How do you get motivated when depressed? Years ago a comedian said she loved being depressed because she slept 20 hours a day and ate ice cream the other four hours. I suppose if she didn’t laugh about this crippling mental illness she would have cried.
If it’s a serious case of clinical depression, you could become so disabled you quit or lose your job, you contemplate or even attempt suicide or you could be overwhelmed by sadness or hopelessness such that you don’t want to do anything.
If you have these symptoms, don’t even finish reading this blog. Contact a psychiatrist and set up an appointment for therapy.
If you are in the United States and feeling suicidal especially, please call the National Suicide Prevention Helpline at (800) 273-8255. They speak Spanish, too. Other countries have suicide help lines, too.
Suicidepreventionlifeline.org stateson its front page:
No matter what problems you are dealing with, we want to help you find a reason to keep living. By calling 1-800-273-TALK (8255) you’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor at a crisis center in your area, anytime 24/7.
The help line welcomes call from anyone in crisis, not just suicidal people.
The Internet is filled with advice on how to get motivated when depressed—9.91 million results on Google.
MindBodyGreen.com’s article on this topic, 6 Tips to get motivated when you’re feeling depressed, states:
A common response to identifying lifestyle changes that might make a depressed person feel better is, “Easier said than done.” Someone coping with depression may get what she’s supposed to do, but the question is how? After all, depression kills motivation, energy, interest, and focus.
The article says instead of operating at the usual 70 to 90 percent, a depressed person is functioning at 20 percent of potential. The author of the article, psychotherapist Megan Bruneau, says to set yourself small tasks. Instead of, for example, resolving to empty the entire dishwasher, take out three glasses. Then if you feel up to it, keep going. If you’re feeling overwhelmed at three, stop and come back to it when you feel better.
Don’t criticize yourself with terms like “lazy” or “unproductive.” Praise yourself. Bruneau calls it self-compassion.
“Try instead to use the same encouraging words you might use for a friend or loved one. If you can’t find the words, read more about self-compassion here,” she writes.
She says simple things that un-depressed people do, like bathing, going for a walk or hanging out with a friend can be very difficult to contemplate for depressed people. They think they don’t have the confidence to perform such tasks, feel overwhelmed and avoid doing them.
She says to “lower expectations for yourself within the task” and try to imagine how good you’ll feel after accomplishing it.
People who are depressed lose interest in doing things they used to enjoy, she says. Maybe you liked to cook, but no longer enjoy it all. Or you liked certain television shows that you can’t stand watching now. So make yourself do things you used to enjoy with the intent of just doing them, not necessarily enjoying them.
The World of Psychology has a blog written by Vicky Poutas that also addresses getting motivated and states:
Telling a depressed person to get motivated is like telling a rock to dance. You’ll get the same result.
It’s not because depressed people don’t want to get motivated. It’s because getting motivated is an overwhelming task when you’re depressed. Is motivation impossible? Definitely not. You just have to find a process that works for you.
She says some people scoff at the idea of taking medication. But if your depression is rooted in a chemical imbalance, the right medication can help you to feel well again. Motivation will follow.
When you wake up in the morning, don’t give yourself time to dwell on negative feelings, Poutas writes. Get up, bathe, groom yourself and “act as if you feel great already and you know for a fact that you’re leaving the house and will have a good time.
At the very least, getting dressed and looking decent can go a long way toward giving you a mental boost. It may even give you enough motivation actually to go to the gym and exercise, which is great for alleviating depression.”
She says if you can’t get the gumption to exercise or pull weeds or walk the dog, don’t berate yourself. Just bathing, grooming and dressing are an accomplishment.
Socializing is important for depressed people, Poutas says. Have a standing date to go out with a family member or friend. If no one is available, she recommends going out in public anyway and people-watching.
Toward the end of the article, Poutas, who also advises setting small goals, writes:
Try doing only one thing at a time, a little bit at a time. Five minutes here, 10 minutes there — each success makes it easier to stay motivated for the next step in your journey to feeling good about yourself.
An article on major depression symptoms at the Mayo Clinic website says people often suffer more than one bout of the illness in their lives. The symptoms occur most of the day on most days, Mayo says. Depressed people may:
That Mayo article has advice for depressed teens, adults, older adults and tells when to see a doctor and when to get emergency help.
You can sign up for the free Mayo Clinic newsletter Managing Depressionhere.
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Some research has suggested that caffeine may stimulate thermogenesis - a scientific name for the way your body generates heat and energy from the calories in your food; but nutrition experts say that this effect probably isn't enough to produce significant weight-loss. Caffeine may also reduce your desire to eat for a brief time, but again, there's no good evidence over the long-term that this effect leads to weight-loss. To date, no conclusive clinical studies have been done to determine the long-term effect of caffeine on weight loss, and the smaller studies that have been done show a lot of variability in the outcomes.
Want to hear something shocking?
Having your caffeine fix first thing in the morning will NOT perk you up.
But the good news is, you no longer need to make that sluggish early morning trip to the coffee-maker daily, nor join that long rush hour queue in your go-to café.
If you’re wondering whether we’re pulling some sick April Fool’s joke in the middle of August, there’s actually scientific evidence to all of this.
If you’re trying to lose weight (or at least not gain a few extra pounds), then the best thing to do is eat healthy and go to the gym more religiously, right?
But if you’ve been going at it for a while now and haven’t been seeing much progress, then you may want to look into something else.
Like your coffee consumption.
Now you may ask: what does an innocent cup of joe have to do with weight gain?
Let me tell you.
It’s not as innocent as it seem.
That cup of coffee you buy on your way to work? It may be sneaking in a few extra calories (more than you’d like and expect). And if you buy more than one cup a day, you may be racking up a few calories from a “dessert” that disguises itself as your go-to caffeine fix.