23 Ways to Get Motivated To Study When Depressed
Depression, either mild or severe is a common mental disorder that is triggered by traumatic events. Some people are depressed without even knowing it!
Lack of motivation is a simple symptom of depression, however, not all states of demotivation are as a result of depression. There could be other causes such as tetchiness, restlessness, fatigue, lack of appetite, lack of sleep, and amplified need for more sleep.
You just need to ensure your current state of mind isn’t affecting other significant aspects of your life.
If you ever find yourself in a state of depression as a student, here are a few tips to get you motivated to study.
1. Define your goals
Often, people get depressed while studying because they do not have a goal in mind. Examination, test or a presentation are good generally considered to be a goal but they are too generic in nature.
Defining your goal in such a way that is specific will help you so you follow through. “I want to have a distinction in a particular course” is more like it. Another example is – I want to study the first five chapters of this handbook.
Make your goal as specific as you can and you will begin to notice an internal motivation and drive.
2. Make your goals realistic
A mistake that often causes depression is not setting a realistic goal. Ideally, your study goals should be achievable within a time frame.
The easiest way to go about being motivated to tackle a big study goal is to break it down into smaller, manageable goals. You will get motivation as you achieve them step by step.
Finishing a chapter gives you the drive and satisfaction to go for another chapter. By tackling and achieving the small goals, you, in turn, get motivated to attempt the next goal for the course, semester or year.
3. Have a routine
You need to first have a routine to ensure you aren’t carried away by every Tom and Jerry. There is no way you can break free from or develop something you don’t have.
The motivation you get from the accomplishment of your daily routine habitually reduces the chances of depression.
Routines can have checkmarks so you know the task you have completed and the task you have to complete. This will keep you motivated to finish them. You will be motivated to study once you have made studying your routine and have accomplished the task preceding the study.
4. Understand what depression is – a state
As you struggle to study, you need to decipher the source of depression. You’ll need to be since with yourself to figure this out. For a moment, focus on your thoughts, feelings, and emotion. It could be financial constraints, your love life, a friendship that has gone bad or other factors.
Meditation put the cause of the depression into a perspective and allows you to see your depressive part in a new light.
After you must have figured it out, you can make deductions about the possible solutions. You should know it’s a phase and it will pass and while it passes, don’t sulk around for too long. A good thing about the state is that it changes. So, you have to be determined to change from that of depression. It begins with you!
5. Break your pattern
Before you can break your pattern or source of depression, you must have had a routine. If your depression is caused by a particular event or thing that has become usual because it has been repeated so many times, you need to take a break.
To motivate yourself to study, you might need to break those patterns once in a while. Do something out of your routine. As I do say “surprise yourself”. If you are too used to studying in a particular posture or location, try other options.
Have a variety of alternatives until you feel very comfortable with one. Do something outrageous or something you have not done before.
6. Change the battleground
An eagle that wants to have a snake for dinner will not fight the snake on the ground. It will rather pick the snake up in the air where it loses its direction while the eagle has all the advantages.
Playing to your strengths should be your major focus every time as you plan to study. If there’s an event that will make you depressed, find a way to prevent it. If it is a place that discourages you from meeting your educational goals, then leave the place or don’t go there. If it’s a group of people who make you lazy, avoid them and go get your books.
7. Take a shower
Unlike what some people think of depression, alleviation and recovery are not limited to psychological or emotional mediation and healing. I am telling you now that there are other ways to bounce back.
There are a lot of physical activities that can be done to change that state of depression and get motivated to study such as taking a shower before studying. This will calm your body and reduce the stress on your brain and body.
A cold shower is usually preferable as exposure to a little cold fluid (air, water) helps the brain function better. You are more likely to get motivated to study when your brain isn’t stressed out.
Swimming has a similar effect with a cold shower. You don’t necessarily need to spend a long time in the pool. It might just be a five to fifteen minutes swim to regulate your body temperature and get your mind off the things that depress you.
As you feel better, hit the library or personal space to pick up your books. You’ll realize the assimilation and absorption of the details of your notes will become effortless.
9. Engage the grounding technique
While you might not have heard about this technique before, most people practice it without even knowing.
The simplest form of this exercise is walking barefoot with your natural sole in contact with the earth. This technique has proven to alleviate depression on numerous occasions.
10. Physical exercise
Physical exercise can help to alleviate depression. From simple jumping to a more complex physical exercise, you cannot underestimate any form of exercise. Apart from making you get out of your head, it also increases the endorphins (pain reliever) in your body.
You can slot in exercise between your study times. Five to ten minutes of exercise break is enough to motivate you to study more and reduce your chances of slipping into depression. You could pace back and forth as you read. You could also recite what you’ve read as you jog down the aisle.
