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How do I find motivation when I I feel completely unmotivated?

Laura Haddow photo Laura Haddow · 28 Aug, 2020

Since lockdown, I've really struggled to care about doing anything. How do I find motivation when I feel completely unmotivated and everyone’s getting frustrated with me and I can’t even be bothered to get out of bed?

Floyd, 15

Gosh, that’s so tough, but be assured we’ve all experienced this at some point in our lives. Also, be encouraged because even sending in this question shows you’ve got more motivation than you give yourself credit for.

So how do you begin to lift yourself out of this?

Well, there are a few really practical things you can do but often a helpful way to start is for you to ask yourself what you think has caused this?

Maybe it was the loss of routine over lockdown? Routine is actually a really good thing for us as it helps us make plans and have a reason to get up each day. There are many people right now feeling pretty lost by their normal lives being completely changed, during lockdown not even weekends felt any different from the other days. It’s totally normal to feel the way you do right now, we’ve all been through something massive and that can knock us sideways.

Maybe it was triggered by setting yourself massive unachievable goals or even worse comparing yourself to others around you. When we do either of these things, we often unintentionally set ourselves up to fail.

Only you can be you; we all have different strengths and you need to celebrate that, try not to compare yourself to anyone as you are completely unique with your own dreams, your own levels of energy, your own skills. With setting massive goals, we can find ourselves chasing dreams that at this stage of your life are perhaps not realistic (not saying they never will be but maybe not quite at this point?).

Thinking about when this started and perhaps why can give us a really good place to kick start getting going again.

So, here’s some really simple step by step ways to rediscover your get up and go.

1. Set super small goals and celebrate your daily wins

Maybe your goal for Monday is to get up and dressed by 10 am rather than staying in your pjs until lunchtime. That can be your only goal for Monday if you like but if you manage it then congratulate yourself, maybe even reward yourself and realise that you have achieved something good.

Maybe on Tuesday, you set the same goal but also add another activity like getting up, getting dressed, and eating a healthy breakfast. This can go on until you will start to feel proud of yourself for the small wins you’ve had each day.

2. Challenge negativity.

Negativity is the voice inside of us the only dwells on the bad stuff, the times we beat ourselves up about getting things wrong or letting people down. It tells us that we cannot do things when in fact we absolutely can! Negativity has the ability to drain us of all the good things like hope, motivation, and happiness and you need to fight it’s influence in your head.

Some people find that something as simple as having a positive and happy playlist nearby that you can play to chase away the negative thoughts can really help. For others, it could be unfollowing people on your social media feeds who bring you down. Don’t let negativity beat you. Maybe print off some really positive and encouraging quotes from the Headstrong website, put them up in your room and read them when the negative thoughts come.

3. Leave the house and get some fresh air

We’re not saying you have to embark on a 5-mile sprint BUT challenge yourself to get outside once a day for some gentle exercise and use that time to breathe in some fresh air. Even 30 mins of walking outside a day can really lift your mood and make you feel more positive.

4. Get yourself organised.

Getting organised can be a really good tool to re-motivating yourself. Think about getting a good daytime and bedtime routine in place. Pick up your floordrobe occasionally, maybe de-clutter the apps on your phone, or schedule in breaks to eat and rest in your day. Having a plan gives us a structure for our day and that alone can motivate us to get up and get on with stuff.

Most of all, don’t be too hard on yourself. You will get over this but being kind to yourself and not putting too much pressure on yourself to change overnight is key. We’re rooting for you.

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