create a Routine
Depression can often make you feel as though you are losing control, and, as a result, it can be easy to fall into bad habits, stop looking after yourself, and lose all sense of motivation. A good way to prevent this from happening is to make sure you have a solid routine in place.
If this routine involves eating, working, or exercising at certain times, then you have something to hold yourself accountable to. Setting yourself goals and rewards for sticking to your routine will help you find the motivation to continue sticking with it.
Routine can provide you with an excellent sense of order and control and in turn, this will help boost your mental health and help you find motivation with depression.
Maintain a Social Life
One of the most important things to do when you are feeling depressed is to try and surround yourself with people that are close to you. They can provide you with a lot of support which can help you get back on the right track in the long term.
This doesn’t mean you have to rush out to take part in huge social gatherings or events. Instead, choose how you spend your time wisely and do little things regularly like going out for lunch with a friend or to the movies. These kinds of things will help keep you in touch with the wider world, which can be a huge motivator.
It is said that you are a product of the people you spend the most time with, in which case, you should try to spend time with people who not only support you but also who inspire and motivate you.
Seek Professional Advice
If you are constantly feeling depressed and have no motivation, then maybe it is time to seek medical help.
Speaking to a psychiatrist about potential ways to find stimulating activities can be hugely beneficial and can help you find motivation with depression. You can also speak to a doctor who may be able to suggest medication or a program that may help you find the stimulation and motivation that you are looking for.
Get Enough Sleep
The best way to ensure that you will not have the energy you need to get out of bed and do something with your day is to not get enough sleep.
Sleep is important for both our physical and mental health and making sure you get between 7-8 hours of sleep a night will give you the energy you need to complete the tasks you want to do.
It is also important to make sure that you don’t have too much sleep. This can also have a negative effect and you can end up not having the energy you need to complete simple tasks. Many people with depression sleep too much but that only makes depression worse.
Everybody will have different depression triggers and it is important that you do your best to attempt to identify yours. For some people, it may be spending too much time endlessly scrolling through social media, whereas for others it may be reading the news or watching too much television.
A trigger for most people is alcohol. Alcohol dampens your mood quicker than almost anything and it will certainly kill your motivation. Cutting down on alcohol, or even cutting it out altogether, will aid your motivation and make you feel better. Alcohol can fuel thoughts of self-doubt and depression.
Practice Mindfulness and Positive Thinking
Changing your focus and perspective can have a big difference on not only your mental health but also on your energy levels and motivation.
Practicing breathing techniques or meditation can be a hugely effective way of changing your perspective and helping you gain back some control over your mind and mental well-being. This, in turn, can help you find new motivation to take part in activities you enjoy.