How to Motivate Yourself When Depressed: 8 Effective Methods to Feel Better

According to the statistics of WHO research, approximately 280 million people in the world have depression. People who are depressed often don’t feel motivated to do what they have to do. How to fix it? One of the depression symptoms is the lack of motivation and, in general, the desire to do something. For example, a person does not want to do work or a hobby, spend time with friends or go on the training. How to break out of this circle? For starters, be sure to seek psychological help. Perhaps a few sessions with a psychotherapist will be enough for you, or, maybe, the doctor will recommend a course of antidepressants. Self-medication is not worth it, but you can and should help yourself with available methods.

What gives us the energy to move forward, realize our abilities and achieve our goals? This is where the magic engine, intrinsic motivation, comes in handy. It gives us pleasure in what we do. For example, what is the importance of gasoline for cars with an internal combustion engine? It’s simple – the car simply will not go without it. What is human motivation? The same energy, without which a person will not do anything. 

The easiest way is not to wait for motivation, but to start doing something right now. For example, set a goal for yourself to go for a run or stretch every morning. At first, there will be no strength and desire, then it will become a good habit, and the results achieved will motivate you to move on.

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How to Motivate Yourself When You are Depressed?

During the depression, a person often does not want to do anything and this provokes the further development of this feeling (depression). No matter how difficult it is, during depression you need to motivate yourself in different ways, this will lead you to activity and increased efficiency. Next 8 ways how to motivate yourself to do things when depressed.

1. Sports

During physical activity, substances that improve well-being and mood are released into the human blood. Anyone who insists that “I am doing nothing and I feel great” should be advised to go in for sports and compare their condition before and after. Not for nothing that the ancient sages used to say that “a healthy mind in a healthy body”. Start exercising with a trainer or by yourself, and upgrade your body by doing effective workouts at last. Regular physical activity hardens not only muscles but also clears the mind of unnecessary thoughts, and gives the necessary energy to a person to conquer new heights.

How to motivate yourself to exercise when depressed? Track your success. Get a fitness gadget, such as an electronic bracelet. You will mark all the results, track the slightest progress, and write down your impressions and feelings. At the same time, you can enter the training schedule and the necessary menu there. Scroll through your diary in the evenings and remind yourself why you are doing this.

2. Think about getting stronger

Going in for sports is a huge work on yourself and motivation. How to motivate yourself to exercise when you are depressed? Realize that your body is capable of something new. A month ago, for example, you could hardly get into the “candlestick exercise” or “downward-facing dog” position, and now you can easily reach your toes with your hands. Every class and every physical activity helps you to become stronger, and more flexible and allows you to do what you could not before. This knowledge will be the best motivation.

3. Get enough sleep

Rest is very important for a person. If we do not give our body regular and full recuperation, this will lead to undesirable results, including depression. For example, in martial arts, rest is as valuable as training is. It is during the rest that we can comprehend everything that we have learned during the day.

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4. Change of scenery

How to motivate yourself when you’re depressed? Sometimes people with a lack of motivation need a change of scenery and escape from the daily hustle and bustle. So you can quickly forget about dull thoughts. Moreover, the level of financial well-being is not decisive.

If the budget allows, you can go on a trip around the world. But, most often, the matter is limited to an excursion to another city or a trip to the country. The main thing is to completely move away from routine affairs during this and simply don’t think about them. It also helps update the apartment.

For example, you can move furniture, put up new wallpaper, or hang an original painting. Even a small element can bring something new and unusual, thereby invigorating a person who does not want to do anything.

5. Praise yourself

How to motivate yourself when feeling depressed? One of the main motivation factors is the opportunity to get a positive assessment, compliment, or praise from someone. If a person receives an outstanding evaluation in society, he is a hero of our time. If not – an outcast and a loser. The people around us determine how we feel. A person always has a great need to be recognized and appreciated. Positive social assessments contain a huge charge of pleasure. It can be obtained in communication with friends, relatives, and acquaintances. During the depression, the social circle is extremely narrowed. This happens both from the unwillingness of the depressive subject to communicate with anyone, and from the unwillingness to communicate with such a person in his environment. And how useful praise can be! From whom is it not easier to receive it than from yourself? Praise yourself for the smallest achievements and results, because big victories add up from small victories. Such self-support will bring the pleasure of satisfaction, increase self-esteem and give hope for a way out of the crisis.

5. Buy a gym membership

How to motivate yourself to workout when depressed? Buy a gym membership. This is one of the most motivating decisions. Even if another bout of laziness suddenly hits you, then greed will surely move you. You have already paid for the monthly course, how can you skip classes and waste money in vain? Willy-nilly, you will have to get off the couch and go to training.

