People Battling Depression Break Down How They Actually Motivate Themselves
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Trauma. Such a simple word. A simple word shrouded in so much difficulty and pain. When trauma goes ignored and untreated, it festers and grows into many manifestations. One dark manifestation is depression. Everyone, and I do mean everyone at one time or another has suffered from depression. It's unfortunate that there is still such stigma attached to it. Right now the world is in a collective depression and often it's impossible to finds ways to cope.

Redditor u/Lainnnn wanted to see who would be willing to share with the world some ways to stay motivated, in the darkness by asking... Depressed people, how do you motivate yourself to do things, even small tasks? [Serious]

Many people have always suffered from seasonal trauma so this time of year can often be more difficult and this follows the darkness that can mar the holidays. I've had depression all of my life. Mine has nothing to do with a time of year, just everyday in and of itself. Sometimes it conquers me but often I've turned the tables. One breath at a time. They following people seem to understand my method.

Bot Movement

maywa denki robot GIFGiphy

I pretend that I'm a robot to do very small singular tasks at a time. I really get myself into the mindset that my own motivation doesn't matter at all.



I have found a way to trick me into doing stuff: If I'm lying on the couch, basically feeling like complete crap but I know I should rather go buy groceries and cook a meal I tell myself: I'm going to feel like crap no matter what. If I continue lying here, I'll feel like crap, if I go buy groceries and cook, I'll feel like crap. The only difference is that doing stuff and being active will probably help me long term.

So if I'll feel crappy no matter what, I might as well do the thing that will help make me feel better eventually. It kinda helps me to deal with the crappy feeling and I can get myself to do the stuff I should be doing. Doesn't work all the time but often enough.



Today I skipped class and just stayed in the shower. And since I was in there anyway I slowly picked up shampoo, slowly washed my hair, etc and just kept moving through my regular wash day routine as if I didn't have somewhere to be. It needed to be done and I knew I'd feel a little better and like I accomplished something.


Simple First


If something is worth doing, it's worth doing poorly.

A perfect example is brushing your teeth: Haven't brushed your teeth in months? Just go to the sink, stick the toothbrush in your mouth, and scrub for a few seconds. Don't aim for perfection, just give it a half-assed attempt for 5 seconds.

You'll start to build a habit of brushing, and you'll start to brush better every time.

And also, do things one step at a time. Getting out of bed does not equal you needing to clean the entire house, but maybe that coffee table needs to be tidied up a bit? Maybe toss the dirty dishes in the dishwasher, but it doesn't need to be run today.

Point is, you're doing things that have positive rewards to them. You'll start to see those rewards as something you want more of. Eventually, cleaning will become less and less of a chore, and more about keeping the things you have clean and nice looking because you actually like them.

Wallowing in bed really is counterproductive, but wallowing in bed one day isn't something to beat yourself up over. Learn to forgive yourself and keep reminding yourself that bad days are ok to have.

Things are going to get better.


It's amazing how many of us are walking through each day with the similar weight holding us down and rummaging through our psyches. At this the internet allows us to talk with a little anonymity. For those of you who can't afford therapy just yet or are too bashful, save this thread, I think you'll find many of these suggestions useful. For instance...

Minimal Ways

trying to calm down season 1 GIF by Gilmore Girls Giphy

Another thing for me - is minimize things you are responsible for. If you have a hard time keeping things clean - it is easier with less things.

I just had to do a huge skincare/makeup purge and I had been holding onto expired things and feeling guilty about the money I spent. I forgave myself and threw it all out and then treated myself to the replacements. I'd rather spend more on things I care for and enjoy than have lots of mediocre stuff.



Celebrating the little things. I'm currently trying to do "five a day", and to nondepressives, they probably seem tiny but to me they are huge.

Like today I got showered, got dressed, made a lunch from scratch, went for a walk and put some laundry in the washer (bonus point, its hung up too!). Whoo, successful day!


Do the Dishes

I honestly just try to make the next hour, next few minutes, whatever amount of time, better for my future self. Lots of "I'll be glad I did this" even simple things like cleaning ONE mug at night so I don't have to clean it for coffee & don't feel SUPER pressured to just do all the dishes right when I wake up.


Peasant Plan

I play 'medieval peasant' so I have to physically react like a medieval peasant to everything in my house that I use.

Use an electric toothbrush? I have to wonder at the magic. Clean running water? I have to shriek in joy, now I won't get the plague! Food in the fridge? Oh my life is bountiful! Automatic lights in the building? Ah!

The light knoweth when I doth move!!! Plants on the windowsill? They must be thirsty have a drink, oh my what a beautiful pot this must be sorcery!

People look at you like you're crazy but the confusion on their faces is worth it and medieval me is very pleased with my life.


Pay Up

I have a little mason jar, everytime I do something, exp; eat breakfast, take a walk. I add a dinosaur to a jar, I also use this for self harm as well, if I haven't hurt myself in a week, I get to add in some dinosaurs. It makes me super happy when I drop in a dinosaur and hear it * clunk * together with the other ones.


Faith and...

scared season 1 GIF by The White PrincessGiphy

Hope. That some day it's all gonna be worth it and you might thank yourself for not giving up today.


This is all a lot to process. But it's a good process. Process in and of itself helps me and keeps me moving forward. Remember the only way is through, not over. Trying to always get over will only ever lead you back. So come back here and reread and go look up Brené Brown. You're welcome. ​


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