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How can I stay motivated when I suffer from depression?

69 Answers
Last Updated: 11/10/2020 at 8:47pm
1 Tip to Feel Better
Moderated by

Johanna Liasides, MSc


I work with youth and young adults to help them improve depressive symptoms and self-esteem as well as effectively address family, relationship and peer conflicts.

Top Rated Answers
June 7th, 2015 11:19pm
Depression is one of those tricky things. You know something's wrong, but there may not be a real reason for it. And because of that sometimes others can't recognize that there is something wrong. Staying strong during these times is difficult, but the best way to do this is to change your mindset. This can be accomplished through many ways, but the best way I've found is through a few steps. First of all, take a shower. Get super clean, and then you need to completely change your clothes. Socks, underwear, get rid of it all. Now you're in new clothes, you're super clean, hopefully you're feeling better. The last step is to go for a walk. I know, you don't want to do this. No one wants to do this if they don't have to. But get off your cute butt and go for a short walk. This physically changes the place you are in, the clothes you're wearing, and helps establish a new mindset for you to keep going and give yourself a break.
September 12th, 2014 6:27am
I know what's it like to be in depression for a long time. I know what's it like to be depressed for so many reasons and yet no reason at all and what's it like to stare at the walls for hours, thinking about nothing at all, just feeling the emptiness within. So for me, that is depression. The overwhleming surge of feelings and sometimes the emptiness of having no feelings at all. How did I cope with it? Basically when a person is in depression, he isn't the cheeriest person, if you know what I mean. and most people aren't willing to do anything about it. So being the stubborn person I am, I did nothing at all. What I mean is whilst in depression, if you don't want to take a postive step, that's okay. Just don't take negative or irrational steps like self-harm or suicide. That's what helped me to go through it. Doing nothing at all. just staring at the walls. Sometimes, painting all night long and writing my heart out. Also, I have seen a pattern. People with no hobbies, more likely have the tendency to become depressed. So find out what you like or enjoy. you like songs? listen to them. you like the song's lyrics? write your own lyrics and scribble them down. You like arts and the beautiful colors? Paint. You like singing? Sing. Like video games? play. Love cooking? cook. (people with wieght problems can still cook for their their family members and have a good time. you don't have to feel bad about it, just enjoy what you love.) You like reading poetry? write. It doesn't matter if you're good at it or not. what matters is that these little things make you happy. because some things you have to do just for yourself, not to prove others.
September 25th, 2014 6:36pm
Stay away from the things that trigger you. Stay positive and stay near the people who support you and love you :)
October 24th, 2014 5:48pm
I always find that when I look to help someone else, I am motivated and think less depressing thoughts.
November 1st, 2014 10:11pm
Know that it will pass. You won't always be depressed. It is okay to feel low and it is okay to have days when you don't want to get out of bed. I find making a small list of things to do, like get up and get dressed, and then tick them off the list, makes you feel more motivated and like you have completed something
October 1st, 2014 3:51am
Motivation comes from hope. By creating new reasons to be hopeful you will find new motivation to push on. For example in my situation I am unhappy with my living situation and lack of employment. My first thought was get a job so I could move out, right? Nope, I went and got a job and still it was not enough to afford a place on my own which brought me way down. So I decided to quit and go back to school which starts in two weeks. Yes I will be stuck here for another four months but I know I will have something to hope for and that gives me all the strength I need to get through this. You have to have HOPE. If you don't have it then get out there and find some!
October 23rd, 2014 11:12am
There are many ways to keep yourself motivated, a lot of self-help articles will tell you that, and they might be true, but the reality is that, at some point it all boils down to forcing yourself a certain discipline. If anything else doesn't help, force a different routine and motivation will follow.
November 18th, 2014 7:54am
Depression tends to suck everything positive out of your being, one of many things I do to help keep the negative thoughts at bay is combat them with positive messages all around me, my bathroom mirror is it's own collage of positive thoughts. When I find the mornings getting harder and harder to just get up and get going I try very hard to find something to do for myself. Have my hair done, have a manicure or just a walk in the park, but something that is for me.
October 19th, 2014 10:12am
I would recommend making a schedule and plans for things to do. You should not sit alone and do nothing, because then you will think about everything that is bad. Be around people and try to have fun.
September 22nd, 2015 1:13pm
It's all in the state of your mind. I mainly tried to change everything that surrounds me instead of starting with myself. That's how things started to go my way. It could be anything from the clothes you wear to the music you listen to. Say yes to more things. Example: There's a upcoming concert playing near you, go for it. Even if it's gonna cost you the money you've been saving to buy a new phone, possibly a new laptop, it's just never going to compare to the joy of you actually having fun outdoors watching a singer/band live even if you've never heard of them. Aspire to create and to leave footprints on the world, think of how small our existence on this planet lives on, we're inevitably going to die at any time in the future. So why start killing yourself from the inside from now? As I quote the great internet meme which has become, Shia Labeouf , just do it. It's crazy how you could turn things around in your head by visiting this one place, going to this one concert, or even hanging out with this one friend that might change everything. I hope this works for you and good luck
