Tips for depression motivation

People with depression often experience a wide range of symptoms, such as low moods, feelings of hopelessness and sadness, sleep disturbances and appetite changes. Another common symptom that people with depression experience is a lack of motivation in their day to day lives. Someone with depression may also feel a lack of pleasure when it comes to activities and hobbies they once enjoyed.

Here, we’ll explore what a lack of motivation might feel like for someone struggling with depression and provide tips on the things you can do to increase your motivation levels. We’ll also provide information on getting the support you need for your depression, if this continues to have a negative effect on your life and wellbeing.

Does depression cause a lack of motivation?

Experiencing little to no motivation is one of the core symptoms of depression. A lack of motivation when depressed may mean that you:

  • Have little to no energy, causing you to feel lethargic
  • Struggle to get out of bed in the morning and face the day
  • Become uninterested in looking after your physical appearance or personal hygiene
  • Become uninterested in activities or hobbies you used to enjoy
  • Don’t want to socialise with other people
  • Struggle to concentrate or perform well at work
  • Struggle to keep on top of daily tasks and responsibilities

Some other symptoms of depression include:

  • Feelings of sadness, despair and hopelessness
  • Crying more than usual
  • Feeling irritable, anxious and restless
  • Unexplained physical health problems, such as aches and pains with no clear cause

How to get motivated when depressed

If you’re feeling like you don’t want to do anything or are unmotivated as a result of your depression, the prospect of doing things to try and motivate yourself may seem impossible. You may be wondering how you’ll find the motivation to motivate yourself!

However, there are a number of really simple things you can do that can help to boost your mood and motivation levels, helping you to feel better, more in control and enable you to cope with depression symptoms when they arise.

You could try the following:

  • Set yourself a daily routine and try to stick to it as much as possible. For example, try to cook at the same time each day. You can then congratulate yourself when you tick something off your list – this can help to boost your confidence and sense of wellbeing, which could help to improve your mood
  • Practise good sleep hygiene. The connection between sleep and mental health is well established. Too much or too little can have a negative impact on your mood, which is why it’s important to have a healthy sleep routine. Try going to sleep and waking up at the same time each day, avoid napping during the day and try to create a relaxing bedtime routine to get you in the frame of mind for sleep. Ideally, we should be getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night, so these steps can help
  • Go for a walk or do some exercise. Endorphins are known to improve mood so it’s important to try and get active. You don’t have to do anything too strenuous or lengthy, just being in nature or going for a 10-minute walk can help
  • Socialise with family or friends. Socialising with people can help us to feel supported and less alone, and can help to increase your motivation. This doesn’t have to be a large social gathering – socialising in small groups in a laid-back setting, such as a café, can do wonders for your mood and mental health

Affirmations for motivation

Using positive self-affirmations can also help to increase your levels of motivation. Every morning when you wake up, pick a few of the following and say them out loud to yourself and/or write them down.

  • I wake up feeling motivated to start the day
  • Everything I need is within me
  • I am rising above my depression
  • I am getting better and stronger every day
  • Today will be a good day
  • I am strong and confident
  • I can achieve whatever I want to achieve
  • I am grateful for today
  • I am constantly growing and evolving
  • I am proud of myself
  • I am motivated to achieve my dreams
  • My past does not define me


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