Staying motivated has been harder now more than ever, as many of us find ourselves in difficult circumstances. You’re likely operating with less structure in your life than usual, more anxiety, and less contact with others. You may also be facing additional stress due to personal or family concerns, concern over social or political events, or both. All of this can make it hard to stay motivated. While it’s a challenge, there are steps you can take to feel more motivated to engage in your work and complete your goals.
1. Start your day with a daily routine. Get up, get dressed, and get ready. Studies have shown that a lack of structure and routine can actually exacerbate feelings of distress and make you pay more attention to the source of your problems. Having a regular routine can help you lower stress levels, form good daily habits, take better care of your health, help you feel more productive, and help you feel more focused.
2. Straighten up your home or workspace. According to the Anxiety and Depression Association of America (ADAA), the physical action of housekeeping and the end result of a cleaner home helps relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. If you have children, keeping a clean home gives them a safe and healthy space where they can play, do homework, and sleep. Even though it may seem like kids don’t mind messes (especially if they’re the ones making the mess!), studies have shown that if kids’ space is cluttered, they will have a harder time focusing and can experience some of the same negative consequences of a dirty environment as their parents – such as feelings of anxiety and depression. Having an organized environment will give you a sense of accomplishment and can help to alleviate anxiety surrounding clutter for you – and your children.
3. Stay productive. This is a tough one, but it’s important for staying motivated. Write a list of projects or tasks, whether they be for work or for home, such as tidying up a closet or making household fixes. Spend time on something you love that you usually don’t have time to do, such as reading books or completing puzzles. Productivity experts stress the importance of setting SMART goals:
Specific—set specific, clear, and well-defined goals
Measurable—make specific criteria that measure your progress toward the
accomplishment of the goal
Achievable—develop goals that are attainable and not impossible to achieve
Realistic—be realistic but also challenge yourself
Timely—set a date for reaching your goal. What do you want to achieve in the next week, month, three months, six months or year?
4. Maintain your appearance by showering and grooming. While many of us are not interacting with others, this does not mean we shouldn’t feel good about ourselves. Psychologists argue that even when we aren’t presenting ourselves to the public, how we dress has the power to influence our mental health and general productivity. The simple act of getting dressed first thing in the morning has been found to increase motivation to do other things throughout the day and increase our energy to want to do more things. So, try out that new eye shadow palette, get a haircut, shave your beard. Keeping up with your appearance is a good way to ward away feelings of low mood.
5. Get exercise. Physical activity improves mood and overall reduces depressive and anxious symptoms. Exercise has also been found to alleviate symptoms such as low self-esteem and social withdrawal. Health benefits from regular exercise include improved sleep, stress relief, improvement in mood, increased energy and stamina, reduced tiredness, weight reduction, reduced cholesterol, and improved cardiovascular fitness. Research shows that moderate exercise can increase your motivation to achieve personal goals and lead to an all-around healthier lifestyle.
6. Seek out therapy. For many, being in quarantine has caused challenges to mental health such as anxiety and depression. It is likely that challenges with mental health could pose a significant obstacle to motivation. Seeking treatment is nothing to be ashamed of. We are all going through something different and the more we connect with someone that can help us, the better.
For more information please visit us at www.qhealthonline.com or call us at 1-833-QHCARES.