When You’re Depressed: Learning How to Find Your Motivation

As Mental Health Awareness Month comes to a close and life begins to slowly return to normal after a prolonged health crisis, it’s more important than ever to understand how we can recognize signs of depression and learn how to rekindle our motivation.

Depression is an insidious condition – many people may be surprised to learn that sadness is not the primary indicator of depression. In fact, many people who suffer from depression may not feel sadness at all…  but instead are burdened with an overwhelming sense of apathy, anger, and overpowering feelings of negativity.

Symptoms of depression can vary from person to person, but will generally include:

  • Feelings of fatigue
  • Difficulty concentrating (brain fog)
  • Trouble sleeping or oversleeping
  • Not wanting to do things that you used to be motivated to do
  • Irritability and anger
  • Feelings of low self esteem or a feeling of being worthless
  • In extreme cases, thoughts or taking your own life

Losing your motivation prevents you from doing the things that give your life meaning and purpose, and will ultimately make the depression worse – it’s a horrible feedback loop.

Here are some tips to help you regain your motivation – pick one or two of these tips at a time and work on them slowly, and learn which ones are most effective for you.

Get back to following a schedule or routine

Start with an easy schedule that you feel comfortable following. It’s more important to strengthen the habit that it is to try returning to your former busy routine. Start small and build back up – you’ll be surprised how quickly you will get back into the swing of things.

Start a light exercise routine

Even walking or light jogging can help you return to a better mental state if you are feeling depressed. You don’t have to hit the gym for hours a day, just a little bit of regular physical activity will work wonders for you over time.

Focus on positive thinking – avoid negativity and negative people

As it turns out, misery does in fact love company. Complaining about and being around others who complain has almost a cathartic and addictive quality, but even though it might feel good to do so in the short term the effects are detrimental to your mental health.

While it may be difficult to find motivation while you are experiencing a depressive episode, it’s more than worthwhile to start slowly, and put a little bit of work every day into finding yourself again.

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