This month is Mental Health Awareness Month, and during these unprecedented times, it is now more important to discuss than ever. This month is a time to be more aware of sharing mental wellness tools and information to help people thrive. Depression is one of the most common mental health conditions; it has impacted my life significantly, and it affects millions of other people each year.
Depression is a mental and emotional state which left me highly unmotivated, numb and surrounded by negativity. Depression can get worse if not treated, and if you are unable to access support, look into online therapy options such as BetterHelp for coping strategies.
The symptoms of depression can lead many not to seek out treatment, but there are strategies you can put in place for managing your motivation levels when depressed.
Getting motivated when depressed
With my depression, looking back, I can see how much I had given up on myself and was isolating myself from the things that gave me pleasure. It was my lack of motivation to socialise, to work, to laugh, to eat, to get out of bed in a morning or even the motivation to get better that fuelled my depression.
Here are some strategies that I have found help you feel more motivated, even when struggling with depression:
1. Embrace Positivity –
Keep your brain active and motivated. Put up motivational quotes around your home, in your room, bathroom, or anywhere you go when you wake up. The more you repeat positivity to your brain, the more it will be conditioned that way. Embracing positivity also means avoiding negativity, and you may not realise an adverse influence in your life. Embracing positivity made me assess who I was watching on tv, online and on social media. I evaluated whether their message truly positive or was it making me feel negative, inadequate or consumer-driven. Avoid spending time with, connecting to or following people who give out negative vibes.
2. Exercise –
It may be tough but make exercise a part of your routine. Through exercise, your body releases endorphins, bringing about feelings of happiness. Exercising in a schedule can help significantly improve the symptoms of depression. For myself, during the lockdown, I have written out my exercise routine so I can feel like I am achieving something daily and can look back on my progress. As the pandemic has increased my anxiety, exercise has also become essential for aiding my sleep.
3. An Ironclad Routine –
My routine is everything when it comes to my motivation. I have a specific bedtime routine which is the essential part of keeping my mental health in check. I avoid over-scheduling like I used to; this only put me under unnecessary stress and made me less motivated. Instead, I make a list of the tasks I aim to accomplish in a day and stick to the routine. Checking off the tasks leaves me so motivated and is keeping me on track during these weeks of lockdown.
4. Continue to Socialise –
I so often want to cancel a social event, even though I feel much better after I have been. Forcing myself out of my comfort zone and spending time with close and uplifting friends is incredibly important. Give yourself the time and opportunity to lighten your mood and forget your worries. Good friendships help motivate you with greater self-esteem and higher spirits.
Keeping yourself motivated when feeling depressed is not easy, but you are not alone. Never forget that asking for help is the strongest thing you can do.