How do you get motivated to do anything when you can barely get yourself out of bed?
One of the most disabling and difficult symptoms of depression is low motivation. Getting motivated to do anything when you are suffering from depression can feel overwhelming and to make matters worse most people will end up beating themselves up about it. Why cant I do this? Whats the matter with me? Ime wasting my life.
Unfortunately there is no easy way to deal with low motivation. For some people this is where medication can help take the edge off depression and while not the whole solution might give you enough energy and motivation to help you start to make other changes that will help in recovery. But medication doesn’t suit everyone and others prefer not to take it.
You can help move the process along by setting small achievable goals for yourself. Small steps mean a lot and some days you will find it a lot harder than others to achieve these. That' s ok. You’re not competing with anyone. Not even yourself. You just want to get better. Self care and nurturing is of the essence. It might sound trite but looking after yourself is the main goal here.
What to do when you feel unable to do anything.
* Stop beating yourself up. It’s a waste of time and it doesn’t help. If anything its going to make you feel worse and you already feel bad enough. Don’t do it to yourself. When the negative voice starts yapping in your ear, tell it where to go. Really, think of it like a vampire, it can only come in to your head if you let it.
* Get up every morning at a reasonable hour. Put the alarm on if you have to. Get up straight away. This is important. Do NOT lie there thinking about getting up. If you spend time thinking about it, you wont do it. Depression loves procrastination. You will be able to come up with a hundred reasons why you shouldnt do something. Likewise if you need to get something done, do it earlier in the day and dont think too much about doing it. Just do it.
* Shower and get dressed as if you have something to do. You do. Your working towards getting better. That’s your job for the moment and it takes effort and energy. You will be surprised at the difference just getting up, showered and dressed at a reasonable hour will make even if its just for a short while.
* Eat good food. Your brain needs nutrients to heal and recover. Dont feed it rubbish and definately dont starve it. If you are not hungry then graze frequently.
* Plan to do one new thing every day if possible. This helps move the brain out of depression mode. Take a short walk outside, walk the dog, ring someone. Make sure that it is something that normally you would get some enjoyment or satisfaction from. Even washing up a sink full of dishes will make you feel better when its done.
* Be your own best cheerleader. We all need encouragement. If you have managed to achieve a goal, however small, acknowledge it and allow yourself to be pleased. And if you didnt achieve what you hoped for, give yourself credit for at least trying.
For help with depression, Contact Cate: