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How can I get motivated, even when I'm depressed?

24 Answers
Last Updated: 08/17/2020 at 5:37am
1 Tip to Feel Better
United States
Moderated by

Sarah Robb, LISW-S (Licensed Independent Social Worker, Supervisor Designation) and LICDC (Licenced Chemical Dependency Counselor)

Clinical Social Work/Therapist

Difficult roads often lead to beautiful destinations. Life poses many challenges. Learning to face, cope with, and resolve these challenges can increase our resilience.

Top Rated Answers
January 24th, 2015 12:28am
Life is all about priorities and second chances. If it didn't go well in first few chances, make sure you hit the ball out of the park in the chances that follow.
April 5th, 2015 3:49pm
-Make the goal to do it, not to enjoy it. -Acknowledge your courage for stepping out of your comfort zone. -Focus on just a few things at a time. -Exercise. -Allow yourself time to relax and do the things you enjoy.
April 11th, 2015 10:57pm
Take things slowly, do one thing at a time, try writing a list, reward yourself for getting something done but don't scold yourself for not getting it done. It can be difficult but it can also be worth it
July 28th, 2015 6:15pm
I struggle with this one myself from time to time. I start small. I accomplish a small task. That usually makes me think "well, I did that. let's try this." And I'll try something a little bigger. And so on. For me, it's about literally putting one foot in front of the other and I don't think about anything except the task I'm on.
September 21st, 2015 1:43am
When I am depressed, which is often.... I reason with myself. I know I can't conquer the world that day but I know there may be a few small things I need to accomplish. Something as small as making sure I have food for the day or paying bills. Whatever it is... I set a schedule for myself. I know that if I accomplish these small tasks today I will feel like I am not a complete waste. I decide what time I need to have a certain task completed. Shower by 10am. Need to get to the grocery store by 12pm. I have to pay the phone bill by 2pm. I set a strict schedule for myself. The only way I know of to combat my depression is to adhere to a strict schedule. I need structure in my day or all will go by the wayside.
January 18th, 2016 2:40am
When I am depressed and need motivation, I think of first all the positive in my life. Why do I go to work? To have this place to live in! Why do I make the effort to go jogging? I want to feel and look healthy. What is the worst thing that can happen if I don't go/or do it? What is the best thing that I can feel/or have happen? The best sounds the best, get up and go! (I tell myself), If I still need motivation, I talk to a family member or friend. Encouragement, and reassurance is always the best motivation, either from my own thoughts or outside source. Now stop being down, things can only get better!
July 14th, 2020 8:54am
Focus on what you have rather than what you don't. There are so many things we are blessed with which we fail to notice and remain focused on what we find missing from our lives. Just to breath on our own, without support of machines is a tremendous blessing in itself! Compare your life with those who are in far worse situations than you rather than comparing with the more affluent. This gives us a different perspective and helps us become more thankful and we don't have to go far to see this. We can see such people in our building, on the roads, people going through all kinds of suffering. In connecting with them, trying to help them even, we can find our motivation. So long as you are alive you can try and make the best of your life. You may or may not reach your goals. If you don't, you can test assured that you did not give up or back out and you gave it your best shot. Many of us have people dependent on us for their emotional and financial needs. That is another thing which can motivate us to strive and do what we can to make our live better.
February 11th, 2015 3:28am
I find it helps that even if you don't have anywhere you need to be that day, just getting up, taking a shower, and going through your normal routine of getting ready helps a lot.
April 10th, 2015 9:44am
Make a bucket list of things you want to do. That is something you will look forward to doing. Make a list of things you love about yourself and thing you want to improve, and little by little, step by step start trying to achieve them.
April 24th, 2015 4:43am
Listen to some good music. Engage in your favourite sport. Stay fit, be healthy. Go for a holiday to know yourself more.
April 24th, 2015 8:27pm
Find people that love you and those that understand. Positive influences are always a great thing. Find what you like and be around people who enjoy those things as well.
May 6th, 2015 8:20am
Project yourself in the future. Do you want to end up homeless ? OR working the dream of your job ? And motivate yourself so you can show your enemies that you did better than them. :)
May 24th, 2015 6:03pm
I tried searching for quotes about life which got me very motivated. Or I used listen to happy songs that just pump you up! Good luck for being motivated!! :)
October 3rd, 2015 3:44am
Honestly, what I do is make a pro & cons list. Write down the good & bad, then write down three positives to cover up the negatives. It helps me, and it's worth a try. :) Good- Luck.
December 1st, 2015 9:30pm
you sometimes have to force past the lack of the motivation and do something regardless of how boring or monotonous it is.
May 16th, 2016 2:16am
Set a time limit, a small time limit of about 2 to 5 minutes for whatever activity you want to complete. Then do as much of it as you can get done in that amount of time. Do this several times a day and you will be surprised how much you actually can get done a few minutes at a time.
June 20th, 2016 6:24am
Hobbies. Getting involved in a special thing that you love will definitely brighten your mood. In addition to that, when you are happier, it tends to get easier to be motivated.
June 20th, 2016 2:59pm
Discipline and habits. I know. It's hard. But the worst thing you can do when you are depressed is to wait for motivation while lying in bed. Sometimes motivation comes after action. Force yourself to do what you have to do. It will be hard. Motivation is fueled up by achievements. If you set an achievement, you must work for it. And your achievement will make you feel slightly more motivated. Even if we are not depressed, it doesn't mean we are motivated all the time. That's why we have discipline and habits. Make yourself the habit of never waiting for motivation to get you up. But... you can always take a break and just stay in bed. Just don't do it often xD
June 21st, 2016 6:47am
Work on a list of goals and think on how you're going to achieve them. Motivate yourself through hype and try to become excited that you'll accomplish it.
February 7th, 2017 1:57am
I really think you need to do an effort from within to be able to get motivated. Will power can be very effective, sometimes changing your surroundings, looking at thing differently or doing things like taking a walk can get you on the right track to being motivated.
March 27th, 2018 12:55am
You can get motivated even when you are depressed by setting a goal for yourself in attempting doing something new for yourself that day even if you're sad, also asking friends or family members how to help you get motivated too.
June 19th, 2018 2:13am
Try to go out more and stay with the people you live or talk to your friends, just go have fun and enjoy life as much as possible, make a list of things you really want to do and just try to make them happen as much as possible
July 23rd, 2018 6:23pm
Start slow, and remember sometimes getting out of bed is a victory. Set small goals and reward yourself when you complete them. Work up slowly to your larger targets and keep track of your path so you can see how far you've come.
August 17th, 2020 5:37am
Sometimes when we try to motivate ourselves during depression, we often end up being too ambitious with our goals. Just like exercising your body, you have to exercise your mind and motivation gradually; tackling small tasks before we move onto larger tasks. Instead of attempting to achieve goals like "I am going to eat healthy everyday this week," try breaking it down into smaller tasks like "today I will have an apple as a snack, instead of a bag of chips." Eventually, the small tasks will feel normal and you will be more motivated to tackle bigger goals and so on!