How 5 Women Living With Depression Stay Motivated At Work
Some of their strategies may be beneficial to your daily routine, too.
Depression can make getting out of bed in the morning difficult and powering through a work day feel near-impossible. Symptoms of depressionfatigue, persistent anxiety and sadness, and feelings of worthlessness, to name a fewcan make dealing with sassy emails from co-workers and crazy deadlines feel like a daily battle.
Here, five women share how they stay motivated at work while living with depression. If you also have depression, you’re not aloneand there’s a good chance that you may find a few of these tips applicable to your own day-to-day life at work.
Focus On The Things In Your Control
Not getting a job on which you worked really hard, experiencing the death of close ones, getting diagnosed with a serious illness, etc., are some uncontrollable factors that contribute to low motivation and depression.
There will always be something over which you have no control, so rather than agonizing over these external forces, focus on things that you have control over, like your relationships, your thoughts and emotions, your actions, and your attitude. It is a huge task to undertake, but it speeds up the treatment and increases motivation.
Take Up Physical Exercise
We know were asking you to do the impossible. The proposition might sound outrageous! But it is a proven fact that physical activity shows promising results in reducing depression. But the bigger question might be, how to motivate yourself at work when you are depressed?
Depression is treatable with psychological or emotional mediation. You can do many physical exercises that can help you get out of that depressed state.
In addition, take a cold shower regularly to relax your body and relieve tension in your mind. A cold shower is typically preferred because exposure to a small amount of cold air or water improves brain function. Go for a swim to take your mind off the stress.
You can also try walking every day. It helps clear the clutter in your mind. When your brain is not stressed, you are more likely to feel motivated.
Exercise enhances the production of endorphins. It is a natural chemical produced in the brain for the wellbeing of your mental health. Five to ten minutes of daily exercise is enough to prevent you from slipping into depression.
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How To Motivated To Clean When Overwhelmed By The Mess
When you are overwhelmed with the mess in your house or in a specific room it can seem like theres no way you can ever get going. However, there are a few steps you can take to help.
About 6 years ago I was walking into the kitchen to make a cup of tea for myself. I used the microwave to warm up my water. I set the microwave to 1 minute 30 seconds and then decided to unload the dishwasher.
I was completely shocked because I had it in my head that it took at least 5 minutes or more to do that.
After realizing that, I started timing myself doing other chores and I was surprised by how much my mind would overestimate how big of a job a chore was when it really wasnt that bad.
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Why Does Depression Make You Have No Motivation
Depression is a mental illness that can cause a wide range of symptoms, including low mood, fatigue, and lack of motivation. While the exact causes of depression are not fully understood, it is thought to be caused by a combination of genetic, biological, and environmental factors.
One theory is that depression may be caused by an imbalance of certain neurotransmitters in the brain. This theory is supported by the fact that antidepressant medications, which help to correct this imbalance, are often effective in treating depression.
Whatever the underlying cause, it is clear that depression can have a profound effect on motivation. Often, people who are depressed find it difficult to muster the energy to do even the simplest tasks.
This may be due to the fact that depression can cause physical as well as mental fatigue.
In extreme cases, depression can lead to complete apathy and isolation. If you are struggling with motivation due to depression, it is important to seek professional help. With treatment, it is possible to regain your motivation and enjoy your life again.
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Strategies For Boosting Motivation When Youre Depressed
Anyone with depression can tell you how hard productivity is when youre fighting this debilitating mental illness. Having no motivation to do anything is one of depressions many honorable qualities. In order to do anything, you have to fight really and I mean really hard to be productive. Some days might come harder than others, and thats totally okay. Take every day as it comes and try your hardest to focus on the here and now. Fortunately, there are mental techniques and strategies you can employ to gradually regain the motivation needed to live a full life.
When Depression Prevent Exercise: Find Treatment That Works
At Next Step, we know how profoundly depression can impact all aspects of your life. Our compassionate, non-judgmental team offers a variety of depression treatments, including medication and therapy.
If depression is keeping you from your potential, we can help. Call our Louisville, Kentucky office at 502-339-2442. You can also request an appointment online.
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Set Small And Attainable Goals
Setting small and attainable goals is a great way to find motivation. When I say small goals, I really mean tiny. For example, brushing your hair or eating breakfast might be a goal. Other small goals might be to spend time outside, brush your teeth, read for 10 minutes, and have a healthy snack.
