How to Motivate Yourself When You Feel Depressed

Depression has become quite common and is widely known as the number one motivation killer. When depressed, you lose your focus, energy, and drive, and you get a feeling that makes you want to stay out of the light and let the darkness consume you.

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The reality of depression is that the individuals who face it won’t easily accept lifestyle changes that are supposedly meant to make them feel better. A common response for such changes is “Easier said than done”.

The truth is that majority of the individuals who face depression already have ideas of what they should do to make them feel better, only that they don’t know how to do it. Besides, depression is a motivation, focus, interest, and energy killer.

Even though finding motivation when depressed is not easy, these ideas should make it easy to get you started, and find your way to recovery:

01.Set the bar low

Set the bar low
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When not depressed, your functioning ability is usually somewhere between 70 to 90%, but this goes down to about 20% when you’re fighting depression. As such, you can’t set expectations for yourself that are the same as or close to what you had when you were feeling good about yourself.

If you do so, there is a high probability that you will end up feeling anxious and overwhelmed, hence fail. This will make you feel ashamed and defeated, hence worsen your condition.

Rather, you should focus on accomplishing smaller, manageable tasks. If, for example, you wanted to finish your math assignment, aim to finish one problem first, then you can raise the bar once you’ve met your goal.

If it becomes hard to raise the bar and solve other equations as well, be content with what you’ve done already since you already accomplished your initial goal. Keep in mind that setting unrealistic goals only sets you up for failure.

02.Be compassionate to yourself

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No matter the situation you are in, avoid beating yourself up for being “unproductive” and “lazy”. Doing so will only make you feel worse about your situation.

Instead, try to think about how you would encourage a friend who is facing depression and practice self-compassion. You can use a mantra or the same encouraging words that you would say to a friend who’s struggling with depression.


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If you can, it’s always advisable to engage in physical activities that will awaken your happy spirit. Exercising raises levels of the good-feel hormone in you, making you less susceptible to depression. Your exercise sessions should take preferably 2-3 hours a day, twice or thrice a week.

04.Get support or seek help

Get support or seek help
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Some, if not most of us, have trouble holding ourselves accountable even at the best of times. You can only expect it to get harder with little motivation or energy. When such times arise, it’s always advisable that you confide in someone you can trust, and get help from them

You can get a friend to ensure that you stay true to your commitment or ask your partner to accompany you to a yoga session. Never be afraid to ask for whatever support or assistance you think may help you overcome your hard times.

05.Focus on how you’ll feel after a task

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When fighting depression, even the simplest of tasks seem daunting. But that’s because you more than likely are focusing on the effort involved, rather than envisioning how you’ll feel after completing the given task. That’s why you should aim to focus on how you will most likely feel after completing a task, rather than during.

06.Set rewards

Set rewards
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If you’re able to make the effort of achieving your goals despite your situation you, definitely do deserve a pat on the back. One thing to keep in mind is that if you want to reward yourself, you should aim to earn the thing that you love to do. Rather than binge-watching your favorite show, earn each episode by completing the tasks that you need to.

A caveat that you ought to consider, however, is that you should never come up with a reward system that only ends up feeding your depression. If, for example, your depression makes you want to stay in bed all day, avoid rewarding yourself with a nap. If the show you like watching the most is a downer that will probably make you feel worse, just reserve it for times when you’re feeling better.

The goal is to congratulate yourself for making the effort to do things that you, otherwise, wouldn’t have wished to do as a result of low motivation.

Final thoughts

The truth of life is that we move at different paces, and through the process, we face struggles and moments where we feel like we can throw in the towel. One thing to keep in mind is that such moments are normal. With roughly 121 million people around the world suffering from depression, you can be sure that you are not alone in your troubles.

The good thing is that there is always light at the end of the tunnel, and there is something that you can do to help you step out of the abyss. The strategies discussed above should go a long way in helping you get your life back.

Ann Shrott

I am a freelance writer with a deep passion for the latest trendy titles to produce content. What I'm striving for is to write about something well researched and make blogs sparkle. Keep on reading!

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