Finding Motivation When You Have Depression
This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a small commission, at no extra cost to you, if you make a purchase using these links.
I’m guessing that if you’re here you’d like to know how to find motivation. Maybe you’re here because you have depression, and motivation is something you struggle with.
Well I’m here to tell you this is normal! And it’s okay!
One of the major symptoms of depression is lack of interest and motivation to do the things you love. Ugh. (The exact opposite of a good time) That’s a drag, but there’s fantastic news!
You can do what you love again! I know because I’ve gone through it.
I know exactly what it feels like to lose motivation for the things you love. I’m going to share with you the things I do to regain my motivation!
Also! Read this blog post to learn how I combat my own depression.
But first, a little bit about me:
I was born and raised on an island in Alaska, and moved away at 18. Since then, I’ve gained a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology, with a minor in Studio Art, and I now live in Colorado. I’d say that sort of accomplishment would take a hell of a lot of motivation. And it did. Living with depression from a young age, I feel I’ve had a lot to make up for. What I mean by that is that I’ve had to reteach myself to think and to live. I decided at 18 that I would no longer allow depression to rule my life. So I took action.
Finding motivation when you have depression is exhausting to say the least. You have good days, and you have bad days. Either way, it seems like a full-time job dealing with that unbearable fog.
So if you want to do something about it, keep reading.
How To Find Motivation When You Have Depression
Get enough sleep
What does sleep have to do with motivation? Umm, everything! It seems obvious to say, but I’m going to say it again! Get enough sleep!
How can you expect to be productive when you’re falling asleep during the day?
Now I don’t know about you, but my type of depression makes me want to sleep ALL THE TIME. If I don’t get enough sleep, I turn into a zombie and it’s far more difficult to be productive.
The amount of sleep you get each night sets the building blocks for the day. So take care of yourself, and give your body what it needs!
Keep a planner
This is my favorite! For those of you who don’t know me, I LOVE organization. I love writing lists, keeping organized, and checking items off lists! It makes me happy just thinking about it.
Now, I’m very deliberate when planner shopping. I like a lot of space to write daily tasks, weekly goals, monthly goals, and inspirational quotes.
I recommend this beautiful planner from Amazon.com. It has everything you could ask for, and it comes with a eco-friendly bamboo carved pen! How cool is that? I especially love it because it has 18 months, an annual chart, month charts, and lots of space for writing! An added bonus is that it has pages for important dates, and the fun stuff in life! You’ll see 🙂
Go check it out!
The reason keeping a planner works for me is because I write down tasks, and goals, and check them off. It’s a friendly reminder of all the things I need accomplish throughout the day. If I have nothing on my list checked off, it gives me a little push to get things done! It’s highly rewarding feeling accomplished at the end of the day.
Make goals and take the necessary steps to get there
Now you should write these in your planner! Another win for the planner! Hoo hoo!
Alright. So before every new month in my planner, I have a page for goals. It goes a little something like this:
Steps I Need To Take:
There are three for each month. If I didn’t originally have three goals to start with, I create more. These can be personal goals, career goals, financial goals, social goals, physical goals, etc. Write them down, and make a game plan for how you’ll get there!
Have a buddy that holds you accountable
Having a buddy to hold you accountable doesn’t necessarily mean a work out partner. This can be any trusted person in your life that is a consistent and positive influence! Make sure that this person is aware of your goals, is thoughtful and respectful to you. Don’t choose someone that will make you feel bad about tripping up.
For example, when I was first starting my small business, I would have my boyfriend remind me to post a new photo of a painting on Instagram (if he hadn’t already seen one).
I explained to him that posting to Instagram was important to me for marketing purposes. If he didn’t see a new post by the end of the day, he would kindly remind me that he “didn’t see any new and beautiful art on my page!”
Thoughtful and respectful. Also encouraging and positive!
The fun part about regaining motivation is that you get to reward yourself afterwards! If you accomplish a goal, you deserve some praise and treats!
You worked hard for what you’ve done, so treat yourself! It’s extremely rewarding to work towards a goal, and treat yourself afterwards! This will …motivate… you to keep working towards your goals. The more you do it, the easier it will get.
I reward myself with dessert. I usually go for a piece of tiramisu and a cappuccino, or dark chocolate. YUM!
But it doesn’t have to be food. It can be an at-home spa treatment, buying a new book, the options are endless!
Force yourself for 5 minutes
If all else fails, and you have zero motivation, force yourself. I’m going to serve you a little tough love. Get up, and do whatever you need to do for 5 minutes! No slacking! Really do that thing for a solid 5 minutes.
I know it’s miserable but this often works for me. Getting up and starting the momentum really gets me past the hard part. The hard part isn’t what you love doing, it’s finding the motivation.
Try it out, and let me know how it goes!
Know that you’ll trip up, and forgive yourself for it
We all make mistakes, we’re human. Forgive yourself for the little set backs and try again. Finding motivation isn’t easy, and it will be far more difficult if you beat yourself up for making mistakes. So don’t beat yourself up!
You’re an amazing human being with wonderful and unique talent. Don’t let that go to waste. It’s your responsibility to share that with the world! So smile, and share the great things you have to offer!