How To Stay Motivated When You Have Depression
Find out how to stay motivated when you have depression.
Motivation and Depression
As someone that has had depression since I was a child, I know how hard it can be to find the motivation to get things done. I'm normally and overachiever and a perfectionist, but something about depression kills the will to get even the simplest of tasks done. I know it doesn't make sense to people that don't have depression - they've told me as much before - but I've heard from others with depression that they go through the same thing at times. Once depression takes hold, it is really hard to break free from it and regain motivation for both the things you love to do and the things you need to do to live your everyday life.
According to the CDC, approximately 8.1 percent of adults have depression, of which 80 percent stated they had "at least some difficulty with work, home, or social activities because of their depression symptoms." Finding motivation to do things with depression is a real problem for the majority of the people that have it. That's why we will have a few tips that will hopefully help you feel a bit more motivated when you're depressed.
1. Get Out of Bed
Staying in bed while you have depression is one of the worst things you can do for you depression because it becomes more and more impossible to get motivated as time passes. Even if you aren't leaving the house for the day, getting out of bed and changing out of your pajamas into your regular clothes will do wonders for you motivation. If you're feeling up for it, take a shower before you get dressed. Feeling clean is great for the psyche and can help motivate you to do the dishes, cook dinner, or do whatever else has been plaguing your to-do list.
2. Keep Your Goals Small and Attainable
While you're feeling depressed, many tasks feel insurmountable to accomplish. The best way to overcome that is to keep your goals relatively small while you're depressed. If your goal is to get your house cleaned up, try breaking it down to something smaller instead. A small goal can be to first focus on getting any stray dishes to the kitchen sink. Once you accomplish that, you'll feel a sense of accomplishment of getting something done, which may even fuel you to get another small task done and you can try to move on to the dishes. Having your goals too large will only lead to more negative feelings when you're unable to accomplish them all.
3. Cut Yourself Some Slack
It's important to remember that, with depression, you aren't running at 100 percent and that's no fault of your own. Like diabetes and lupus, depression is an illness, a chronic illness that must be managed and cared for. While having depression doesn't excuse crummy behavior towards others, you can't blame yourself for having depression and you have to forgive yourself when you don't live up to your own expectations.
4. Ask For Help If You Need To
Whether you need to talk to a therapist to help cope with your depression or need to ask a loved one for a little help around the house to get you back on track, there's no shame in asking for help. Especially when we're at our lowest, and even when we're not, having help when you need it doesn't make you a weaker person, just like resisting help doesn't make you a stronger person. Accept help in any form when you need to and, if it makes you feel better, pay it forward when you're feeling better.
5. Get Out of the House
When I'm feeling depressed, leaving my house is often the last thing I want to do, though I usually feel better once I've left. Many times, having to interact with people can feel really overwhelming, so going for a walk is a great option. If it's a nice day, consider sitting at a park for a while or on your porch or balcony if you have one. Sit in the corner of coffee shop, diner, library, or wherever else you feel comfortable. Leaving the house for a little while is a good way to recharge.
6. Random Acts of Kindness
Why do random acts of kindness increase a person’s sense of happiness? Because kindness can promote gratitude. You are kind to others in need; having that awareness then heightens the sense of your own good fortune. Kindness promotes empathy and compassion; which in turn, leads to a sense of interconnectedness with others. Kindness can forward the will to live in depressed individuals who feel isolated and different; that is why performing volunteer work is so powerful. When you feel connected with others, you lessen alienation and you enhance the sense that we are more similar than dissimilar in our experiences. Feeling connected melds us together rather than divides us. Kindness is potent in strengthening a sense of community and belonging.
Let's Keep the Conversation Going...
How do you keep motivated with depression?