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Figuring out how to find motivation when you’re depressed is hard enough but as a mom? It often feels like a mountain I can’t even begin to climb.
Recognizing the Lack of Motivation
“It always seems impossible until it is done”
I’m not sure where that quote is from, but it’s one of the ones that comes to the front of my mind often.
On the hard days where keeping my eyes open seems harder than anything else.
On the days where my kids are testing me and I don’t know how I’m going to make it through the hour
And honestly, it’s come to mind a lot while stuck inside this weird point of life that we’ve been in for almost two years now.
Sometimes it feels impossible to make the next move or get to the next day.
But eventually, with each small step you take, you end up making what you thought would be impossible happen.
It can just take a LOT to get started & that’s why we’re diving into how to find motivation when you’re depressed.
Because it seems f-ing impossible most days.
As someone who struggles with bipolar disorder, I really, really struggle when it comes to figuring out how to find motivation when I’m depressed.
Sometimes getting off the couch is an excruciating task.
But as a mom, we can’t really just stay trapped on the bed all day so that’s where these tips come into play.
Let’s dive into how to find motivation when you’re depressed.
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How to Find Motivation When You’re Depressed
First off, put a pause on any and everything you’re doing that encourages your down feelings.
It might seem silly to some, but I know a lot of us tend to lean into the sadness when we’re already at the bottom of the “pit” as I call it.
For me, that’s my sad ass playlist, zoning out everywhere, and canceling (or avoiding) any and all plans. I know those things just make things worse, but sometimes it’s hard to stop myself from leaning into the depression.
As I write this post, I am really struggling with going back into a depressive episode so writing this post is my pause.
I knew that by putting all of my tips onto paper would really help pull me out of the mindset (even though I am still listening to Taylor Swift right now but come on, we aren’t perfect human beings).
So there is my first tip on how to find motivation when you’re depressed. Put a PAUSE on all things that make you feel even worse.
Next, it’s time to brain dump.
Yep. We’re going to get everything that’s stuck circling your mind right now out and onto paper. Who knows, this action alone might be enough to boost your motivation when you’re depressed.
I want you to take out a piece of paper or open your notes app and write down everything that’s on your mind to do. I separate mine into work tasks and personal tasks. You could even break it up further into personal, home, kids, etc. Whatever works for you when it comes to breaking down the thoughts clouding your mind.
I just did this and it helped me visually see all of what was circling my mind making it hard to focus and now I have a somewhat plan for what I need to do. Like write this blog post for example.
Now it’s time to re-visit your routine.
I personally have mine written out and posted on my fridge because I thrive on strict routine. That might work for you too, but what I want you to do is write out a routine for yourself that you personally think would help you be more productive and find motivation.
The most important thing for me is my night time routine. Yep, I have one just like my kids.
I know that by sticking with my night time routine I am much more likely to have a better day and feel more motivated and not so slumpy the next day. I am a big believer in setting yourself up for success the next day the night before.
So to find motivation when you’re depressed, start with what you are actually doing with your day. Try not to add too much to the list because you need to acknowledge that you are not functioning at your highest level right now, but that doesn’t mean you can’t find motivation where you’re at.
Then I want you to make a small list of three things you need to do and break it down into tiny, bite-sized pieces.
I know this might feel like a lot right now, but trust me. This WORKS.
Choose three things you have to do/want to do today and break them up into 5-10 pieces. For example, you might need to clean up the bathroom. I want you to break that up into TINY pieces such as “take out cleaning supplies”, “scrub the inside of the toilet”, “wipe down the sink with disinfectant”.
Yes, that small.
Well, it’s been proven time and time again that seeing things checked off of a todo list provides a boost in motivation and also makes you a bit happier. I know for me that seeing my completed todo list at the end of my work day feels like the BIGGEST success.
So that is what I want you to do now.
Pick three things and create bullet points for each thing in excruciating detail.
I bet it’ll help you start to find some motivation when you’re depressed.
Now that you have those things done, it’s time to actually start. The hardest part, I know.
I’ve given you some good tips so far but I know the hardest part of it all is actually starting. You have all of these ideas of how to find the motivation to get going when you’re depressed, but how do you actually pull yourself out of the funk to get started?
Here is what I do:
I rest first. I am usually stuck in bed or on the couch when I am in the thick of it and first I allow myself to rest. I give myself the permission to relax and free my mind of the worries of all I am not doing.
After I rest for a while, I give myself a time limit and at the end, I have to get up and start the small task. I usually pick the smallest, then the next smallest, and go from there. So I want you to set a timer for however long you need, and when that timer goes up, stretch your arms and legs then get up to start that first task.
It’ll get easier after you start. I promise starting is the hardest part of it all. You’ll find the motivation once you get going.
I hope this little guide on how to find motivation when you’re depressed really helps you out of the slump for a bit.
If you’re stuck in a place where the feeling of impossible is weighing heavy, remember that it always seems impossible until it is done. And you’ll get there. Step by step you will get there.