It is hard to stay motivated when you find yourself in the middle of a depression. Some would recommend a lifestyle change as a way of coping with the depression. But then again it is “Easier said than done.” It is difficult to stay focused on something when you are depressed. Here are 6 tips for keeping your motivation when depressed.
1. Set the bar LOW
When you feel depressed, you are not at your usual 70 – 90%. Setting the bar high may cause you to feel anxious and overwhelmed and unlikely to do the task that you expect from yourself in normal conditions. When depressed, start with small and specific goals. It would be easier to raise the bar once you feel motivated already.
2. Practice self-compassion
Criticizing yourself for being “unproductive” or “lazy” will not help you become motivated. The best thing to do is to inspire yourself by saying encouraging words that you commonly say to your friends.
3. Get support or ask for help
Getting help from other people is not a sign of weakness. Sometimes it is much easier to become motivated with the help of a support group or closest friends. You can ask them to accompany you to a counselling session or a yoga class.
4. Imagine how you will feel after the task
Depression will make one feel that they have low confidence in their ability to complete a task. As a result, they will feel overwhelmed and avoid doing such tasks. So avoid making high expectations for yourself while doing the task.
5. Make accomplishing a task your goal, not to enjoy it
Depression will make you lose interest In things that used to make you happy. It causes you to feel anxious, detached, or defeated. When doing something “fun,” do it with the goal to do it, not to enjoy it.
6. Acknowledge your courage to step out of your comfort level
Steven Hayes, a renowned psychologist, once said, “If you keep doing what you’ve always done, you’re always going to get what you’ve always gotten.” The thought that you need to get out of your comfort zone can be a cause of anxiety for you. So if you are able to accomplish something differently, then you deserve a pat in the back. Acknowledge your courage and look forward to doing the same thing in the future.
These 6 tips can come in handy when you are not feeling motivated due to depression.