How To Feel Motivated On A Depressed Day

Mental health as WHO (World Health Organization) defines, ‘is a state of well-being in which every individual realizes his or her own potential, can cope with the normal stresses of life, can work productively and fruitfully, and is able to make a contribution to their own community’.

When there is an imbalance in emotional, psychological and social well being of an individual, the mental well being turns into mental health problems. And these problems can affect anyone.

In this blog, I want to talk about how I found my way out of a dark tunnel. I am going to talk about my personal experience and share how some simple changes made me think clearly and function better on my depressed days.

Studied psychology for 7 years and counting, I thought I am sorted, self-aware and I would know if I ever have a mental imbalance. But what was I thinking! Life isn’t that simple, it surprises when its least expected. Maybe I took the line ‘doctors never get sick’ too seriously.

Enthusiastic in academics and being career oriented is something I learned by getting raised in a dual-earner family. Psyched about getting into Ph.D., I applied into universities. But due to I-don’t-know-what-reasons, I didn’t get admission. I was disheartened. But I didn’t give up and next year applied again. And guess what? Rejection again.

This broke me down. I was feeling clueless; I wasn’t sure what to do next. Day by day the frustration was building up. It felt like I was getting hurt on tender muscles.

This resulted in sadness, anger, frustration, loss of diet and sleep, fatigue, inability to get out of bed, irritability, helplessness, difficulty in making decisions and headache…soon I realized these are the symptoms of depression.

I was unrecognizable, and I didn’t even realize the changes in me till after a couple of weeks. And once I had realized, I had no idea how to handle myself anymore; I was a stranger to myself. It felt like after days I was looking in the mirror!

After being clueless for a couple of days, I decided to get out of this mood. Before asking for professional help, I wanted to try helping myself as I thought, if that works, it will boost my self-confidence too. So I started by getting out of bed and grabbing a paper and pen. I bulleted down all the things that can help. And I came up with the following things-

· Thought journal- To write my negative thoughts down so that they are transferred on a paper from my mind. And when I read them, I realized how irrational some of the thoughts were. Also, this gave me a chance to have other thoughts.

· Get out of bed by 7 am- This gave me a definite time to be out of bed and I didn’t stay in bed unnecessarily. This made my day longer and hence increased productivity.

· Yoga and meditation- Before starting my day, doing yoga for 15–20 minutes, gave me positive energy and I didn’t feel sloppy throughout the day. And for meditation, I used an app and did guided meditation a couple of times a day.

· Proactively start finding for other options- I had started searching for courses, which would allow me to practice in the field of psychology. Generally, there are other options if we look around, rather than being focused on our plan A.

· Breathe- Such a basic thing, but many times we are not even aware of it. Whenever life gets overwhelming, I take a couple deep breathes that makes me aware of my body and I feel grounded.

· Mindful of my emotions- Instead of just feeling the emotions, I started naming them. And distinguishing between them, rather than calling everything as anger.

· Hope- I had become hopeless and thought this would be the end of a career; instead I had kept reminders to feel hopeful couple times a day. Being hopeful is essential to be functional in life.

· Spend more time with pets- I have two guinea pigs, who were very supportive during this phase, as they made me forget of my anguish when I was around them. And out of option, they would cutely listen, when I needed someone to listen to me.

So these were the things that I tried implementing in my routine and this majorly helped me to gain back my confidence and spirit. And soon I found a course that would help me become a licensed psychotherapist, which I am currently pursuing and I am very happy with my choice.

As far as my depressed thoughts are concerned, I am seeing a therapist as a part of the program, so I am learning how to handle myself. I could experiment with myself because I had read and studied about it and have a bit of knowledge on how the brain works, so it helped me bring myself back on track.

If we talk about our problems at an initial stage, it’s easier to get rid of them. We look at mental health issues as an elephant in the room, but it’s easier to take out the baby elephant out of the room compared to a full-grown elephant.

Be vocal about your mental health problems, even if you think it’s a small issue.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store



Student of psychotherapy. Interested in human behavior. Observer.