Set small, manageable goals.
If the thought of doing anything seems overwhelming, start small. Set small, manageable goals. As you meet these goals, you can start adding more on top of them until you ultimately achieve all of your goals. Here are some suggestions to get you started.
1. Get out of bed and out of pajamas
The simple act of getting up is a good first victory of the day. Leave a few sticky notes with positive affirmations where you can see them, such as: “Yes, you can do it,” “Every long journey starts with one step,” or “Never give up!” Your brain digests whatever thoughts you create, so feed it positive ones.
2. Go for a walk
Exercise helps your body release endorphins, the feel-good hormones. Exercising for at least 35 minutes a day, five days a week, can improve symptoms of mild to moderate depression. It may also help treat more severe forms of depression.
3. Get your hands dirty to get a mood lift
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4. Don’t overschedule
Congratulate yourself for every task or goal you complete, no matter how small.
If you can only accomplish one or two tasks, that’s fine. Congratulate yourself for every task or goal you complete, no matter how small. That will help improve your confidence and sense of motivation.
5. Avoid negativity
Your brain digests whatever thoughts you create, so feed it positive ones.
Reading the news or surfing the internet, talking to people who leave you feeling drained and negative, or revisiting sad topics —these activities can all have an impact on your mood and motivation. Instead, focus on feelings of gratitude. Read uplifting content and surround yourself with positive people.
6. Stick to a routine
The sense of having accomplished daily tasks will promote a sense of well-being.
Write down your routine, stick it on the wall or somewhere you will see it, and use check marks when you’ve completed tasks. The sense of having accomplished daily tasks will promote a sense of well-being and inspire you to aim higher each day.
You could also keep a journal as part of your routine. Journals are a good place to dispose of negative thoughts and make room for the positive.
Choose positive relationships, encourage people to socialize with you when you feel up for it, and give volunteering a chance. Helping someone in need will improve your mood and increase your motivation to get out of bed the next day.
8. Create a support network
Have a support network on standby for when your motivation runs out and you feel overwhelmed. Choose people you feel comfortable talking to and who can help provide encouragement.
9. Get enough sleep
Depression can be physically draining. Sleeping too much or too little affects your mood. Aim for eight hours a day.
Lack of motivation is a symptom of depression, but it may be caused by something else. For example, you may lack motivation if you’re having difficulties coping with an issue in your life or experiencing something that affects your self-confidence.
If depression is responsible for your lack of motivation, you may find that your level of motivation is directly related to how depressed you’re feeling. If you or a loved one is feeling a lack of motivation due to depression, there are ways to help improve the situation.
It may seem hard at first, but persistence will help feed the growing sense of motivation, and you will find that over time it becomes easier to get up and do things.
Originally published in Healthline