Saturday, July 25, 2009

Extreme exhaustion and lack of motivation : How to motivate myself

How to cope with a lack of motivation to do things due to extreme tiredness or depression?

When a person go through a relapse of clinical depression, all his motivation to do things seemed to disappear.

He may feels extremely tired and easily tired. He has no heart nor energy to do anything. Waking up each morning seemed to be most difficult. He may dread to wake up to face another day. He may not think he has the energy to face another day.

When severely depressed, it takes a lot to effort to even attend to basic general hygiene.

Eating takes too much effort as he doesn't have appetite. Exercise became extremely difficult because he is too tired.

Actually during clinical depression, it was due to the chemical imbalance in my brain that one is not able to enjoy anything in general.

But when one is not doing very much, he began to believe that he is useless, ineffective, inadequate, helpless and incapable of achieving anything. These negative thoughts make him feel more discouraged and in turn reduced my ability to do things. It becomes harder and harder to wake up each morning and to attend to my usual activities. This become a visual cycle and it has been called the lethargic circuit.

How to break this lethargic circuit and derive motivation to face each day?

For a Christian, praying to God and reading the Bible daily, is extremely important. Unless God gives us the grace and strength to cope, we will not have the energy nor the desire to face another day.

Here are some things one can learn to do which may help to break the lethargic circuit and derive motivation to face each day and to do things:

1) Learning to wake up at the same time each day though you dread waking up. Usually once you are up, you are able to do some things. Try to also sleep at the same time every night so that you get enough sleep. Insufficient sleep or rest can worsen depression.

2) Learn to eat your meals regularly and as nutritiously as possible. Though you don't have much appetite and eating seems to be such an effort, know that you need all the energy and nutrition to fight this depression and therefore you must eat! Try to eat more vegetable and fruits to gain more vitamins and nutrition.

3) Learn to exercise regularly. Exercise may seemed very difficult at first as you are so tired daily. But exercise is important to build up your strength and stamina. Learn to start slowly and daily. You will find that as the days go by, you began able to exercise longer. Your body and mind becomes stronger. Exercise release good chemicals to help fight depression and expel bad chemicals in the brain.

You can try briskwalking if you do not like any other exercise. Do it whenever you can. You can also exercise by walking on a home treadmill or stationery bike, or join a gym.

4) Create a routine. Without a routine, you tend to avoid doing things as you no longer enjoy anything. This will only caused you to remain in the lethargic circuit. To break this lethargic circuit, learn to plan you days. Schedule regular exercise and some activities that you enjoy for each day. You will find that with every task that you managed to complete, you began to feel motivated to do more. You began to experience a sense of accomplishment.

5) Break tasks into smaller portions. When going through depression, every tasks seemed so difficult. It's hard to began to do anything. Procastination sets in. To avoid this, learn to break tasks into smaller and more manageable portions. Try to do only a portion each day and you will find that you are able to get things done slowly. This again gives you a sense of accomplishment and the motivation to do more.

6) Learning to be patient and not to be too hard with yourself. I try to remember that you are unwell now and it takes time to rebuild your body and mind. So when you failed to accomplish what you planned for the day, learn to tell yourself, it's okay. You can try again tomorrow. Or break the task into even smaller portions.

7) Learn not to let negative thoughts or feelings prevent you from daily activities. Feelings during depression are not necessarily valid. They often have little bearing on the truth. Your feelings of being too depressed to cope do not mean that you will not be able to cope when you are actually in a situation.

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