8 ways to get motivated while depressed
Being motivated while battling depression is very difficult, as almost anyone who has experienced this mental illness can testify. Most of the time, depression makes a person unable to be productive and makes it very hard to lead any semblance of a “normal” life. But you can do something about it. You can make yourself more motivated by employing some of the motivational strategies. In fact, the best online mental health therapy focuses heavily on enabling patients to become and stay motivated as they struggle to get rid of their depression. As every person is unique, finding the best way to motivate themselves can be quite challenging. But some ways are simply more effective than others, meaning that they are applicable in more situations. That is why we are going to go through some of the best ways to get motivated while depressed.
8 things to try to get motivated while depressed
Before you start reading up on what exactly you can do to motivate yourself, there is one important caveat: it’s alright to have “hard days”. What you need to do is take every day as it comes and do your best to focus on the present. That being said, incorporating some of these strategies can significantly improve your ability to become and stay motivated. Here are the top eight ways to get motivated while depressed:
- “One task at a time”
- Motivational speeches
- Give yourself some credit
- Accept your feelings
- Rewards for accomplishing small goals
- “Just do it”
- Create a daily routine
Of course, your particular “brand” of depression may straight-up eliminate some of these strategies. For example, you might not be the type that can socialize while depressed. Or you may have trouble accepting your feelings or giving yourself enough credit. However, you do want to make the effort as you never know what might help you the most. It is always worthwhile to experiment with new things and try to find ways to overcome your mental issues. These strategies have been found to work on most patients that struggle with depression and are, therefore, well worth your time and effort.
“One task at a time”
To start with, you might want to narrow your focus. Meaning that you might want to focus on one particular task. That is it, just one task, nothing else. You can also break down more complicated tasks to make them easier. Any task no matter how “insignificant” it might look to you is quite valuable. One of the major issues of depression is the fact that people who have it get overwhelmed by the sheer number of the things they need to do, as well as their inability to do them. But if you focus on one particular task at a time, you are essentially “breaking down” your to-do list into more manageable chunks.
There is a caveat, though. You don’t want to set unrealistic tasks, ones that you may have trouble completing. The best thing to do is to start small and simple. Baby steps, if you will. It does not matter whether the task you’ve set out to accomplish takes an entire day or even an entire week. What is important is that you focus on it and accomplish it in your own time. The best online CBT therapy includes this principle in its treatment program, due to how powerful it is. Also, take one task at a time, do not create another mental checklist that you need to go through, as that will defeat the whole purpose.
By breaking down your responsibilities into one task at a time, you might find that completing them is not as daunting as it is when you look at them all at the same time. You also have to remember that you are fighting to become healthier, it is not easy. But you can do it.
Depression, at its core, is all about negative feelings and emotions. That is why to fight it you need to employ the opposite. While you may have your thoughts about motivational speeches, the fact of the matter is that the insights you can get from them are extremely valuable. Even if you don’t get the “lift” from watching motivational videos, you will learn what makes them so powerful. For some people, the simple act of watching a motivational video or hearing a motivational speech is all that they need to get motivated while depressed. For others, it is a bit more complicated.
An interesting fact is that you can influence your psyche simply by focusing on positive statements about yourself. A simple positive statement can stand strong in the fact of thousand negative ones! The trick is to focus on them. Give yourself a few minutes to focus on a certain positive statement, such as “These challenges will only make me stronger in the end”. It is a very powerful tool, one that even the best online therapy for depression utilizes to great effect. Granted, it may be difficult to focus on positive statements at times but that does not mean that you should not try. Repeating positive statements and giving yourself motivational speeches have the potential to transform your entire day!
Give yourself some credit
Most people who struggle with depression have low self-confidence, self-worth, or self-esteem. But the fact of the matter is that you are much more incredible than you think you are. Fighting depression is a huge undertaking, after all. Even reading this article shows that you are willing to do something about it and that you are not simply “giving in”. You are doing something, and it matters.
It is very important to understand that you are fighting each and every day and that this is, in and of itself, amazing. Sure, there may be some difficult times but that is perfectly normal. Sometimes, you may want to scream out loud. Feel free to do it and let the negative emotions out. But also focus on all the positive things you have done so far. Every improvement is worth acknowledgment and praise. One of the main advantages of online counseling, for example, is the fact that you will have someone to acknowledge your efforts, even if you do not do so on your own.
