How To Get Motivated When You’re Depressed? [Top 9 Ways]

Figuring out how to get motivated when depressed can be challenging for many individuals suffering from mental disorders.

Undoubtedly, depression has significant effects on the emotional and motivational influences affecting your daily life.

That said, it is sincerely possible for depressed people to alleviate the symptoms of depression by learning how to get motivated with everyday activities.


If you suffer from the common symptoms of depression, it is always best to talk to a mental health professional.

With a diagnosis, you can work alongside a psychologist or psychiatrist to find the best possible treatment plan for your needs.

How To Get Motivated When Depressed? Top 9 Ways

Although a cycle of depression considerably affects your motivation, there are several ways you can get yourself out of bed each day.

Let’s review some tested and proven tricks to push yourself towards a less strenuous day with depression.

1. Start By Setting Small and Manageable Goals

One of the biggest issues you will encounter with depression symptoms is the inability to set goals.

Goal setting can seem daunting, especially if you have been struggling with triggering thoughts of ideation.

However, goals don’t have to be massive accomplishments to complete over a long period; they can be small, realistic steps.

You’ll first want to figure out what small daily tasks you’ve been struggling with that you think goals can improve.

For example, have you brushed your hair today or eaten breakfast?

Write these everyday tasks down on a sheet of paper, which will give you a sense of motivation.

All you have to do is accomplish a few daily goals, giving you a renewed sense of accomplishment.

It won’t fix your forms of depression, but it is sure to help alleviate some of the pressure.

2. Set a Realistic Schedule

Once you have your goals set for the day, it’s time to think about your daily schedule.

What are the things you have to accomplish today? Is there anything specific you want to get done but haven’t had the emotional health to do?

By setting a realistic schedule for yourself, you will accomplish your goals in a good timeframe.

It will also guarantee that you don’t overbook yourself with too many activities, leading to a massive lack of energy.

You also won’t have to worry about canceling time with friends instead of your daily routine.

3. Congratulate Yourself Often

Whether you’re suffering from severe or moderate depression, seeing your small accomplishments as something massive can be challenging.

You might think, “Anyone can do this; it’s not worth celebrating.” The most important thing to remember is that “anyone” isn’t you.

Depression destroys motivation levels, making it challenging to complete even the simplest daily tasks.

Your apartment will get messy, you won’t return phone calls or texts, and you might even find it hard to get out of bed in the morning.

Accomplishing something you usually wouldn’t do when dealing with a depressive episode is a major thing to be celebrated.

Always make sure you take the time to inject uplifting content when you finish a task.

Many people find that creating a depression chore chart is a great way to hold them accountable for completing daily activities and rewarding their hard work.

Each time you finish a chore, put a sticker beside the activity to show your progress.

learn how to get motivated when depressed

4. Socialize With Positive Relationships

This step is likely to be quite challenging, especially if you have a form of clinical depression that causes you to withdraw from your close circle of friends.

However, the importance of socializing can help you break out of the vicious cycle that continued depression can throw you into.

That said, focus primarily on the most supportive and uplifting people in your life that will encourage you to make good changes in your daily activities.

Reach out to friends who are willing to go for walks or spend time together, even if it’s watching a movie in silence.

Consider inviting a friend over for dinner and discuss your mood with them so you have someone to vent to.

Isolation can make your depression stronger, so keep in touch with those closest to you.

5. Get the Right Amount of Sleep

When dealing with an episode of depression, you might think that sleep shouldn’t be an issue. After all, many sufferers sleep more than they are awake.

That said, it is important to ensure you get at least eight hours of sleep and are not oversleeping.

Too much sleep can be one of the major contributors to depression, as can too little sleep.

The bigger sleeper you are, the higher your lack of ambition and lack of drive.

You will also notice a massive lack of motivation when completing simple daily tasks.

At least if you get enough sleep, you will know you have the fundamentals to do regular daily activities.

6. Start Implementing Exercise

Did you know that exercise is an often prescribed activity for people dealing with mental health conditions like depression?

It has numerous benefits, such as improving a lack of focus and helping you complete essential tasks to live your fullest life.

However, did you also know that exercise can help the brain deal with depressive episodes?

When you exercise, your brain fills with a chemical known as endorphins; the same chemical released when you experience happiness and pleasure.

These endorphins can help counteract the lack of happy hormones often experienced by individuals with major depressive disorder.

Many mental health professionals might suggest those suffering from mild depression can benefit equally from exercise as they would from antidepressants.

7. Get Outside

If working out seems too much for you to manage at the time, try spending time outside as an alternative.

Make some of your achievable goals for the day to shower, get dressed, and take a quick walk around your neighborhood.

Not only will the fresh air do you good, but spending time outdoors in sunlight can greatly contribute to the alleviation of depression symptoms.

Sunlight contains vitamin D, a massively popular alternative treatment for depressive disorder.

When you spend time outdoors in combination with taking vitamin D supplements, you can assist your brain in ridding itself of negative thought patterns.

Not to mention, going outside is a generally healthy cycle of activity to add to your daily regime.

8. Talk to a Mental Health Professional

If you are dealing with your first depressive episode, trying to accomplish essential goals can seem daunting.

Instead, talking to a mental health professional should be one of the first actionable steps you take.

It is particularly important if you have never considered common treatment options.

With the help of a mental health professional, you can get insight into the most effective treatments for your type of depression.

You can also receive a thorough diagnosis to help you manage your lifestyle factors and establish a helpful routine during a depressive cycle.

It’s important to note that a professional diagnosis is required to receive medication, if necessary.

Above all else, your mental health professional can provide essential coping mechanisms for dealing with depression.

You will learn about your triggers, whether it be a chemical imbalance, chronic stress, or any other major factors.

You can then work together to determine which healthy routines can help set you in a better mindset.

9. Be Open and Kind

Above all else, when you’re having difficulty with motivation due to depression, be open and kind to yourself.

Acknowledge you are dealing with a serious mental health disorder and that you do have the ability to conquer it with positive action.

When you’re honest, you are gentler on yourself and likely to appreciate the baby steps you take to establish healthier routines.

Is It Possible to Get Motivated When Depressed?

If you are interested in learning how to get motivated when depressed, you will be glad to know it is possible.

You can get started by introducing gentle exercise, reaching out when you have feelings of hopelessness, and being honest with yourself.

Undoubtedly, dealing with depression is a lifelong mission, but you are more than equipped with the tools you need to succeed.

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"These 8 easy steps helped me get out of a rut and get motivated to reach my goals" - Jeff (Dallas, TX)
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