Depression can make you feel like you are at your lowest in life. You may feel like giving up and doing nothing when life gets too complicated. So, how to motivate yourself when you are depressed? According to lifehack, it’s difficult to expect 100 per cent motivation all the time. But there are things you can do to maximize your motivation and keep moving forward.
This article will let you know all the causes and solutions to clinical depression. Hang tight if you want to know how to motivate yourself when you are depressed. We’ll also let you in on a few tips on how to apply external motivation to help with depression.
What Causes Lack Of Motivation?
Long term lack of motivation can crush your soul and spirit. Several reasons can cause a lack of motivation. Some underlying reasons and factors behind your lack of motivation can be:
Depression saps your willpower and inspiration. Also, moderate depression falls into this category. It can be challenging to get through the mundane activities of everyday life when you’re suffering from depression. That means cleaning the house or paying the bills is a struggle because you don’t care.
If you believe you are suffering from depression, you can do a few things to boost your motivation. The first step is to consult with a therapist. Therapists can help you unravel the root of your depressive state. They can help you overcome depression. Consequently, celebrate even the most minor achievement when you are depressed for your peace of mind!
Not Doing Enough
Newton’s first law of motion states that an object at rest will stay at rest unless acted upon. This law applies in your everyday life too. It might sound odd, but sometimes not having enough on your to-do list could be tiring.
Working or doing chores keeps your mind busy. Moreover, it can give you a sense of accomplishment. Sitting around the house doing nothing can practically eat away at your potential!
Sometimes you might have a lot on your plate, and you get overwhelmed. The sheer volume of impending tasks makes your body and mind shut down. Feeling overwhelmed is a common cause of a lack of motivation. You might feel like you don’t know where to start and give up.
Breaking up your work in small chunks and finishing up one by one could be a solution to the problem. As you finish each small job, you’ll feel the satisfaction of marking it off your list.
Is Lack Of Motivation A Mental Illness?
Is lack of motivation a mental illness? A question that has no simple answer. Avolition is a complete lack of motivation that makes it difficult to do something. Avolition is a common symptom of schizophrenia. Schizophrenia is a mental illness that affects the ability to think, feel, and act. It may also be a symptom of extreme depression or a medication side effect.
Avolition should not be confused with procrastination, in which an individual deliberately seeks out distractions to avoid completing a chore.
Emotional blunting is a common symptom of avolition. It means you do not display any obvious signs of emotion. As a result, people often label your behaviour as “apathetic” or “lazy”. Though, medical experts describe your behaviour more appropriately as emotional and behavioural paralysis.
Avolition is a problematic symptom to identify. Because experts characterize it by the lack of action or emotion rather than the presence of one. A combination of drugs, cognitive therapy, and behavioural therapy can help people with avolition. Getting social skills training could also help you overcome this disorder.
Symptoms Of Depression
Before learning how to motivate yourself when depressed, you should be able to identify the signs of depression. If the feeling of loneliness and sadness lasts for a long duration, it’s time for you to seek medical help. Recognizing the symptoms of depression is the key to seeking treatment.
Symptoms of depression include:
- Fatigue or restless feeling
- Persistent feeling of sadness or anxiety
- Complete apathy or lack of motivation to do anything
- Lack of concentration & memory loss
- Losing interest in fun activities
- Having suicidal thoughts
If you don’t get help for your depression, it can worsen and last for months, if not years. Moreover, it can be painful and even lead to suicide. About one out of every ten people who suffer from depression commit suicide.
How To Motivate Yourself When You Are Depressed? 7 Motivation Strategies To Get You Through Depression
How to motivate yourself when you are depressed? A popular misconception is that we need to have enough inspiration to do something. So, you wait for the day when you can feel more motivated and start participating in life.
You wait to get enough motivational jolt to feel more like yourself again. But, we forget that motivation isn’t something that appears out of nowhere; one must nurture it. You must do something to rekindle motivation.
Here are seven proven, effective strategies to increase your motivation and get you through depression.
Do What You Enjoy
Making a list of things you enjoyed doing in the past or something you want to start doing is a good place to start. “What do I feel like I can do right now?” ask yourself. “What has previously inspired me?” “Can you think of something you’ve always wanted to do?”
There is no correct or incorrect way to begin. The most critical step in identifying pleasurable or meaningful behaviours is to get moving and do something other than what you’ve been doing.
Set Achievable & Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals and objectives is the second step. Consider what you can do at the time and how much you can do. Start with 15 minutes if you think you’ll be able to go for a 20-minute stroll. You don’t want to overdo it by pushing yourself too hard.
If your target is too big, and you can’t achieve it, it will be disappointing for you. You will end up having negative thoughts and lose motivation to try again. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, concentrate on setting small, attainable goals.
Achieving these small goals will encourage you to think positively about yourself. Furthermore, success will increase your motivation to do more.
Identify The External Stress Inducing Factors
External influences may often affect our motivation. Perhaps you have a chronic health problem. You might feel trapped in a dead-end workplace or work in a stressful environment. Maybe your significant other or family members have been critical of you. All of these factors may have an effect on motivation.
However, thinking about what you can do and what you can control can help you feel more in control of your life. Give yourself the power to walk away from a negative and stressful situation. If the work scene is crazy, take a few days off. Sometimes, a change of scenario can help you to be back on track!
Break Out Of The Box
Depression often gets induced because a single occurrence or thing has been repeated too often or for a long time. You need to break those habits now. Change your routine or pattern. Always be up for trying out new things. Change can be tricky, but sometimes it may unravel the best in you.
Do something different from your usual routine. Surprise yourself! Make a bold statement or do something you’ve never done before.