Small goals help you stay focused and on track. Its a great way to keep motivation flowing from one event to the next. Small goals also decrease procrastination and increase satisfaction in oneself.
Write a list of your small goals so you can make the satisfying check mark upon achieving them! That checkmark is an instant mood boost. It means you did it! You achieved it!
Why do you need to set small goals?
- Small goals are a great confidence booster. Every time you achieve one, you get to make your checkmark and celebrate it.
- Setting small attainable goals is a great tool to help with positive time management skills. This can help ensure that your day is still flowing and not stagnant. When living with depression, the day can feel somewhat never-ending, and with small, attainable goals, you can see how far youve come and feel a sense of clarity and purpose.
- Gives visual representation to measure progress. So when depression is telling you that you havent done anything today, you can visually prove it wrong.
- Generate motivation through momentum. Once you complete one small goal, youll be excited and want to achieve another.
A few examples of small goals when you are depressed:
Be Kind To Yourself And Set Rewards
Sure, some people work best under pressure. For example, maybe they are motivated by the knowledge their supervisor would be displeased if they dont do the assignment on time. However, if you suffer from depression, this may not be you. Therefore, if you have poor motivation due to depression and know that stress and pressure dont motivate you, avoiding them may be helpful.
Setting minor goals is the first step. Cleaning out your closet, for example, could be one of your objectives. If you succeed, reward yourself by making a favorite meal or watching an episode of your favorite television show. This method of tiny victories and rewards will assist you in regaining your motivation.
Gradually increase the complexity of the goals as you feel better. For example, go for a long run and treat yourself to a modest dessert. Accomplishing each new goal leads to a sense of growing accomplishment, a beautiful experience.
Stop and re-evaluate your expectations if you start to feel overwhelmed. Eventually, the aim may be more challenging, such as acquiring a new skill or trying something new. Experiment with several choices to see what works best.
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Get Moving On Your Lunch Break
One tip that helps several of the women we spoke to? Getting some form of exercise in during the day. ! When it’s nice out, OHara makes an effort to get out in the sun during her lunch break and walk around the block. “In the winter months, I have to rely on yoga to keep my energy up,” she says.
Sarah Riley* finds that hitting the gym helps boost her mood. “When I feel my mood down spinning overtime, I spend longer in the gym lifting and doing more cardio, which normally brings my mood back up overtime.”
Visualize Yourself With Motivation
Not sure where to start? Put yourself in the shoes of someone whos motivated. Taking a moment to try and imagine yourself with the motivation you wish you had is a great way to get started, even if you feel a bit silly.
If a motivated version of you would put on some headphones and turn off your phone to do a task, follow that instinct.
Theres no harm in failing to get things going, but sometimes youll find that going through familiar routines will kickstart something you werent able to find just a few minutes earlier.
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Mental Health And Motivation: Depression And Low Moods
Mental illness can cause, or contribute to, feeling a lack of drive. Mental illness doesn’t discriminate, and mental illness is not your fault if you lack drive. However, if you lack drive, you must try to seek help.
Sometimes, mental illness makes you not stay motivated in other ways. Sometimes you are feeling okay, but then you get overstimulated and have a breakdown due to your mental illness. You were feeling motivated, but because of your mental illness or your personality disorders, it’s difficult for you to continue trying.
Mental Strategies For Depression
Take one step at a time and do only one task at a time to avoid becoming too overwhelmed. When you take a big task and break it down into smaller and more manageable tasks, the small step you take wont be as overwhelming, and you can concentrate on a specific task or goal at a time rather than trying to tackle an entire to-do list.
Trying to achieve too much at once can quickly cause you to lose motivation. Look at the bigger picture, do one small thing at a time, and boost your motivation level.
You can also try meditating. Access whats called the Observing Mindthe part of you that can observe or witness your thoughts, feelings, and behaviors. Use this Observing Mind to simply watch the depression.
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Does Depression Make It Hard To Exercise
Yes, feeling depressed will make it much harder for you to exercise. A lot of working out is pushing yourself a little bit harder, whether it be during your 10th rep or 20 minutes into your cardio session.
That is if you find the motivation to put on workout gear, leave your bedroom and join the crowds at your gym. There are a lot of barriers to overcome when wanting to train when depressed.
