Increasing Motivation When it Feels Impossible


When you’re going through crippling depression, anxiety, or any other kind of emotional overwhelm, it can be hard to keep up with managing your self-care and staying committed to the therapeutic process. Getting out of bed is hard, so exercising, engaging with others in your community, meditating or doing anything else that is good for your emotional wellness can feel impossible! 

It’s important to address this lack of motivation first so that you’re able to take care of yourself in the way you deserve!

Below are some tips to increase your motivation.

1.     Give yourself something to look forward to when you get out of bed: Maybe it’s setting your coffee machine to automatic so you have that smell reminding you of the energizing cup of joe awaiting you. Maybe it’s scheduling in a cuddle session with your children or partner. Perhaps you enjoy curling up with a fuzzy blanket on the couch and a book. Give yourself something to motivate you to start your day on a good note. See more ideas for morning routines here

2.     Schedule your intentions: I frequently tell my clients if they are having trouble committing to caring for themselves to schedule it and set boundaries around that time. Writing stuff down can be a great way to motivate ourselves and increase our likelihood to actually follow through with a task. Bonus challenge—don’t beat yourself up if you can’t cross off every intention.

3.     Construct your thoughts to be more motivating: If you notice that voice in your head saying “what’s the point?” or “today is going to be awful anyway” or “I’ll do it tomorrow”, challenge those thoughts. Perhaps you counter that voice with saying “I am committed to my intentions for this day and I’ll feel better afterwards” or “I deserve good things and I’m going to take the necessary steps to make progress”. Break up your thoughts to only focus on one task at a time.

4.     Be accountable: What helps you to stay accountable? Perhaps it’s writing things down, but maybe it’s enlisting a person of support to either join you or follow up with you. For example, you may be more likely to go on that power walk if you do so with a friend!

5.     Make your self-care goals realistic: If it’s not realistic for you to meditate for an hour everyday, think simpler or smaller. Maybe you practice your mindfulness for 10  minutes in bed 3 days a week instead. You’re more likely to stick to things if they are manageable for you!

6.     Give yourself at least one break during the day to enjoy yourself: Sure, it’s tough to get out of bed when all you have to look forward to is work, errands, and running kids around from place to place. Try scheduling a 3 pm break where you can do something you enjoy, even if it’s just having a yummy cup of tea and listening to your favorite song.

7.     Remind yourself of your goals: If you are focused on feeling better, quicker, self-care and using your coping skills is imperative. Remind yourself of where you want to be and the steps you’ll need to take to get there. One hour a week of therapy is not enough to make big changes! Take your skills and practice them outside the counseling office if you want to support your therapy properly.

It is tough to overcome that lack of motivation, but entirely possible. Contact one of our counselors if you need further support in increasing motivation.

Authored by Anna Zapata

Michael Primeaux