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Question Motivation? - February 20th 2013, 07:27 AM

Before I start my post, I have to say, I'm not 100% sure if this should go here or somewhere else. I assume here because it's about being depressed (technically)?

Well, here goes...

I'm in my Freshman year of College, second semester. Most of the work isn't hard, but for some reason I'm finding less and less motivation to do it, and then I think about it and start to feel guilty. I haven't submitted any work in 2 weeks, and I have a paper due on Saturday and another due Sunday. I know that I need to do the work, and that making my dad proud and getting a degree SHOULD be good enough motivation, but it isn't.

The reason why:

Lately, I've been depressed, almost every day I consider SH, even though I don't do it, and I cry myself to sleep every night. Until today, I had no idea why, and I'm still not sure, but I think it all boils down to how lonely I am. Before I left my friend's house to stay at mine for a bit while my dad was away, I did all my work early so I could spend time with her. Since I came home, I haven't done the work. Coincidence? For some reason I don't think so. And yeah, I have online friends, but it just isn't the same. Any ideas on how I can get my motivation back? I will be going back to my friend's, but that's not until a week or two from now, and I really need to do my work.

Worst thing is...

I KNOW I need to do the work, I even start to, but I just can't bring myself to. I look at the work and feel a sense of hopelessness that I've never felt this badly before. Help please?
   
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Re: Motivation? - February 20th 2013, 09:31 PM

Hi, Tricia.

Sorry you're feeling like this. I'm not in college so I don't have any work as difficult as that obviously, but I do know what it feels like to just not wanna do anything and feel sluggish even when you need to get something done. Especially when you look at what needs to be done, you just wanna go back and lay down again.

First, it's great you haven't Self-Harmed, that's really good. Although I can relate to crying yourself to sleep, sadly. You definitely don't deserve to cry yourself to sleep. Sleep is pretty important and plays a big role in your mood though. Some things that helped me when I was fixing to go to sleep when I would be sad, is reading a peaceful book, a boring one (happy theme though). And maybe write down feelings or thoughts, write a poem or story. Put up some cute animal pictures in your room, maybe a dreamy poster. May sound weird, but fluffy, cuddly cute stuffed animals help as well. Something to hug. It'll comfort you till you feel tired to go to sleep.

During the day, can you drink coffee or hot chocolate, something with caffeine? Can you have energy drinks? Energy drinks can be dangerous sometimes though so coffee is your best bet. Something to wake you up and keep you fueled up might help you gain energy to do your work. Going for a quick run outside can get you pumped up as well. Eating protein foods can help too. Here's a list, click here.

I hope you feel better soon, Tricia. Good luck on your homework, hope I helped a bit! Feel free to PM/VM me if you need something.

Stay Strong <3
   
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Re: Motivation? - February 21st 2013, 07:48 AM

Hey there.

I went through a very similar thing last year. It was my first year of University, and it was... challenging. There's a lot to manage: dealing with the workload, trying to make new friends, taking time for yourself. Add depression to that and it can become a bit of a mess. But I got through it, and I'm hoping I have some tips that might help you get through it too.

Do you have a routine? I found that if I got into the swing of doing homework at a certain time (or as soon as possible) it became a habit and was therefore easier. Maybe you could go to the library every Friday and do two hours work, or do an hour each night after dinner, or whatever works for you. Make it part of your routine, so you don't even think twice about it. You just do it. Making to-do lists works for me too; something about being able to cross off each item and finally throw out the whole list is really satisfying.

Making goals is also helpful. Try to keep them simple and to the point - and, most importantly, able to be accomplished. Maybe start with your biggest goals: for example, graduating. Have that as the thing towards which you're working, but also break it down into smaller, more manageable goals. Keep that big goal in mind, and remember that all these smaller goals are leading you towards that. If you keep working on these goals, you'll not only find things easier to deal with, but you'll feel that sense of accomplishment when you do achieve them.

Have you talked to a counsellor or anyone like that? It may sound scary/silly/whatever, but it really can help. They can work with you to figure out what exactly is wrong, and how to get through it. It can make you feel less alone, less stressed, and in general help you feel better. It can be especially helpful if you're thinking about things like self harm, and if you're feeling depressed. So I think you should consider it at least.

Finally, to stop feeling lonely, sometimes you have to take a risk. Have you joined any clubs/societies/sports? The more involved you are, the more likely it is that you'll find people you click with, and build up a network of friends. It can be difficult at first, but it can make a world of difference. Online friends are great, of course, but it's also good to have friends you can see on a regular basis and hang out with in real life. So keep working on that.

Oh, and like Christabel said, there are some simple things you can keep an eye on to make sure your depression isn't just lifestyle based. Make sure you're getting enough exercise, eating the right foods, getting plenty of sleep. Things like that. They sound simple enough, but they can help a lot.

Take care, and good luck!




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Re: Motivation? - February 22nd 2013, 09:16 AM

Thanks for the advice, I'll try what you said. I finally brought myself to do some work yesterday and today, and I feel proud of myself. But, I'm worried that something will happen and I'll start slacking again, and then I will feel bad. What can I do to make sure I keep this up (reward systems hardly ever work, and chastising myself for not doing it only makes me feel bad about myself)?
   
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Re: Motivation? - February 22nd 2013, 10:06 AM

That's good you got some done. There aren't really many other ways besides rewarding yourself though. I really wish I could give some advice on that but I'm not sure. Maybe remind yourself of how good the feeling is of being proud of yourself after you finish. Then know you can finally relax afterwards.
   
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