Improve Your Energy And Well
Don’t be so hard on yourself. You can’t control your negative thoughts about yourself, but you can catch them, and reframe them into positive ones. If you find yourself criticizing yourself harshly for lacking the motivation to complete a task, you can take a step back. We take on daily challenges in life, regardless of how big or small or good or bad we perceive them as. The reality is, with every decision we make in life, there poses a risk for a positive or negative outcome. Therefore, moving forward you should always try your best and make the best decision that you believe is right. Try to counter self-criticism with positive praise, especially with even your smallest accomplishments throughout the day.
Treat people how you would like to be treated. Be kind to others. Try to get involved with community events or even help a stranger today. People appreciate an unexpected helping hand. You will also gain fulfillment by helping others but gain a bigger reward knowing you made a positive difference in someones life.
Surround yourself with supportive people. Supportive and positive people have a huge effect on our energy, motivation level, and well-being. When surrounded by loved ones, we are more likely to feel empowered and experience greater self-confidence. When surrounded by negative people, we are more likely to lose motivation or experience low self-worth.
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Set Achievable & Realistic Goals
Setting realistic goals and objectives is the second step. Consider what you can do at the time and how much you can do. Start with 15 minutes if you think youll be able to go for a 20-minute stroll. You dont want to overdo it by pushing yourself too hard.
If your target is too big, and you cant achieve it, it will be disappointing for you. You will end up having negative thoughts and lose motivation to try again. Instead of setting yourself up for failure, concentrate on setting small, attainable goals.
Achieving these small goals will encourage you to think positively about yourself. Furthermore, success will increase your motivation to do more.
You Dont Have To Enjoy It
The only goal you need to have for a task is to complete it. You need to accept the fact that you arent going to like everything you have to do. You may wonder how anyone gets anything done, but it is because people who dont suffer from depression can fight through not wanting to do something they wont enjoy because they feel balanced most of the time. You dont have that luxury, but unfortunately, life isnt fair. If you get into your head that it is what it is and you just have to get it together and complete a task, it will make it easier.
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Create A Support System
Depression can make you feel isolated and want to be isolated. Isolation, on the other hand, might exacerbate depressive symptoms. While dealing with depression, surround yourself with a strong support network of friends and family. Joining a depression support group can help you maintain a therapeutic connection to people.
Having supportive relationships might also help you get the motivation for any treatment you require for depression.
With the support and affection of a solid network of friends and family, many of lifes obstacles including dealing with depression become simpler to tackle.
The hopelessness and helplessness that come with depression may make you feel as if youll never get better, but your loved ones can assist you in getting through the difficult times.
Emotional Strategies For Depression
If youre aware of your depression and whats causing it, you can try going deeper into the emotion itself.
Remember, depression is just a state. Youre not the depression itself.
Try to find the center of the depression, and you may realize that it has none. Then, the depression will disappear on its own.
Alternatively, you can express your depression and frustration. Go into a private space, like the bathroom, and talk to the depressed part in the mirror. See what it wants and needs. Often, merely allowing this sad part to express itself can resolve the depression.
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What Is Samhsas National Helpline
SAMHSAs National Helpline, , or TTY: is a confidential, free, 24-hour-a-day, 365-day-a-year, information service, in English and Spanish, for individuals and family members facing mental and/or substance use disorders. This service provides referrals to local treatment facilities, support groups, and community-based organizations.
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Focus On The Positives Not Negatives
Depression feeds on negativity such as self-pity, doubts, and fears. Surrounding yourself with a negative, draining environment gives your depression fuel. Instead, remove the negativity and focus on the positives.
Focus on feelings of gratitude and uplifting content. Practice positive self-talk. Smile, laugh, and joke. Not only does laughter make you feel lighter or happier, but also it relieves your stress and positively impacts your health.
Additionally, surround yourself with friends, family members, and co-workers who lift you up and support you. When your core group is positive, you regularly hear positive outlooks and stories. Their words start to sink in and affect your line of thinking.
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How To Get Motivated To Clean When Depressed
Medically reviewed by Kristin Hall, FNP
Many types of depression can rob you of your motivation to do things that make up your normal life, whether its spending time with your friends, taking part in your hobbies and interests or just keeping your home clean and organized.
When depression takes a toll on your ability to do normal daily chores, its easy for your home to go from tidy and well maintained to, well, something of a mess.
As mess accumulates, taking action can feel more and more difficult an issue that all too often drags down your mood and further affects your quality of life.
The good news is that dealing with a messy house isnt as intimidating as it can seem, provided you adopt the right mentality and focus on taking small steps to improve your living environment and general wellbeing.