How to Stay Motivated When Anxious, Depressed or Overwhelmed: Motivational Series Part 5

Motivation is an elusive concept for many people. Despite having big dreams or desiring to accomplish a particular goal, taking the steps necessary to reach the end objective can seem impossible. Sometimes just completing the bare minimum feels like all you can do. Forget the idea of accomplishing anything greater. As you strive for improvement there will invariably come times of struggle. You may become anxious, depressed or overwhelmed by the tasks still to accomplish.

However, there are some strategies you can take to increase your motivation even when anxious or depressed. Continue reading for some tangible ways to help you move past survival mode.

How to stay motivated when you are anxious, depressed or overwhelmed. Simple motivational strategies when times are tough.


Do It for Someone Else

While personal goals generally need to come from within in order to be meaningful, anxiety and depression can make generating any kind of internal feeling beyond despair difficult. Intrinsic motivation, or the kind that comes from inside you, simply may not be something you can muster right now. One way to “trick” yourself into becoming motivated is to think of ways your goal may benefit others.

When I don’t feel like finishing a post or pitching myself to a brand, I remind myself that if I make enough money blogging, my husband will be able to teach one less class and be home with us more, which in turn will lighten my load. While it shouldn’t be a long-term solution, it can sometimes be enough to get you moving and lead to fueling further motivation.


Outsource Dreaded Tasks

Deferring your most-dreaded tasks onto someone else may be especially effective for those dealing with anxiety. Many anxiety sufferers fear talking on the phone. If possible, request that a significant other or friend make important phone calls on your behalf.  Some things can be outsourced in order to make everything else more manageable. If finances allow, you can pay professionals to bear certain loads for you. Otherwise, some creativity may be in order. The relief you’ll experience is worth the initial expenditure of energy required to generate creative outsourcing solutions.

Can’t afford a maid? Well why did you have kids if not to make them clean your house. Ha ha! All kidding aside, recruiting your children to do small tasks around the house is good for your stress level and for them. Do a babysitting swap with a friend so you can knock out a few blog posts in silence. Hire a Virtual Assistant to do that blogging task you dread.


Do the Fun Stuff First

Many life coaches or other experts will recommend that you tackle the tough or boring items on your list first in order to get them out of the way. The theory is that you’ll feel more accomplished, and finishing the rest of your project or goal will be easier.  Sometimes that doesn’t work. Therefore, turn the advice upside down and start with the easiest part first. Or do the absolute bare minimum or smallest part first. Once you’ve summoned the motivation to just get started in some way, continuing on will be a more likely prospect.

In the house cleaning department, if my floors are covered in Legos and markers or the sink is filled with dishes I instantly feel overwhelmed. Even if I don’t have time to do anything else, if I do those few things my mood instantly lifts and I am able to accomplish the rest of the cleaning.


Be Gentle With Yourself

If you were helping a friend in your situation, you’d likely have all the compassion in the world for them. You’d probably offer words of encouragement for the small achievements your pal made and be there to take up some slack when they’re feeling unable. In order to foster motivation, you absolutely must show yourself this same level of compassion. Reward or praise yourself for every small accomplishment. This can be taking a break to watch your favorite show or enjoying a simple indulgence (chocolate! but just a little) . Even praising yourself for your efforts can be effective.

Along that same vein, be sure not to chastise yourself for perceived faults. Instead, focus on what you were able to get done or remind yourself that you are currently facing some tough obstacles and you’re doing your best. Negative self-talk is self-sabotage and kills motivation.


You yourself, as much as anybody in the entire universe, deserve your love and affection.

Accept that there will be struggles in your journey towards your goals. Everyone has struggles. But those that have succeeded move past the troubles and keep going. Incorporating these steps into your daily routine can significantly increase your motivation even when the sailing isn’t smooth.

Put it into Action

Have you set a goal and are working towards it? Yeah you! Celebrate by sharing below.

If you have other tricks to share about staying motivated when times are tough, please share with us.

The Complete Motivation Series

Here are links to the entire motivational series in case you are just joining us.

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  1. […] On Munofore I finished up my 5 part Motivation series by offering suggestions for How to Stay Motivated When Anxious, Depressed or Overwhelmed. […]

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