Being depressed can be a horrendous feeling because you don't have a ton of energy, you feel sad and hopeless, and you generally don't want to do much besides curl up in a ball and sleep. However, most people don't have the luxury of taking time off of work or off of being a parent in order to wait for the therapy to work or for the medication to kick in and allow themselves to function any less than normal. Here are some tips for staying motivated while you are depressed.
1. Make Tiny Goals and Make it Impossible to Go Backwards
The first thing that you're going to need to do is to make tiny goals. Start with getting out of bed. If you're able to achieve that goal, continue onto standing up and walking to the bathroom. If you need to rest and regain motivation, feel free to sit on the toilet and simply collect yourself again. Then, get in the shower and turn on the hot water. Keep making small goals until you end up in your car driving to work or taking your kids to school.
For each goal that you achieve, try to make it impossible to go backwards. For example, once you get out of bed, don't let yourself near the bed again because it's way too easy to lay back down. Sit on a chair in your room or on the floor if you don't want to keep going. If you are in the shower, turn on the water immediately so that it doesn't make sense for you to get out of the shower and feel cold.
Finally, make sure that you don't set goals that are too big. If you fail at going straight from the shower to your car, then you're not going to be motivated to do the smaller steps in between, such as eat breakfast or put your shoes on. You are going to lose motivation. Create goals that only feel slightly beyond your comfort zone.
2. Build New Thought Patterns
Next, you are going to need to focus on building new neural pathways that have new, good thoughts about yourself, rather than your usual, depressed thoughts. Doing this will decrease the negative feelings that you have about yourself and make it easier to stay motivated as you go throughout your day. Make sticky notes that you put around your mirror that remind you that you are worth something. Keep a set of flashcards in your pocket that have all of your good traits on them. Read through letters or emails that people have written to you that say nice things. Doing this can help you get rid of the fog of feeling bad and remind yourself that you are able to do things and do them well.
For more help beating depression, seek counseling services. It can be invaluable to have someone to talk to.