How to Motivate Yourself When Depressed? – Simple Ways to Boost Your Morale

how to motivate yourself when depressed

Either you can choose to be miserable or motivate yourself – it is totally up to you. Overcoming emotional issues can be difficult, but it is not impossible. All you need to do is stay motivated. Now you must be thinking about how to motivate yourself when depressed? Relax! We are here with some amazing tips to help you in staying motivated. 

Depression is one of the most common mental health issues. Major depressive disorder affects around 17.3 million adults in the U.S (Source). Symptoms of depression vary from person to person and range from mild to severe. There are varied reasons for depression, but it is essential to stay motivated, whatever the reason or the circumstances. Before exploring ways to stay motivated, let’s look at the causes of depression.

Common Reasons for Depression

There could be different reasons for depression, depending on the circumstances. Below mentioned are some of the common causes of depression. 

Unmet Basic Needs

We all have basic needs for self-esteem, belongingness, and safety. When these needs are not met sufficiently, we start becoming neurotic. Anxiety and depression are some common forms of neurosis. 


Sometimes life circumstances like losing a loved one, breakup, or divorce cause sadness and depression. It also makes a person demotivated. 

Unacknowledged Envy

In many people, envy puts an end to everyday motivation. Many times, we are not even aware of our envy. But always remember that envy can lead to depression, which can make you demotivated. 

Suppressed Desires

When our desires are not fulfilled and we do not get what we want, we get frustrated and unmotivated. In some cases, these desires are reasonable, but in other cases, they are tyrannical. When our desires are suppressed, we often become depressed. 

Repressed Rage

In depression, we often push down our feelings and emotions. During this time, we push out emotions like rage and anger. Repressed rage often leads to depression. 

Things Not Happening According to You

Things can not always happen according to you. You want something to happen like a promotion, a trip, or a date, but you get demotivated if it doesn’t happen. These circumstances often cause frustration and lead you to depression. 

Living Against Personal Values

Your choices define who you are. Often, circumstances lead us to do things against our core values and morals. Living out of the accord and making poor decisions against our values cause demotivation, depression, and discontent. 

How to Motivate Yourself When Depressed?

When people go through depression, they know what to do. But the main question is how? Depression skills, interest, focus, energy, and motivation. Despite your best efforts, habits, and passion, a lack of motivation can keep you from achieving the best. 

Whether you are depressed, trying to lose weight or break a bad habit, or making efforts to get out of a toxic relationship, all you need to do is stay motivated. Here are some tips on motivating yourself when depressed to help you. 

Get Out of the Bed

Feeling bad about yourself and your situation won’t help. Instead, it will make things worse. Depression grows from negative emotions like low self-esteem, fears, and self-doubt. We understand that it is quite difficult to eradicate these feelings, but if you stay motivated, it becomes to deal with them. 

Stop feeding the beast. Stop staying on the bed all the time. Do the opposite. Get out of bed on time and meet people. Trust me, the simple act of getting out of bed is a nice victory of the day. Stick some positive notes around you where you can see them. Write affirmations like “Never Give Up,” “You are Enough for Yourself,” or “You can do it.” Your brain can digest all the thoughts you can create, so it is better to feed it with positive and motivating thoughts. 

Go for a Walk

If you feel unmotivated and depressed, then wake up early in the morning, grab your best pair of shoes, and go out for a walk. Start exercising. It will not only help you to divert your mind but will also help you in feeling good and happy. 

Exercise makes our body release endorphins. It is a feel-good hormone and is responsible for making you feel good. All you need to do is exercise for around 35 minutes every day, five days a week. It will help you in improving mild to moderate symptoms of depression. It can also help in treating severe forms of depression. You can do any form of exercise like aerobics, cardio, or Zumba, anyone that makes you feel better. 

When you feel good, you naturally feel motivated. Exercising is the best answer to how to get motivated when depressed. 

Act and Dress Happy

When we are depressed, we feel low and do not feel like wearing good dresses. But this is something we should avoid doing. In depression, we often lose interest in things and activities we usually like. It is okay to feel low, but giving up on what we like is not a solution. We start complaining about ourselves and our bodies. It leads to a lack of self-love, a bad outcome of depression.

If you feel depressed or low, go to a salon, get a good blowout, mani-padi, and massage. Pamper yourself boost your self-esteem and self-love. Read different tips on how to practice self-love. Put your favorite clothes and accessories. Trust me, dressing nicely and happily helps in boosting your mood. Moreover, it helps in creating a happy vibe. 

Stay Away from Negativity

As I have mentioned earlier, your brain digests whatever thoughts you feed it, so it is always a good idea to feed it with positive and happy thoughts. When we are depressed, it is common to have negative thoughts. Moreover, our self-esteem also declines, and we start feeling bad. However, we should avoid negative thoughts. 

Stay away from negativity. If any person or thing makes you negative and feels low, stay away from it. It is okay to say no to what makes you feel bad or negative. Surfing the internet, reading negative news, or talking to people who demotivate you can make you feel drained. These activities create a negative impact on your motivation or mood. Focus on feelings of gratitude and self-love. Read motivation books and surround yourself with positive people. 

Do Not Overschedule

If you have completed one task or two, it is good, and you should be happy about it. It would help if you celebrated your small victories. But keep in mind not to overschedule yourself. It would help if you did not overschedule yourself in the rush of staying motivated and keeping yourself busy. 

Instead of overscheduling, you should try to celebrate small victories. Congratulate yourself on completing every goal. Celebrate small victories. Celebrating does not mean you have to throw a party or go to a pub. You can also grab champagne or wine or call your friend for a movie night. Watch romantic comedies or sci-fi movies. You can also watch web series that makes you feel good. Celebrating small victories will help you in staying positive. Moreover, it will also motivate you to do better every day. 


