A recent New York Times article highlighted the term “languishing” as that “blah” we are all likely feeling from the pandemic. You may not be depressed or sad, but there is a chance that you could be feeling less motivated and focused than you did before the pandemic started. Since May is mental health month, the Behavioral Health Department at Westmed has pulled some tips together to help people restore their passion and be more present.
- Find a Sense of Purpose
Working from home can make you feel like you are stuck in a loop, but with things slowly opening back up, there is an end in sight. You might be feeling a sense of monotony when you are repeating the same routine every day. Take some time to write about why you are doing the things you do. Bored of your job? Make a list of how your employment helps others, or what your accomplishments on a day-to-day basis do to help your company or organization achieve a goal. Figure out why you get up every day – and try to remember that when you are feeling unmotivated. Take the time to celebrate achievements large or small. Celebrate taking that shower, cleaning a drawer, tackling a piece of the garage or cooking. Every achievement is progress. And remember life is about achieving progress not perfection.
- Focus on Feeling Grateful
If you are feeling particularly frustrated by your circumstances, take a moment to remember 5 things you are grateful for. Write them down or say them out loud. Studies show that when you practice gratitude, you can actually change your mindset.
When you are feeling down, connect with someone. Whether it’s a quick chat with your neighbor, a call to your brother or mom, or sitting down to play with your kids, connecting with others helps motivate you and give you that kick in your step. With the world slowly opening up, the nicer weather arriving and more people being vaccinated, you will find more opportunities to see your friends and loved ones. Having activities to look forward to is a mood boost. Make summer 2021 your summer of fun (with appropriate safety precautions of course). You can also call the NY state emotional support line at 1-844-863-9314 or the institute of aging friendship line at 1-800-971-0016 or the AARP 1-888-281-0145 for English and 1-888-497-4108 for Spanish.
Exercise is re-energizing, reduces stress and boosts your mood. Exercise can also be meditative. When you are stuck in a rut, freeing your thoughts through exercise can go a long way to spurring creativity and motivation.
- Plan for the Future and Take Action
When you are feeling stuck or unmotivated, set aside some time to plan for your future. When you line up a plan and envision your desired future, you can start taking action which will, in turn, help motivate you. Try to start every day by embracing the opportunities that the day holds for you. Take action by journaling daily, make a to do list and check things off once done.
If you are feeling really down, or you feel you need help to get you back on track, you can reach out to a behavioral health professional to help coach you through some of those hard times.