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Affecting more than 264 million people worldwide, depression is one of the most common mental disorders. The symptoms of this issue can range from mild to severe and can debilitate life. For some, these symptoms occur as isolated episodes due to a recent trauma, while for others, they become chronic and persist permanently. A lack of motivation is one of the most common of these symptoms and a potential hallmark of the disease.

Not feeling motivated to accomplish a particular task is common, and it happens to everyone now and then. But for the depressed one, overcoming this persistently low level of motivation can be a chronic challenge. This lack of motivation often responds to negative motivators, such as anxiety about a deadline or stress because of an upcoming due date. These motivators can encourage people with sound mental health to go ahead and accomplish all pending tasks. However, those with underlying depression mostly prove futile, making it highly challenging to get things done.

If you suffer from a depressive disorder and are wondering how to motivate yourself when you are depressed, keep reading this article for some valuable insights.

Depression and motivation share a negatively proportional relationship, with an increase in the former leading to a decrease in the latter. Many people diagnosed with a depressive disorder often complain about how they cannot get through the day and fulfil their responsibilities because they lack the willpower and motivation for it. While it is difficult for them to accomplish their day-to-day tasks like ordinary people, there is a way to sort the problem out before it worsens.

Mentioned below are some tips for incorporating into daily life to cope with the lack of motivation depression often leads to.

Set realistic and attainable goals

The establishment of goals can help improve the levels of motivation. If the goals are too lofty, they may overwhelm an individual or seem too intimidating to accomplish. Be Realistic by setting easily attainable goals. For example, if you aim to include exercise in your daily routine, start gradually with a 10-minute walk each day instead of jumping to an hour-long intense cardio session.

Find an accountability partner

Many people going through an emotionally challenging time find it too hard to maintain social connections. For such people, the easiest and the most convenient way of coping is by isolating themselves from others. This social isolation often serves as a negative coping mechanism and only worsens their depressive symptoms instead of improving them. In such circumstances, the best advice to improve your motivation levels is by breaking out of the isolation bubble and finding yourself an accountability partner. Choosing someone whose company brings you joy and whom you can partner up with to get things done can help drive the motivation.

Consider one task at a time

Depression itself is along to overwhelming someone, and this, together with a lack of motivation, can make even the simplest and easiest tasks impossible to accomplish. The situation worsens further when a depressed individual tries to take on too many tasks at a time to get done with their responsibilities quickly.

What you may consider doing is focusing on one task at a time at do not look any further than it. This way, you can break your daily responsibilities into more minor duties to make them less overwhelming and more manageable. If that one task takes you all day, it does not make a difference. In the end, accomplishing it can make you feel stronger and motivate you to do better tomorrow.

Connect to a community

A lack of motivation to do things can simultaneously hit multiple aspects of life. In such circumstances, it is easier to feel like your whole world is falling apart, and you may blame yourself for ruining your life. However, instead of self-blaming and being so harsh on yourself, try to understand that none of this is in your hands, and depression is the real culprit to blame. Try joining a community to meet people with similar issues to understand that you are not alone. Such people can also support you and act as a pillar of strength on days when you are too demotivated to accomplish anything.

Acknowledge yourself

Surviving even a single day with depression is a huge accomplishment. Remember that you are fighting a tough battle where each day comes with challenges. Know it, understand it, and remember it. Avoid comparing your accomplishments to other people’s achievements because this will only negatively impact your motivation. Instead, focus on all the positive steps you took today and give yourself a pat on the back for any achievements, no matter how small or big. This is the key to how to be productive with depression.

Steer clear of negativity

Do your best to identify all triggers that make you feel negative or destructive in general. For example, social media is often a common factor inducing negativism in most people with depression. Pay special attention to how these negative stimuli affect you, and try reducing your exposure to them as much as possible. Once this is done, you can slowly work on replacing them with positive people and positive news.

Practice affirmations for motivation

Use positive self-affirmations to increase your level of motivation. Pick out a few of the following and say them out loud to yourself every morning.

  • I am motivated enough to start the day
  • I am slowly rising above my depression
  • I have everything I need within me
  • I am getting stronger and more confident every day
  • I can achieve anything I wish to
  • Today is going to be a good day
  • I am motivated enough to chase my dreams
  • I am not defined by my past
  • I am proud of myself
  • I am grateful for today

It is usual for people with depression to feel demotivated from time to time, and this may make it harder for some of them to get done with their everyday tasks or work on their long-term goals. However, it is essential to realise that none of it is your fault. Depression is a very complex mental health disorder, and experiencing low motivation during a depressive episode is not a reflection of your work ethic or character. While it may seem impossible to treat, depression can be cured with a suitable treatment plan and daily lifestyle modifications.

The treatment process often begins with understanding and accepting the association between depression and low motivation. You can take other manageable steps to feel better and motivated once again. If you have been experiencing low motivation and other depressive symptoms for a while, consider talking to a mental health professional about the treatment options available. For most people, treatment includes the following three components:

  • therapy
  • medication
  • self-care

The right combination of these treatments can put you on the most effective course of action for depression treatment. Contact a rehabilitation centre today if you are ready to get help for your depression.

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