One of the common mistakes people make is that they isolate themselves during the depression. Isolation is a big no. It will make you feel more unmotivated. Instead, it would help if you opted for socializing. Choose positive relationships, surround yourself with positive people who believe in you, and keep you motivated. 

It would help if you motivated people to socialize with you when you are ready for it. Moreover, it would help if you gave volunteering a chance. If anyone you know is in trouble, you should offer help. Trust me, helping someone in need will help you improve your mood. Moreover, it will also motivate you to get out of bed happily the next day. 

Follow a Routine

During the depression, it is common to get out of a routine. Following a routine every day will make you feel better. The sense of completing daily tasks will encourage a sense of well-being. Moreover, it will encourage you to aim higher every day.

All you need to do is develop a positive and healthy routine and stick to it. You can include writing journals in your routine. It is a good idea to dump all your negative thoughts in the journal. It will allow you to make room for positive thoughts. Moreover, you can also mention your feelings and everyday activities in the journal. It will help you in feeling light and happy. 

Get Sufficient Sleep

Depression can be physically exhausting. It often causes people to sleep too little or too much, and both can negatively affect your mood. Sleep is closely associated with mental health. People with depression are more likely to get sleep disorders. 

Not getting enough sleep often skews our ability to regulate different emotions. But no matter what, you should try to sleep around 8 hours every day. Enough sleep is essential, like eating or drinking. Sleeping helps people to recover from mental exertion. It will help you stay happy, positive, and motivated the whole day. 

Practice Self-Compassion

If you criticize yourself for being lazy or unproductive, you will keep on feeling like crap. Instead, it would help if you practiced self-compassion and self-love. Keep yourself motivated. Use some encouraging words for yourself that you might use for a loved one or friend. 

Start your day by telling yourself something positive. Fill your body with drink and food that nourishes it. Praise the skin you are in and stop comparing yourself with others. In addition to this, it also put an end to all toxic relationships. Practicing self-compassion is a perfect answer to how to motivate yourself when depressed. 

Set Goals to Do It 

When you feel low or depressed, it is common to lose interest in various things that usually motivate you. You find comedy funny, spending time with family or friends seems boring, or sports seem to be no fun. 

Depression, self-loathing, and anxiety often take over our normal interests, leading us to feelings of defeat and detachment. Therefore, when doing something active for fun, you should do it with the intent to do it. Once you start doing something, you will get an interest in it, and you will automatically start enjoying it. 

Instead of getting away from your friends or family, spend time with them. Watch your favorite movie with them or go on a long drive. Even if it does not seem interesting to you, do it. Trust me; these small changes will make you feel better and more motivated. 

Set the Bar Low

When depressed, people do not function at their usual 80 or 90%. Therefore during the depression, avoid setting expectations for yourself when you are not in depression. Yes, you read it right. Setting the bar high will make you feel overwhelmed and anxious. Moreover, you might not be able to complete the scheduled task. 

Set specific and small goals instead. Start with doing small works like unloading three glasses or unloading the dishwasher. If you are still craving to do more work, you can do more. Keep in mind that you can set the bar high whenever you start feeling motivated. 

If you feel overwhelmed while completing the tasks, keep in mind that you need to set the bar low. It is better to be realistic and specific. It will help you stay motivated and happy. 

Analyze How You Feel After Any Task

Going for a walk, hanging out with friends, preparing a meal, or getting a shower seems like a normal task. But if you focus on the efforts involved, these tasks are ominous. During the depression phase, people seem to have low self-efficacy and self-love, which means their confidence levels are low. They feel low confidence in completing work and performing specific tasks. Due to this, they feel overwhelmed and start avoiding normal tasks. 

In such a phase, it is okay to lower your expectations for yourself. It would be best to analyze how you felt during the task or after doing it. If you feel good and okay, then continue it, and in case you feel overwhelmed, then lower the expectations. Trust me; it will help you in keeping yourself motivated. 

Develop a Mental Barrier that Protects You from Depression

Think of your brain as a fortress that requires protection. Keep away; everything triggers unproductive and negative thoughts. Whether you still crave a basketball trophy or a past relationship, you should always keep them away from you. 

In addition to this, you should also distance yourself from those annoying email and social media notifications. These things might seem normal to you, but they all cause mental clutter in your brain. Keeping these thoughts away will keep you from being unmotivated and depressed. It is always good to distance your brain from negative thoughts and activities. 

Get Motivation from Positive People in Your Life

Stop spending time with negative people who always look at things’ apathetic or dark side. It will make you more demotivated and lead you to depression. Instead, spend more time with people who are motivated or enthusiastic. Let their energy of positivity flow over to you. 

Getting motivation from positive people is one of the best answers to how to keep yourself motivated. 

Find the Optimism

Pessimism is bad for your energy and motivation. On the other hand, a constructive and positive way of looking at things can recharge your motivation. Whenever you are in a negative situation, ask yourself, what is the one thing good about this? What is the hidden opportunity?

In addition to this, be constructive about your failures. To make your setback less harmful and more valuable, be constructive about them. It will not only help you stay positive but will also keep you motivated.

Seek Professional Help

If you are too depressed and unable to get out of it, you should seek medical help. It is always a good idea to ask professionals for help. Do not hesitate. Asking for help does not mean you are weak. You can consult a doctor, motivation, or career counselor. It will help you get out of depression and live a life full of positivity. 

Final Words

Sometimes, situations are not even that bad, but if something bad happens, we start feeling down. Whatever is the case, it is easy to feel demotivated and think that you are tired of everything. Instead of continuing the feeling, follow the tips mentioned above on motivating yourself when depressed. It will help you in staying motivated and will also boost your morale. Do share your reviews by dropping a comment.