Depression can make it hard to function and can cause feelings of hopelessness and worthlessness. However, most of us still have to be productive. This can seem like an overwhelming and impossible task, but there are some things that you can do to help stay motivated.
However, if you cannot even get out of bed, have suicidal thoughts, or have been depressed for more than a few days, then you should check out BetterHelp. They have therapists who are qualified to help you improve your mental health and your outlook on life.
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A lack of motivation is a symptom of depression. Sometimes it even stems from a loss of interest or pleasure that often accompanies a depressed mood, but it can be separated from those feelings as well. People often find that they lose motivation more and more as their depression gets worse.
Other symptoms of depression include changes in sleep patterns, changes in eating habits, irritability, restlessness, fatigue, difficulty concentrating, and poor self-esteem or self-image.
Finding motivation can be a great first step in improving your habits and reducing your depression. Once you find the motivation, then you can do things that can help with your depression like talk to a mental health professional, visit with friends and family, and make healthy lifestyle choices.
So how can you do it?
Set Small Goals
Sometimes large goals are way too overwhelming and cause someone to freeze and halt their productivity. Instead, try to set smaller goals that are manageable and achievable.
You can even try to set goals that build on each other towards a larger goal. Be sure to congratulate yourself for completing even the smallest of tasks. These goals can be anything from going to get the mail from the mailbox to cooking dinner. Anything that helps you function and that builds a small amount of motivation is a win.
Take a Shower
Depression can make us want to wallow in our bed for the entirety of a day. Getting up can help us feel more normal and motivated. Try to get out of bed to take a shower. Then, take it a step further and get dressed.
You can also leave positive messages to yourself. They can be sticky notes or messages on the calendar in your phone. Messages can be anything that positively inspires you.
Go for a Walk
While an intense workout is likely out of the question while you are struggling with depression, going for a walk can be good exercise that doesn’t seem so daunting. Exercise releases endorphins that make us feel good and research indicates that it can even be good for reducing symptoms associated with depression.
Surround Yourself with Positivity
When you are depressed, positivity may seem dumb, but it can help. If you can talk to a happy friend, even if it is only on the phone or email, it can help to boost your mood. Don’t watch negative television shows or movies and try to make your home atmosphere as positive and welcoming as possible.
This could mean that you open windows to allow more natural light or play happy tunes that cheer you up. It also means to avoid negative things. Try to avoid the news and anybody who regularly brings you down.
Keep a Schedule
Having a regular daily schedule and routine can help us feel accomplished and productive. Just make sure that you do not put too many things on your plate at once because that can cause us to feel overwhelmed, even without depression.
Once you come up with a routine, write it out. Look at it each day and do your best to stick to it. Each small task that you complete and each day you get through with the routine will make it easier to stick to the schedule the next day, week, month, and year.
You may not feel like talking to or seeing other people, but social interaction is important for mental health and well-being. We are social creatures, even though we may not always act like it. Just make sure that you are talking to people who are generally positive that may help you become motivated and boost your mood.
This also means building a network of people that can be your support system. A support system can help you in numerous ways. They can encourage you to be healthy and productive, offer guidance during tough times, and lend an ear for you to talk to when you are frustrated or need to vent.
Eat and Sleep
Depression sometimes makes us sleep too much or too little. It can also impact our eating habits so that we eat too much or too little (or only eat Oreos and ice cream). These unhealthy activities are not doing your mood and motivation any favors.
Try your best to set alarms to make sure that you are sleeping the right amount. Even if you are suffering from insomnia, try to get into bed and get out of bed at reasonable hours. Then, try to eat three meals a day that offer nutrition to your body and mind.
Depression can make it hard to do just about anything. But it is possible to find motivation a little at a time. However, if you cannot even get yourself out of bed, then you may want to speak to a mental health professional. Either way, it is good to make small goals that you can reach to gain a sense of accomplishment and a boost in mood and motivation.
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