One of my biggest struggles with depression is that it drains me completely of any motivation or energy.
No matter how much I might want to do something, I just can’t seem to. I end up laying in bed all day, sometimes managing to read or watch something on Netflix; but usually I just end up staring into space for hours at a time.
And I hate it.
I’m one of those people who loves to be busy, to be up and doing things and feeling like I’ve accomplished a lot with my day; even as a kid I preferred learning something new or doing homework over playing.
Yes, I was a very unusual child!
So when I can’t get anything done, it makes me feel even worse and I end up in a cycle of having no motivation, feeling bad for not getting anything productive done, which then make me even more de-motivated.
It’s a cycle that is really easy to get stuck in, and one that can be very hard to break.
As tempting as it is, try not to check your phone when you first wake up. I’ve found that if I just lie there for a long period of time scrolling through social media, any motivation I might have woken up with quickly goes away.
As part of my morning self care routine, I try and avoid checking my phone until I’ve had a stretch and got out of bed; I’ll usually respond to my texts and check the news while I’m making and eating my breakfast.
As tempting as it is to just lounge around in your pjs all day (especially if you’re self employed), it will do nothing for your motivation or mood. Getting dressed is a great way to show yourself and your brain that you have things to do, and help differentiate between working and sleeping/relaxing.
It’s the same as when people say you shouldn’t work from your bed; that’s the place that your brain associates with sleeping and it automatically goes into that mentality when you’re there.
I do occasionally work from my bed in my pjs (mostly if I’m not feeling very well), but I’ve noticed that when I get dressed and take my laptop/iPad into the living room, I get so much more work done!
I struggle with my body image quite a bit, and if I don’t like the way I look it can have a big impact on my mental health and motivation for the day. So once I’m dressed, I take a bit of time to fill in my eyebrows, add a touch of foundation or concealer and a coat or two of mascara; just enough to make me feel good about the way I look.
I’ll also make sure to brush and lightly style my hair, usually just quickly straightening the front and adding a little product to give it a lift and make it less flat.
Journalling is something I’ve really fallen in love with recently. It doesn’t have to be a beautify looking bullet journal if thats not your thing, you can just scribble down your thoughts and goals into an old notebook you have lying around.
Think about all the good things that are going on, no matter how small they might seem and the things that make you feel hopeful and positive. You can also use this as an opportunity to set achievable intentions and goals for the coming weeks or months.
You’re not going to feel any motivation if you’re trying to force yourself to do things, especially if you aren’t in the right place mentally. Take some self care time, close your to do list and just do a small task like putting clothes away or making your bed.
Once you’ve got one small task out of the way, you’ll hopefully find it easier to move onto another small task, and then another. But if you can only manage one small task, or even none at all, remember to always be kind and understanding towards yourself; we’re our own biggest critics and worse enemies at times.
A twenty-four-year-old autistic writer and designer from Sheffield. Tattoo obsessed, animal lover, self confessed bookworm and eclectic witch.