Depression can deplete your energy levels and zap your motivation. Not only is vivacity reduced as a result of depression, but you probably aren’t sleeping well either. That lack of restful sleep can add an additional layer of malaise and listlessness.
When feeling depressed, you may lose the desire to do anything productive with your day. So, how can you stay motivated while battling depression? Start by understanding what’s happening.
What is depression?
What becomes glaringly obvious when you struggle with depression is the powerful connection that exists between the mind and body. Our mental health can significantly impact the way we feel physically, and depression is no exception.
Depression is the second leading mental health disorder experienced among American adults. According to the National Institute of Mental Health, about 21 million, or 8.4% of U.S. adults, deal with major depressive disorder each year.
As the rate ofdepression has risen, so have incidents of suicide, now the second leading cause of preventable death among people aged 10 to 34. These statistics underscore the importance of getting professional help to manage this serious mental health condition.
Symptoms of major depressive disorder include:
- Persistent sadness, a sense of hopelessness, or feeling “empty”
- Feelings of worthlessness, guilt, or shame
- Slowed speech or movement
- Impared cognitive functioning
- Changes in appetite; sudden weight change
- Somatic symptoms, such as gastric distress, headaches, or body aches
- Difficulty sleeping or excessive sleeping
- Loss of interest in activities once enjoyed
- Suicidal thoughts or suicide ideation
There are several different types of depression, with each type manifesting in unique ways. These types of depressive disorder include:
- Postpartum depression
- Persistent depressive disorder
- Premenstrual dysphoric disorder
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Bipolar depression
Treatment for depression involves a multi-faceted approach that can include meditation, psychotherapy and holistic self-care.
Tips for motivation
It’s very common to temporarily lose interest in your usual hobbies when dealing with depression. Sleep deprivation, fatigue and low mood make it difficult to be productive or physically active. This can have a profound impact on not only your professional life, but your overall quality of life.
Here are some strategies to help you lift your mood during a depressive episode, in conjunction with getting medical attention:
- Set small, attainable goals: If depression leaves you curled up on the couch all day, the idea of tackling any large projects can feel overwhelming. However, if you can set small, attainable goals and accomplish them, it will make you feel better. Start small and maintain realistic expectations. When you do complete a task, enjoy that sense of accomplishment that follows.
- Take a brisk walk: While the idea of putting on your sneakers and going out for a walk might feel like the last thing you want to do, push through and go anyway. There’s a wealth of compelling scientific evidence showcasing the mental health benefits associated with physical activity. Taking a short walk each day can help to incrementally improve your energy level, sleep quality and overall mood.
- Practice positive self-talk: When we’re depressed, it’s easy to fall into negative self-talk patterns. Nothing in life seems very promising when you are in the midst of a depressive episode. To combat this negative mindset, try practicing positive self-talk. Train your mind to focus on the positives. Keep a gratitude journal, practice daily positive affirmations and read uplifting devotionals to cultivate a happier outlook.
Taking these actions together will slowly but surely improve your mood and boost your motivation levels. Make them part of your daily routine!
Ashley Addiction Treatment, formerly Father Martin’s Ashley, is a nationally recognized nonprofit leader in integrated, evidence-based treatment for substance use disorders. Our programs are accredited by The Joint Commission, and result in frequent publications of ongoing research into effective treatment methodologies. We offer holistic care that encompasses the mind, body and spirit through inpatient and outpatient treatment, provide drug detox, relapse prevention plans, family wellness programs and a variety of other services tailored to each patient’s unique needs. Our driving principle — “everything for recovery” — reinforces our mission to transform and save lives through the science of medicine, the art of therapy and the compassion of spirituality, and is complemented by our philosophy of healing with respect and dignity. For information about our comprehensive programs, please call 866-313-6307.