This is one of the most common difficulties reported by clients with depression. We all know how it feels too, there can be so many things to do, and what there is to do just doesn’t appeal to us. Even worse, what there is can be so overwhelming, we don’t even know where to start or if we can cope. People who don’t have depression can often mistake it for laziness, but it’s very different, because in reality, a lack of motivation can be so debilitating, it can prevent people from going to work, getting up, washed, dressed, eating, even paying bills.
So, how do you fix it?
Well, the way motivation works is a bit like a car battery, to keep you and your life going, you can’t leave it unused for any length of time, you’ve got to take it for a run around on a regular basis. That means keeping on keeping on! Simply doing something can give it a boost to keep it going the next day, and the next, and so on.
And what to do if you have no motivation at all? There is no easy answer, you just have to force yourself to push on through, and do something. You can’t wait for motivation to come along, because it won’t.
Sometimes people find antidepressant medication useful for a short time, because it can lift your mood for long enough for you to find the will to do something, and then once you’ve got the momentum, and are living more actively, people may find that, with guidance from their GP, they can reduce their medication because the motivation has returned.
But! If you want to boost your motivation, here are some motivation tips (the last one is the best):
- Make a plan, and write it down
- Tell someone about your plan
- Make your plan realistic and achievable, it may help to break your plan down into small steps
- When it comes to it, go with the plan, not the feeling
- Follow the 5 minute rule: tell yourself that you’ll do it for 5 minutes, and if you hate it then you can stop after 5 minutes, but most people find that once started, they want to continue