Finding and Keeping Motivation When Depressed: A User’s Guide to Your Depressed Brain


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Depression is a physically and emotionally draining state of mind, and therefore creating motivation when depressed is one of the most difficult things one can do. Doing simple tasks seem to take a lot of energy. Everyday routines such as taking a bath, cleaning the house, making meals all of a sudden take a huge amount of effort. Sometimes even getting out of bed is difficult.

Creating motivation when depressed appears to be very tough since the instinct is to wait for the energy to return. People who suffer from depression fall into the trap of waiting and give in to the urge of staying in bed believing one will be re-energized and recharged. Well, this is not the case sine if some people waited for their depressive episodes to wear out they would be in bed for the longest time possible. Depression has to be actively confronted and this calls for creation of motivation.

The concept of mind over matter is suitable and it helps create motivation. Creating a change in mindset as well as manageable behavioural steps changes the whole experience of depression. This serves as a platform to move on with life as well as understanding and working on the cause of depression. Some of the steps that can break the depression cycle include:


1) Opposite Action.

This basically means doing something that is good for you to avoid taking up a bad habit. An example is avoiding the habit of sitting on the couch all day and watch television and instead go out for a walk which would be healthier. This goes hand in hand with the principle that your behaviour can lead to positive changes in your emotions.

2) Make Your Bed.

Getting out of bed is very tough when dealing with depression. Take easy steps such as sitting on the bed and place your feet on the floor. Visualize the idea of waking up is similar to leaving al, your troubles and thoughts in bed. Make a move and nicely make your bed. This signals the brain that going back to bed during the day is not an option. It gives you a chance to think of doing other things rather than sleep all day.

3) Wash Up.

It is advisable to have routine setting steps soon after leaving bed. Simple things such as brushing your teeth and washing your face will act as a pace setter to take on small duties during the day. It also helps one to wake up and feel fresh. The brain is trained that one is getting ready to do something useful for the day. Go ahead and take a shower for a fresher feel.

4) Get Dressed.

This acts as a crucial step to separate from the bed to day. Sitting on the couch while still in pajamas is a temptation to going back to bed. It gives one a lazy feeling. Getting dressed signals the brain that one is getting ready to do something or go somewhere. On the other hand feeling smart will act as a motivational tool.


5) Go Outside.

Leaving the house is one of the most difficult steps for people suffering from depression. The idea of not having a place to go tends to hold people back. The goal for this step is going outside, not having a place to go. Just leave the house and lock the door, then do whatever comes into your mind for instance walk around the block, down the street or get into the car and drive around.

6) See Family and Friends.

Think about this as more about the people rather than the activity. It acts as tool for mood improvement. Visit them rather than having them come over to your house. The more you leave the environment of depression the higher the chance of overcoming it.

(7) Make a List of Activities.

Write down the activities that you feel you enjoy doing. Include both indoor and outdoor activities. Mix up the activities in such a way that you have time with friends as well as time for yourself. The activities can be a mix of productive, hobbies and self-care.

8) Schedule Activities.

Ensure that the activities are spread throughout the week. Give specific days and time for each activity. Spread them out as much as possible and stick to the time plan.

9) Daily Necessity Schedule.

This is for those that have trouble getting motivated to take up daily activities. It helps in creating a daily home schedule. Choose a specific time for each activity to help you get daily necessities actually functioning on a daily basis.


10) Choose One Exercise.

Take up simple exercises such as walking, running, swimming, riding etc. just to ensure your body is moving. Make sure that what you choose to is a daily routine when you go outside. If it is an indoor activity ensure to do it before you leave the house.

Avoid self-criticism and practice self-compassion. Do not see yourself as a lazy and unproductive person. Use encouraging words such as those you would tell a friend. Always ask for help as well as company where possible. Have someone you can talk to and also one whom you will call upon when you need help.

It is likely that you will not feel like doing any of the above. Waiting to” feel like” you will probably never do anything. Ensure to fight hard and at least take up on activity every day. Take the initiative to find out what works for you. Bear in mind that it is not easy but at the same time not impossible. Ensure to give yourself credit for every progress made. The best thing to do is to step out of your comfort zone.




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