Getting Motivated – Mental Health Tip
It is difficult to get moving from standing (or sitting) still. During this time when we are all asked to stay home, we may find ourselves sitting on the couch or getting into a slump. We may look at our task list and feel inertia pulling at our heels. Sometimes our heads feel foggy and we can’t even think what’s next on our “to do” list.
Here are some antidotes to feelings that get in the way of action:
I Feel Hopeless
- What would you be doing right now if you weren’t hopeless?
- What would you have to (a) give up or (b) start doing if you were no longer hopeless?
- What will help you prepare to give up the thing that is getting in the way of action?
- What will help you prepare to start doing the thing that is getting in the way of action?
I Feel Lost
- What do we need when we are lost? We need (a) a map; (b) to ask someone for directions; and (c) to get our bearings.
- Draw a map on a piece of paper outlining where you are now and where you want to be. Draw the barriers or stopping points that are between you and your goal. Write out strategies beside each barrier outlining how you might overcome that obstacle.
I Feel Overwhelmed
- When we feel overwhelmed, we can (a) reduce demands on us and/or (b) increase our coping.
- Reduce demands:
- Write out all the demands that are on you today (or this week, or this month). On another sheet of paper, write out how many demands you can REALISTICALLY manage while staying well.
- See if you can opt out or reduce the other non-realistic demands. Cancel or alter a plan. Postpone a deadline. Renegotiate and agreement.
- Increase coping:
- Practice relaxation exercises like mindfulness meditation or yoga
- Schedule time out for fun activities and closeness with people (while physical distancing if necessary)
- Keep it simple! Simplify how you are approaching the demands in your life.
- Prioritize your tasks
- Eat healthy, balanced meals
- If fear is stopping you, write out what you are afraid will happen if you take action. Challenge the worry or fear by writing (a) how you will cope adaptively and (b) the most likely outcome of you taking action (not the worst case scenario).
- If depression or lethargy is stopping you, break your big action step into multiple smaller steps. Schedule times in your calendar when you will take those smaller steps. Set a reminder!
- Try the 2-Minute Rule to overcome procrastination. Set a timer for 2 minutes. Do the activity you’ve been avoiding for just 2 minutes. You can stop after 2 minutes are up, but once you get moving, you may find that you keep going!