Staying motivated to take care of yourself can be challenging when you’re struggling with depression. Nutrition, exercise, and other acts of self-care can easily fall by the wayside. Members of MyDepressionTeam share their tricks to help others who are having more difficulty with motivation to stay physically active.
“When you're depressed anything can seem huge and scary to accomplish, so we just want to run away and hide under a quilt until it's gone,” a member wrote. “You have to try and cut down that image of a massive goal in your head into something more manageable.”
A more manageable goal can be a short walk rather than an hour-long gym session. One member commented: “The motivation, or lack of it, is tough to overcome. What I've found useful is giving myself an out after 10 minutes. I do make myself go to the gym at times and if after 10 minutes, I really don't feel like continuing, I leave. It's that permission to stop that reduces the anxiety of me not wanting to go.”
Some members find that setting small goals helps them to create new habits. “If I can just manage to repeat the new thing each day for three or four days, it becomes a habit,” a member wrote. “In a week or so I’m pretty much re-wired, so staying motivated is no longer a big consideration.”
Several members of MyDepressionTeam find having a partner helps them stay motivated to exercise. “I find playing tennis twice a week helps with my depression. Being in a team means not letting others down and I get some social interaction,” one member shared.
Another member added, “I find I'm less motivated when it’s something by myself. Try finding someone to do it with - it makes it way more fun.”
Animals can be excellent activity partners. “I volunteered at the local Humane Society and walked dogs to motivate me,” a member shared.
Online support can also be helpful for members of MyDepressionTeam. “I find coming on here talking with others who understand and often feel the same, helps keep me motivated and open,” a member wrote.
Finding ways to cultivate a positive outlook can help with motivation to stay active and care for yourself.
One member on MyDepressionTeam wrote: “I have to be mentally present and positive in order to be successful in my workout. To get myself out of a bad week, I read a lot of inspirational quotes and watch inspirational videos.”
Adopting a positive attitude and finding the motivation to tend to your physical health is a process. You can always try again if you have a bad day, week, or even month. A member reminded a discouraged team member: “Remember, dear one, that every day brings new chances for changing old ways and starting new healthier ones.”
On MyDepressionTeam, the social network and online support group for those living with depression, members talk about a range of personal experiences and struggles. Staying motivated to be active is one of the most discussed topics.
Here are some question-and-answer threads about staying motivated:
Can you relate? How do you motivate yourself to stay active and take care of your health? Share your experience below or on MyDepressionTeam.
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