September 20th, 2014 12:07pm
Give it time. Speak your mind to someone. Find a project that you are willing to work day and night on and just do it!
October 14th, 2014 11:04pm
For me, staying motivated means staying busy. Exercising, hobbies, reading or spending time with loved ones helps me when I'm feeling depressed. Also, following a good routine and not falling into a slump where I'm sleeping too much or not enough.
October 18th, 2014 1:03pm
Depression can be very hard, but to stay motivated is approachable by seeking new knowledge in life. Trying new things, open up to new people. Be easy on yourself and believe you are here to keep on learning and everything in life is just another lesson to learn.
January 4th, 2016 10:45am
I would surround myself with the people and the things that would make me happy. For example. I would chat to my girlfriend, have fun reading or watching TV. The aformentioned always makes me happy :)
November 2nd, 2014 4:31am
Every case of depression is different and every person is different. What motivates one might not persay motivate another. You have to search for something worth living for, a passion that you love to pieces. Let that drive you and let that make your life worth living make that your motivation to be beat depression.
May 9th, 2016 3:10pm
Set goals for each day. It doesn't need to be big goals. It can be "eat breakfast today" or "wake up at 7am" or "handle the laundry". When you are depressed, you're only able to do a fraction of what you usually do. Accept this, but try to set some goals you need to achieve in a day.
September 11th, 2014 10:06am
I am really enjoying this! Being a listener is very fulfilling. I get to help people which is great!
September 11th, 2014 10:24pm
I've been struggling with depression for years now and what really helps me is listening to music and writing. I write a lot of poetry and pour what I feel into my writings. I also have one really close friend that I share everything with and he helps me by simply listening to what I have to say
September 29th, 2014 4:56pm
To tell you honestly it is hard to stay motivated but what I do is I look for someone I know I could really listen to me and say something good
October 12th, 2014 12:09am
When depressed, I generally seek help from my close friends who don't tell me what's right or wrong but simply listen to whatever i have to say. I also watch many animated or comedy movies which slowly work against the depression.
October 24th, 2014 1:44am
Keep a journal! It's a good way to keep track of your moods! Meditation and yoga are also both beneficial tools that help get you back in the mood and calm you down. Make sure to celebrate small victories and do not push yourself to do so much at once!
October 25th, 2014 5:21pm
Every day is another chance to do well. There are always set backs, days that you feel up for nothing and want to stay in bed. And that's okay. Just try again tomorrow. And look back every once in a while, look for that red line going up. Even if it's less days in bed and more days with a little task done that's progress right there. Keep it up!
October 18th, 2014 5:19am
you can look at bright side. for all the good things that have happened in your life. for just life in general because there always someone going though something worse than you. so when ever youre just feeling down think of the good times or even vent. best way to look at it is that you've come sooo far why give up now?
October 25th, 2014 4:17pm
Find activities that make you feel good about yourself and that you enjoy doing, it will give you a nice distraction and keep you productive!
November 4th, 2014 7:49pm
By finding the strength to change,if you find a good strength point , you can rely on it to keep you motivated,Depression can limit your life boundaries in so many ways,but there are alot to see in life , but you gotta break out of it first.
November 18th, 2014 4:45am
Ah, depression is a tricky little monster and it differs for everyone. People find motivation in so many different aspects of life. For instance, I continued learning even though I didn't want to be in school. I also continued working out and going to the gym because it kept me active and gave me something to look forward to. So, the question is, what was your initial motivation?
March 6th, 2018 2:27am
When you are going through depression and are trying to stay motivated at the same time some words of encouragement can help and doing things or saying things that even if you're having a tough time going through this that they'll be still hope.
August 27th, 2018 7:39pm
It's hard sometimes, but you need to focus on the good things in life, that make you smile. Everyone has something that makes them smile, thing is you just have to find it. Whether it be music or books, or the people around you. You Should find something in life that will get you through the day. No matter what you think, there is something in life that urges you to keep going when you truly want to give up. No matter what people will want you to keep trying even when you don"t even want to be living anymore.
October 25th, 2014 2:40pm
One simple friendly tip: Whenever you feel less motivated, just think about the time why you got started on it. If it's still worth it or not it's all up to you.
October 25th, 2014 10:03pm
For me, I always make new things for myself, since I start to lose my focus and energy for things. That's what always makes me look forward to things.