What you don’t want to do is compare what you’ve done with what someone else has done. We are all unique and deal with depression in our own ways. You don’t know what the other person is going through in their head, you only know what you are going through. There are no two people that think exactly the same and there is no point in making comparisons. While you may want to congratulate others on their accomplishments, take some time to congratulate yourself and get motivated while depressed. Every day you are making small progress in the fight against depression. That is the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel.
Accept your feelings
Accepting negative feelings is one of the most important steps you can take toward getting rid of depression. The more you try to push the feelings away or bury them, the more of an effect they have on you. What you may want to do is accept them for what they are. Something that will pass. The main issue is that depression may overwhelm you with negative feelings that may drown anything else. But they will pass, they always do. Try to embrace those feelings and act them out if you need to. Cry if you feel like crying, take some time for yourself if you don’t feel like being around other people, that sort of thing.
As time goes on and you get more comfortable with accepting your feelings, you are going to feel more motivated. You will know that you have a way of dealing with them and that you can continue to function after they pass. And you will avoid the guilt and the shame that comes with buried feelings in the first place. Lastly, by accepting and embracing your negative feelings, you are essentially dealing with them right there and then. You will not need to deal with them for a prolonged period of time.
Rewards for accomplishing small goals
Rewards are some of the best motivational tools and they are applicable to people that fight depression as well. The fact is that depression saps your motivation and that you need something to offset that effect. The key here is to create a reward system that works for you and stick to it. For example, you may want to “reward” yourself with an hour of playing a game or watching a favorite show. Or even taking a 10-minute break can get you motivated while depressed. Anything that you find to be a worthwhile reward, really.
Try to set appropriate rewards for your goals, though. Rewarding yourself with a 5-hour activity for making breakfast can be counter-productive, after all. Small tasks merit small rewards and large tasks merit large rewards. Your brain will find that logical, meaning that the rewards will be worthwhile and meaningful. Start with small tasks and small rewards at first and increase the difficulty as time goes on. The first thing you want to do is get used to the reward system.
You may also think that the whole process is meaningless as you can simply take the “rewards” without actually accomplishing anything. But that is not how it all works. A meaningful reward for a meaningful task is much more motivating and satisfying than an “empty” reward.
“Just do it”
You don’t have to feel like doing something in order to do it. This simple truth is extremely powerful if utilized correctly. After all, we constantly do things that we don’t want to do. That is simply what life is. You don’t get to always do what you feel like doing. This simple principle is applicable to motivation, or lack thereof.
You see, you don’t need to “psyche” yourself up for any particular task. Simply go through the necessary motions to get motivated while depressed. Let’s say that you need to go to the gym. Making yourself amped for a workout session might be impossible at times, right? But what if you simply went through the motions instead? Focus on simply doing the necessary tasks and not thinking about what is to come. Put on your gym shoes, fill the gym bag, that sort of thing. By doing so, you will gather momentum and every subsequent task will become easier.
The problem with difficult tasks is usually not the task itself. It is your perception of the task that is the problem. In your mind, you are going through all the negative things that the task involves, which makes you not want to deal with any of it. But if you “just do it”, without overthinking it, it gets much easier.
Spending time with other people is a great way to get motivated for pretty much anything. As human beings, we are meant to socialize, after all. Socializing is a large part of our everyday happiness. Now, that does not mean that you need to overly socialize, either. We all have our thresholds and that is perfectly fine. But being around other people helps.
Try to join a depression support group, walk around your neighborhood, get one of your loved ones in a video call, etc. You may be able to draw motivation from your social interactions and they might plainly make you feel better.
Create a daily routine
Lastly, creating a daily routine can be extremely beneficial when it comes to motivating yourself. Having a routine makes it much easier to implement most of the other strategies to get motivated while depressed. It will be easier to focus on one task at a time, you will be able to recognize and accept negative feelings better, setting up a reward system will be easier, etc.
You may also want to consult a professional for your daily routine to ensure that you are not overwhelmed. You can find all the best online therapy networks right here on Consumer Opinion Guide! We also have numerous other mental health articles, which you may want to peruse at your own leisure.