Take Up Physical Exercise
We know we’re asking you to do the impossible. The proposition might sound outrageous! But it is a proven fact that physical activity shows promising results in reducing depression. But the bigger question might be, how to motivate yourself at work when you are depressed?
Depression is treatable with psychological or emotional mediation. You can do many physical exercises that can help you get out of that depressed state.
In addition, take a cold shower regularly to relax your body and relieve tension in your mind. A cold shower is typically preferred because exposure to a small amount of cold air or water improves brain function. Go for a swim to take your mind off the stress.
You can also try walking every day. It helps clear the clutter in your mind. When your brain is not stressed, you are more likely to feel motivated.
Exercise enhances the production of endorphins. It is a natural chemical produced in the brain for the wellbeing of your mental health. Five to ten minutes of daily exercise is enough to prevent you from slipping into depression.
Get Enough Sleep
Yes, you read that right! Lack of sleep can make you feel less motivated and hamper your productivity. It can also make your depression worse. Most adults need 7 to 8 hours of good quality sleep every night on a regular basis. If you can’t get enough sleep, make some adjustments to your routine.
Increased tension, vigilance, and irritability may occur when sleep is disturbed or insufficient. Physical or emotional trauma can cause sleep disruptions. Furthermore, metabolic or other chronic medical issues may have an impact on your sleep cycle.
Consequently, you might be exercising less because you’re tired. And your health level suffers as a result. You eventually fall into a vicious cycle of inactivity and disrupted sleep, which triggers depression and causes a lack of motivation.
It’s also essential to get enough sleep on a regular basis. Regular sleep can make you feel refreshed when you wake up. Talk to your physician if you are facing trouble sleeping at night.
Motivate Yourself by Reshaping Negative Thoughts
A shift in perspective is necessary for personal progress when you are trying to motivate yourself through depression. Accomplishing any task during this time is no small feat. Make sure you remind yourself how good you are doing and how far you’ve come in life, fighting through depression.
Give yourself a pep talk before starting the day. Learn to be your own motivational speaker! Reframing your negative thoughts into something positive can interrupt your fear and anxiety. It can help you break away from an unhealthy pattern and be more in control of your thoughts.
With a positive mindset, you’ll surely be able to motivate yourself. Learn to be more forgiving and accepting of yourself. If you find yourself falling into the black hole of depression, use the tools of positivity and self-love.
How To Motivate Yourself To Study When You Are Depressed?
As a student, you might have often struggled with your studies. We’re here to tell you that it is not just you! Many students become restless and lose concentration while studying. It happens due to a lack of motivation, rooting from depression. So, how to motivate yourself to study when you are depressed?
Lack of motivation is one of the many psychological symptoms of depression. Yet, as a student, you need to power through.
Often, low morale is a cause of not setting your goals or not managing your schedule effectively. Define your goals in a specific manner. Please make it so that you can easily follow it through! Do not take up big projects or study plans with a dire time constraint! Break down your big project into bite-sized pieces.
However, make sure you consistently maintain a daily routine. The satisfaction you get from completing your everyday routine decreases the risk of depression. You add checkmarks to routines to indicate which tasks you have completed. It will inspire you to complete the incomplete tasks.
Furthermore, surround yourself with people who share the same aspiration regarding academics. You can arrange group studies with them to make learning more fun. We all know, teamwork makes the dream work!
How To Motivate Yourself At Work When You Are Depressed?
Many of us are forcibly having to multitask at work. We have to wear many hats at work and juggle several projects. Additionally, maintaining consistent communication with your team and clients is absolute.
You might get overwhelmed with too much going on and fall behind on your work due to multitasking. Lagging in work often breaks your spirit. You might feel less motivated to work, which might further induce your depression.
Research has shown that heavy multitaskers are less competent than employees who work one task at a time. Multitasking can make your brain go haywire and reduce productivity.
How to motivate yourself at work when you are depressed? To keep yourself motivated at work when you are depressed and distracted, opt for single-tasking.
Single-tasking can help rebuild your focus. You can assign an hour of your work time specifically for checking your emails and communicating with your team. It will give you the advantage to keep your project focus time quiet and uninterrupted.
Single-tasking can lower your stress level and make work enjoyable. Minimizing context switching can keep your train of thought unhampered. Focusing on one task at a time can flourish your creativity.
Lastly, remember to take a break and have a little me- time. Your work is no more important than your mental health. Delegate tasks to your co-workers if the pressure becomes unbearable. Enable yourself to consider less-than-perfect outcomes while focusing on motivation in depression.
How To Motivate Yourself To Exercise When You Are Depressed?
According to CDC, any physical activity that lasts 30 minutes to an hour reduces the risk of depression. Exercise is an all-natural treatment to fight depression. However, we admit exercise is a lot of work for a depressed person. So, you need to make it as easy as possible for yourself.
Minimize the obstacles between you and 30 minutes jogging session. Wear your tracksuit to bed to save yourself the trip to the dressing room in the morning. Eliminate all the obstacles that keep you glued to the bed. Implement exercise into your daily routine, no matter how long it takes.
Treat yourself to a churro on your way back from the gym! Give yourself small prizes for accomplishing the targeted workout goals. Incentives can keep you motivated to do exercise and overcome depression.
It takes a lot of strength to get through a day when you’re depressed. You’re in the middle of an epic war, and each day is a fight in and of itself. Recognize this. If you have to, scream it from your roof!
Please don’t compare your achievements to those of others because it won’t help you. Concentrate on the actions you took today that were good. Congratulate others for their accomplishments whenever possible. Consequently, acknowledge that it’s difficult to be depressed and productive at the same time. Be proud of yourself. Following your heart and passion can also drive up the scale of your motivation much higher.