Man feeling down

If you are experiencing symptoms of depression, it is essential to take your mental health seriously. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, the major depressive disorder affects approximately 17.3 million American adults yearly. Depression can make it challenging to find the motivation to complete daily tasks, even things that you used to enjoy. When unmotivated, breaking the vicious circle and getting back on track can be challenging. However, there are many things you can do to boost your motivation and improve your symptoms. This comprehensive guide will discuss how to find motivation when depressed and promote your overall well-being.

Understanding depression symptoms

Depression is a mental illness that affects more than just our mood. It can also impact our physical health, relationships, and daily life.

Depression symptoms can vary from person to person but commonly include the following:

  • Feelings of hopelessness, emptiness, or sadness
  • Low moods, self-esteem, and confidence
  • Experiencing negative thoughts and emotions often
  • Feeling overwhelmed by everyday tasks
  • Lack of motivation or interest in activities you used to enjoy
  • Changes in appetite or sleep patterns
  • Difficulty concentrating or making decisions
  • The trouble with physical health, such as fatigue or headaches

If you’re experiencing low motivation, it’s important to prioritize self-care and seek treatment through a mental health professional. Depression is a serious illness, and getting your support is essential.

Someone experiencing a major depressive episode due to a lack of self confidence

Why do you lose motivation when depressed

Depression can drain your energy and leave you feeling physically and emotionally exhausted. you lack motivation. Even small tasks can feel too much effort when struggling with mental illness.

This lack of motivation can create a vicious circle of negative thoughts and emotions, making you feel worse and less likely to try to break the cycle. It’s crucial to recognize that this lack of motivation is a symptom of depression rather than a personal flaw.

Tips for finding motivation when you’re depressed

You’re not alone if you’re struggling to accomplish your daily tasks. Here are some tips for boosting your motivation when dealing with moderate depression:

Build positive habits

One of the best ways to combat the lack of sense of motivation that comes with depression is to create positive habits. It can be as simple as making your bed in the morning or walking around the block.

Making the bed to break yourself out of the same routine

Establishing a routine can break the negative cycle and create new pathways in your brain that promote positive feelings.

Get enough sleep

Sleep is a crucial component of physical and mental well-being, so it’s essential to prioritize adequate rest.

Depression can make it difficult to fall asleep or stay asleep throughout the night. However, practicing good sleep hygiene can help. This includes sleeping regularly, avoiding electronics before bed, and creating a calming bedtime routine.

Surround yourself with positive people

The people around you can influence your mood and motivation. When you’re feeling down, it can be uplifting to surround yourself with positive, supportive friends and family members.

Spending time with positive people

Avoid negativity as much as possible, and engage in positive relationships with encouraging and kind people.

Exercise regularly

Exercise is a natural mood booster to help you feel more energized and motivated. Even moderate physical activity, such as a daily walk or yoga practice, can significantly improve symptoms that affect your mental and physical health.

Talk to your doctor before starting a new exercise regimen, especially if you have any physical health concerns.

Prioritize self-care

Self-care is crucial when dealing with depression symptoms. This can include anything from taking a warm bath to practicing relaxation techniques such as meditation or deep breathing.

A woman enjoying yoga as part of her self care routine

Focus on activities that help you feel calmer and more centered, and avoid things that make you feel more anxious or overwhelmed.

Break big projects into smaller tasks

When unmotivated, it’s important to break big tasks into smaller, more manageable pieces.

This can help you feel less overwhelmed, motivated, and more accomplished. Set realistic goals for each day and reward yourself for completing them.

Find uplifting content

When you’re feeling down, consuming negative or depressing content can be tempting. However, this can make you feel worse and drain your motivation.

Woman reading a book to lift her mood

Instead, seek uplifting content such as podcasts, books, or movies that make you feel good. Avoid things that trigger negative emotions or make you feel overwhelmed.

Create a daily routine

Creating a daily routine can help you feel motivated if you establish structure and consistency. This can include waking up at the same time each day, making time for self-care, and planning your day. By having a set routine, you can reduce the decision-making you need to make and free up more mental energy for things that help you feel better. Don’t hesitate to seek professional help if you need it, such as counseling or therapy. Self-care empowers you to take control of your mental health and creates space for positivity and motivation to thrive.

Set achievable goals

Instead of overwhelming yourself with a long list of tasks, start small and set achievable goals. This can be as simple as doing one load of laundry a week or preparing a healthy meal.

Going for a run to keep yourself feeling motivated

Small wins can give you momentum and help you build confidence to tackle bigger tasks.

Practice gratitude

When you’re feeling depressed, it’s easy to focus on negative thoughts and feelings. However, practicing gratitude can shift your focus to positive aspects of your life. Take a moment each day to think about or write down things you’re grateful for, such as a supportive friend, a beautiful sunset, or a warm cup of tea.


Depression can make it challenging to find motivation and get motivated, but it’s essential to prioritize your mental health and seek professional help. By creating positive habits, getting enough sleep, surrounding yourself with positivity, exercising, prioritizing self-care, setting achievable goals, and practicing gratitude, you can break the negative cycle and find motivation when dealing with depression. Remember, it’s okay to take things one day at a time and celebrate small wins. Your mental health is essential, and you deserve to care for yourself.

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