11. Go for a walk
You can clear your mind with this simple exercise. Walking helps the mind to clear the clutter and refreshes you.
If you feel you are getting depressed to study or while studying, just take a walk. It can just be a stroll in the garden, park or along the street. You’ll be fine in no time. Get back to your books when you feel better.
12. Avoid social media
One of the major causes of pressure nowadays is social media, especially among youths and teenagers. Don’t get me wrong, social media has its advantages but research continues to link the use of social media to depression.
Apart from the fact that more time spent on social media means less time on study, the chances of depression and anxiety increase with the time spent on social media.
13. Socialize with other excellent students
While social media might cause depression, socialization doesn’t. In effect, socialization alleviates depression as long as it is spent with positive people.
If you can just get positive-minded people to study with, you’ll be more motivated to achieve your academic goals. Volunteering to teach others and helping the need will improve your mood and motivate you to study. Staying around the right people reduce the chances of depression.
14. Study group
Being around people with the like mind will ensure you get you to do more of that thing. You will study more when you are amidst the people studying. You just have to be careful to be in a group that studies more than you currently do because if they study less, you will be influenced to study less too.
15. Do not resist
The radical thing a lot of people do when they are depressed is they try to resist the depression. Meanwhile, resisting depression only prolong its existence as it is said what you resist, persists. Resisting depression gives more power to it. So to get motivated, do not push through using sheer will. Instead of just letting depression stay, find means to solve the problem causing the depression.
16. Check your diet
Your diet affects your emotions and your state. As your food and eating habits can get you into a state of depression, it can also get you out. You should change your eating habit s if you find yourself depressed to study. Some of the things you should steer clear off are alcohol consumption, stimulants, and sugar. While these foods might make you forget your depression for a while, it sure doesn’t remove it and the depression returns with full force as the effects of the food and stimulants wear off.
17. Get enough sleep
You can be physically drained because of depression and you will need to replenish your energy. You will need adequate sleep time because too much or too little sleep can affect your mood. Get enough sound sleep so you can be motivated to study.
Most of the problems people have will be solved if they could get clarification on the cause. Getting clarified on the cause of depression sometimes is enough to remove depression entirely. Why do people still get depressed with this knowledge? There are two main reasons: the source of depression is not usually obvious, and we are usually uncomfortable facing the truth.
19. Get help
Sometimes you might find out that self-awareness is not as easy as you might think. At that point that it seems too difficult or challenging, reach out to get help. “A problem shared is a problem half solved.” You can reach out to friends and family members or professionals. Getting to talk to someone sometimes is enough to alleviate depression and apart from this, you could also get the help you need to study.
Professionals will help you with the treatment of depression which might include a combination of Psychotherapy and medication. Examples of medication that should be used only when and as prescribed by professionals are selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRIs), serotonin-norepinephrine reuptake inhibitors (SNRIs), norepinephrine-dopamine reuptake inhibitors (NDRIs), tricyclic antidepressants and monoamine oxidase inhibitors.
20. Don’t overschedule
Too much of anything is not good. Make your schedule simple enough that it does not stress you out because your schedule to make things easy for you. If it is just five tasks that you can accomplish, do it and congratulate yourself on it. A nice schedule is enough motivation to study on its own.
21. Get equipped for motivation
as much as you try to alleviate depression, you should also focus on equipping yourself to be motivated. Get resources you need to regain motivation. These include inspirational quotes, videos, and books. You are what you feed on, feed your mind with positive thoughts, staying around positive places and interacting with positive people and things.
22. Cultivate cheerfulness
As we all know that a place cannot be void, at least not for long. If you remove weeds from your garden and you refuse to plant anything there, that weed will take over again. As you try to eliminate depression, if you do not replace it with cheerfulness, gratitude, and happiness, you might soon find yourself in depression again. Cheerfulness, happiness and the things that bring them are needed to eliminate depression. Gratitude is needed to keep you motivated to study. So, cultivate the habit of cheerfulness, happiness, and gratitude.
23. Pomodoro technique
This technique will help you through your studies without overwhelming you. It allows you to have scheduled breaks and tends to help you focus the more on the study.
This is a simple technique:
Now that you know that the depression you are currently feeling is just a state and it is not permanent. You also know the fact that understanding the cause and tackling it is better than denying and pushing through it. You should just focus on things that motivate you to study and not things that cause you depression.
Alleviate depression with the tips listed approach and your motivation to study will naturally follow. It may seem hard at first but persist and you will feel your sense of motivation growing. Another thing is that over time (with the practice of course), you will find it easy to get motivated and harder to get depressed.
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This content was originally published here.