How to Get Motivated When You're Depressed

September 6, 2018 Michelle Sedas

Need to know how to get motivated when you're depressed? Here are some tips to help you get motivated. Learn more at HealthyPlace.

When we’re depressed, we often lack the motivation to do things. We may lack the motivation to do difficult tasks or we may even lack the motivation for basic self-care, such as showering and eating well. Here is how to get motivated when you're depressed.

Remember Newton’s First Law when Depressed

Newton’s first law of motion says, “An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.”1

This helps us to remember that if we’re at rest, we’ll likely stay at rest unless we do something different. Here are 5 tips to help you get motivated when you're depressed.

5 Tips to Get Motivated When You're Depressed

  1. Take baby steps. The goal here is to get out of “rest.” What is one thing you can do that is different? If you haven’t been exercising, it would be ridiculous to expect yourself to run a marathon. A worthy goal might be to begin walking around the block or even parking farther out in the parking lot. If your house is a mess, it would not make sense to expect a perfectly clean house. Start with tackling one small area in the kitchen. Start small and then build upon it.
  2. Celebrate small successes. Once you do that one small thing, celebrate your success! Feel proud of yourself for taking action. You are officially now out of “rest.” This sense of accomplishment will most likely propel you to do even more.
  3. Focus on what you enjoy. It’s always easier to do things that you enjoy doing. If you’re trying to motivate yourself to exercise, pick your favorite exercise and make it a goal to do that. If you need to motivate yourself to straighten the house, start with the chores you enjoy, or at least the chores you dislike the least.
  4. Keep the end state in mind. When you’re trying to motivate yourself to do something, it’s a good idea to keep the end state in mind. If you begin exercising again, what will you gain? You’ll most likely gain more energy and a better mood, not to mention the potential for weight loss. If you work on cleaning the house, you will gain a more peaceful environment, which will have a positive impact on your mood.
  5. Enlist support. It’s often difficult to get started doing something on your own. Find a partner to hold you accountable. You can sometimes even get support by delegating those tasks that you truly don’t like doing.

Hopefully, these five tips can help you to get motivated when you're depressed. Please let me know in the comments if you have any other ideas.


  1. The Physics Classroom, "Newton's Laws -- Lesson 1 -- Newton's First Law of Motion". Accessed September 5, 2018.

APA Reference
Sedas, M. (2018, September 6). How to Get Motivated When You're Depressed, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, July 15 from

Author: Michelle Sedas

Michelle is a wife and a mother of two children. She is the author of two books and the coauthor of a third. Her book, Welcome The Rain, will inspire you to see beyond life's storms. Find Michelle on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and her personal blog.

September, 7 2018 at 9:59 pm

Thank - you! I have found Newtons First Law to be of interest.

Lizanne Corbit
September, 10 2018 at 6:29 pm

I love the Newton reference! This is such a simple but powerful reminder. Sometimes the hardest thing to do is just getting ourselves going but the little successes can be a huge help in this area. Thank you for sharing!

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