In the midst of a global pandemic, lack of motivation is a common feeling experienced by most of us. While for some, social media has been a source of encouragement and awareness of the negative effects of COVID-19 on mental health, others have been faced with feelings of guilt and questions of what is good enough.
A report published by the Mental Health Foundation found that over one in five adults in the United Kingdom reported feelings of hopelessness before the end of 2020. Despite coping mechanisms such as going for a walk and speaking with friends becoming quite prevalent, there has been a concerning rise in unhealthy ways of dealing with the pandemic, such as drinking more alcohol and adopting bad eating habits. Although these statistics do not exactly aid in raising one’s spirits, they are important to show that you are not alone. That is not to say that feeling unmotivated is a new phenomenon suddenly experienced during this time. We have all felt unmotivated at some point in our lives. However, acknowledging this feeling is necessary for finding collective ways to help each other out, and that is needed now more than ever, especially when our options are so limited.
I am going to share with you my top 5 tips to help you deal with a lack of motivation:
1. Don’t feel guilty
As mentioned earlier, social media has not been entirely helpful throughout this pandemic. Despite its countless sources of distraction, from news and entertainment to creative posts and videos, it has also created the possibility of comparing ourselves to others, even when human contact is limited. Instagram posts of daily home workouts and Tik Tok videos of people’s busy routines can make it hard to feel accomplished when all we managed to do today is get out of bed and binge-watch a Netflix series.
However, I am here to remind you to stop feeling guilty and start listening to your body more.
In our fast-moving society, sleeping in and avoiding all responsibilities is not practical. Yet not allowing yourself to rest for a few days isn’t realistic either. Recharging your body and mind is something you should prioritize every now and then. Your body gives you signs for a reason, and you should listen to them. Everyone’s situation is different; therefore, each individual has their own needs that might not look similar to yours. So, the next time you see those posts, forgive yourself for giving your body the essential rest it needs, and do not discount the uncertain times we are living in right now. Allow yourself to feel proud for making it to where you are!
2. Make a list
Now that you have stopped feeling guilty, it is time to start planning!
Having responsibilities can be overwhelming, especially when you don’t know where to start. Time management is therefore an important part of the process that will allow you to work more efficiently and make the achievement of your goals much easier.
Ask yourself questions like what responsibilities do I have? How much time do I have to complete my tasks? Which ones are more urgent and need to be prioritized? What time of the day am I more focused?
Once you know the answers to these questions, you can start making a timetable. This can take different forms depending on your personality. For example, for those who like to be strict and organized, making a weekly schedule with set tasks you need to complete each day is a great start. On the other hand, for those who prefer a more relaxed approach, writing down your deadlines and making sure everything is done before a particular time and date is also another useful proposal.
3. Start small
You have made a schedule but cannot seem to keep up with it.
Here comes another question you need to ask yourself:
Are my goals too unrealistic?
Starting small might be a helpful solution to this problem. Often, we get so excited when we plan for the future that we forget our own capabilities. For instance, why not start with reading for two hours per day instead of five? Why not try waking up at 9 am on the weekends instead of 7 am? It might not be your ideal goal but working towards the end result is a process, and to achieve that you need to stop overwhelming yourself. This will only lead to disappointment, further delaying you from completing your tasks.
4. Get rid of distractions
In our technological world distractions are everywhere, even in the private space of our home. Not using your phone while completing your tasks may be a good enough solution for some, however, a lot of the time small things like receiving a message or noticing the notification light going on and off can take away from our work.
If you cannot seem to give something your full attention, ask yourself what might be distracting you and get rid of it.
Switch off your phone, close your door, have a cup of your favorite drink, and turn that laser focus to your work!
To end this on a positive note, it is important to acknowledge planning, focusing, and achieving is easier said than done and can be mentally draining.
Adding self-care to your schedule will remind you to make yourself a priority. Take a relaxing warm bath, moisturize your hair and skin, have a nice meal, and listen to your favorite music.
After all, you deserve to be pampered and rewarded for all your efforts!