7. Find a hobby

One common cause of depression and lack of motivation is a lack of non-work-related interests and hobbies. When life is all about work, it’s easy to get discouraged if something doesn’t go well in your professional life. Boring, and when things go too well, there is nothing to achieve, nothing to strive for. How to motivate yourself when you’re depressed? It’s time to find a new hobby. Interests and hobbies are very important for a person’s mental health, they help achieve harmony, feed our self-esteem, and simply improve our mood. Doing something you love and enjoy gives you satisfaction and distracts you from other more pressing problems, negative thoughts, and emotions that often lead to depression. Especially active activities, team games, travel and work with hands (for example, gardening, needlework, drawing) help.

8. Switch to a healthy diet

How to motivate yourself to exercise when depressed? It may surprise you a little, but nutrition also has an impact on our morale. It has been repeatedly noted by many successful people that proper nutrition is the key to health and a productive day. If you eat low-quality food, then very soon your body will begin to give visible signals, and then your general condition will worsen. At the same time, if you switch from malnutrition to healthy food, then a positive result can be felt from the first days.

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5 Tips on How to Motivate Yourself to Work When Depressed

Everyone knows the state when you cannot bring yourself to sit down to complete an important or urgent task. You delay it to the last and in the end, you do it in stress and complete dissatisfaction with yourself. These tips will come in handy on those days when you have completely lost motivation for your favorite work and do not know where to find it. Spend a little time putting them into practice and you will see how you get to work with renewed vigor.


Take a few minutes to paint the moment when you have already finished the work. Try to get used to the role of yourself in the future. Imagine what you are doing, what people around you are doing, and how you feel. As a rule, this helps increase your efficiency, and it does not matter at all whether you are doing physical or intellectual work.

Don’t do anything

How to motivate yourself when you’re depressed and work tires you? Do nothing at all for 10 minutes. Do not look at the monitor or TV screen and even look out the window and do not talk to anyone. It is best to go to a secluded place and just stand. Soon you will feel that the body itself requires work.

From big to small

Why can’t you find the strength to work? Maybe your task is so voluminous that you don’t even know how to approach it? Divide it into small segments, start with the easiest, and gradually you will reach the last – the most difficult stage of work. It’s best to make a small plan that will write down everything you need to do to get to the end.


Envy is the best motivator

Look at your colleagues. Who is the most successful in doing work? Who would you like to compete with today and prove to yourself that you are better? Get started! Prove to yourself that you are better, that you are capable of more than anyone else around you.

Reward yourself and boost your self-esteem

One of the motivating things is also increasing your self-esteem, it will definitely help you realize your worth, get out of depression and motivate yourself. It is insanely nice when someone praises for the task done. It inspires and gives improving your self-esteem strength to work even better. But what if your boss is stingy with compliments? Praise yourself.

How to motivate yourself when you’re depressed? For example, schedule a time for your task to be completed and promise yourself some kind of reward for completing it on time. It can be a favorite sweet, a 10-minute break to chat with colleagues or a visit to the cinema.

Final Word

Depression and lack of motivation are not a sentence, but simply a signal from the body that you need to change something in your life, or it’s just time to take a break. After all, proper rest and positive changes allow a person to become more industrious and energetic. You just need to learn how to correctly interpret your inner voice and follow its recommendations.

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3 thoughts on “How to Motivate Yourself When Depressed: 8 Effective Methods to Feel Better”

  1. When I feel a lack of strength and desire, the first thing I do is sleep. I sleep a few days, and let myself be weak and tired. Then I feel better and start to think about what I can do to change the situation. As you mention in the article – sports really help. Also, I attend different meetings with encouraging speakers and look for some positives in my life. After all, our mood dramatically affects our well-being so I do not let myself be depressed for a long time.

  2. Hey) I should say that all tips that you share in this article are very handy. Personally, I like to stand in front of the mirror and say pleasant words to praise myself. Then I go to do things that inspire me like sports, or reading bestsellers. It is just important to remember that almost everyone has such periods and there is nothing bad in them. After all, you can put aside all your stuff and devote a little time to yourself. Accept it and do not be shy of it, my friend!

  3. Very nice ideas, guys. Personally, I like going in for sport and trying to sleep as much as possible. When you are okay physically, you feel better at an emotional level as well. Right now I think about studying something new or back to my past hobby. Wish everyone to stay energetic and inspired.

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