What advice would you give to someone lacking in motivation?

21st Nov 2016
Campaign
Motivation

Guest blogger

Lack of motivation is a feeling that 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. When we are struggling with mental health problems this can become even harder, tasks that may seem simple to others, such as getting in the 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 it with our online community. Read on to find out more on 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 whole project can help to stay present and in the moment. 

Children's building blocks

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 special moments. This can be motivating in itself.

Pen and notepad

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! Practicing mindfulness can also help in focusing and appreciating every moment as well as 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.

Praise post it notes

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 be a great support for 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

Woman reading a book with a cup of tea

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. Practicing self care and being gentle with yourself can be a great help when experiencing lack of motivation.

Kindness word in a book

6. Try to be present

Remaining present and in the moment can help to focus on the now and this 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 How to look after your mental health using mindfulness for more.

Mindfulness tile

7. Attend helpful events

Self-help books, courses and events are all tools that can be used to support your knowledge on mental health. By learning ways to improve your self esteem or perhaps stay inspired may help when experiencing a lack of motivation.

Man putting his hand up to ask a question in a room

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 there are people who are willing to listen. Some people prefer to speak to family or friends, others may wish to discuss their feelings with a professional. You can talk to your GP about how you are feeling, they can offer you information on support such as treatments and counselling available.

Speech bubbles

Seeking help

If you’re considering seriously harming yourself please reach out for support now. 

If you have seriously harmed yourself, or you don’t feel that you can keep yourself safe right now seek 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:  

  • Samaritans offer a 24-hours 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, are unable to cope and need support Text Shout to 85258. 
  • CALM (Campaign Against Living Miserably) have a helpline (5pm – midnight) and webchat to support men  
  • Papyrus is a dedicated service for young people up to the age of 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.