What advice would you give to someone lacking in motivation?

Lack of motivation is a feeling we may experience from time to time as individuals. For people living with mental health problems, this can exacerbate this.

From meeting up with friends to starting a new project or engaging in a hobby we know and love, it can sometimes be hard to find the motivation to actively get involved with activities that are good for your mental health. This can become even harder when we are struggling with mental health problems. Tasks that may seem simple to others, such as having a shower or making breakfast, can become overwhelming.

So, we thought it would be a good idea to ask the general public for their top tips on overcoming a lack of motivation so we can share them with our online community. Read on to find out more about what the general public had to say.

  1. Break tasks in to manageable chunks
    Breaking tasks into smaller chunks leading up to the ultimate goal can help manage thoughts about the process. Focusing on the individual tasks needed to complete a project can help stay present and in the moment.

    Even a crumb looks enormous if you're an ant or feel like one - Viv

  2. Write down each positive thing you experience throughout the day
    Many people feel that writing down positive things can be handy when aiming to stay hopeful when struggling emotionally, serving as a reminder of memorable moments. This can be motivating in itself.

    Spend time watching or seeing good things - Krishnannarayanan

  3. Give yourself credit for the small things you do
    Notice the little things by praising yourself for each task completed - it can add up quickly! Practising mindfulness can also help you focus and appreciate every moment and the 'small' things you do, such as getting out of bed or brushing your teeth in the morning. Each evening, why don't you try noting three small wins that you have achieved that day, remembering that whatever you achieve, no matter how small, is always something to be proud of.

    Take any opportunity to praise yourself and not focus on the things you haven't done but look at the things you have - Sharon

  4. Have some 'me time'
    Take time out to do more of what you love and enjoy. From sightseeing around your local city to spending time alone in a scenic park, taking time out to look after yourself can support your mental health and may provide some inspiration.

    Put yourself as number one priority and do whatever it takes that you think will help to make you feel better - Linda

  5. Be gentle with yourself
    Accept the current state of how you feel, acknowledge the feeling and look for ways to reach out for support if needed. Practising self-care and being gentle with yourself can be a great help when experiencing a lack of motivation.

    It's okay not to be okay all of the time.

  6. Try to be present
    Remaining present and in the moment can help to focus on the now, which may help when experiencing a lack of motivation. Whether it is walking your dog or trying new food, focusing on the present moment is good.
    See our guide on How to look after your mental health using mindfulness for more.
  7. Attend helpful events
    Self-help books, courses and events are all tools that can support your knowledge of mental health - learning ways to improve your self-esteem or perhaps stay inspired may help when experiencing a lack of motivation.

    Do a self-esteem workshop or course - Stephanie

  8. Ask for help
    Talking about your feelings can be good for your mental health. It is often the first step to overcoming mental health problems, and some people are willing to listen. Some people prefer to speak to family or friends, and others may wish to discuss their feelings with a professional. You can talk with your GP about how you are feeling. They can offer you information on support, such as treatments and counselling available.

    Whatever works for you, grab it with both hands - Alan

Seeking help

If you’re considering seriously harming yourself, please get support now.

If you have seriously harmed yourself or don’t feel you can keep yourself safe right now, get immediate help by calling 999 or going straight to A&E.

  • Call your GP and ask for an emergency appointment
  • Call NHS 111 (England) or NHS Direct (Wales) for out-of-hours to help
  • Contact your mental health crisis team if you have one

Phone a free helpline such as:

  • Samaritansoffer a 24-hour a day, 7 days a week support service. Call them FREE on 116 123. You can also email [email protected]  
  • Shout Crisis Text Line:If you’re experiencing a personal crisis, cannot cope and need support, Text Shout to 85258. 
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) have a helpline (5 pm-midnight) and webchat to support men
  • Papyrus is a dedicated service for young people up to age 35 who are worried about how they are feeling or anyone concerned about a young person. You can call the HOPElineUK number on 0800 068 4141. You can text 07786 209697 or email [email protected]  

Read our page on getting help.

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