No matter how strong and resilient we may consider ourselves, even the best of us hit a bump in the road of life that can drain us of energy and leave us flaying with no real sense of purpose and direction.
Pulling yourself out of it is extremely difficult. So we’ve highlighted five ways here to get you back on the road to and back to your old, energetic, self.
Every journey starts with one step
It may be a cliché but taking that first step will always be the hardest when you are struggling with motivation.
Remember that it is like pushing an old broken-down car – to go from stationary to moving requires an immense amount of effort. But once you’re moving again, momentum will pick up and build, making it easier as you progress.
One of the most popular apps over the last year has been the NHS Couch to 5K – which encourages even the most sedentary of people to build up their progress gradually, focussing on a step-by-step program, rather than setting unachievable goals, and getting downhearted when you don’t achieve them.
You need to make massive energy to start day one, to take that first step. Using that initial energy will give you the momentum to continue to the next day – and so on, until you realise that your va-va-voom is back and you’ve already travelled quite a long journey.
Shift focus away from yourself
As we slip into depressed thinking, we start to get uncharacteristically self-absorbed. Shifting your focus away from yourself by getting involved with some kind of charity will renew your sense of purpose, help you gain a new level of perspective, and improve your self-worth. For different ways you can get involved in charity find out more here.
Reach out to other people
Although cortisol is the main hormone associated with stress, a second hormone is oxytocin. Also known as the cuddle, or love hormone, when oxytocin is released as part of your stress response, it urges you to seek out support from other people. The trouble is, the more stressed we become, the less in balance we are, the stronger the negative cortisol becomes, and our thinking goes out of kilter.
Reaching out to others for support will help to boost those oxytocin levels and bring them back in line with your cortisol. You need some degree of stress to function in life – but maintaining the balance between good motivating eustress, and the more pernicious and damaging distress is a life skill that can be easily learned.
Eat That Frog and eliminate procrastination
Often inaction is a result of not wanting to face various unpleasant tasks. So you put them off by, whether figuratively or literally, hiding under the duvet.
Eat That Frog was a term coined by author and motivation expert Brian Tracey, encouraging you to get on with the biggest, hardest, most important task first thing in the morning. He famously said: “You cannot eat every tadpole and frog in the pond, but you can eat the biggest and ugliest one.” He goes on the say: “The hardest part of any task is getting started on it in the first place. Once you actually begin work on a valuable task, you seem to be naturally motivated to continue.”
Use the power of visualization
Think back to a time when you felt passionate and motivated. Close your eyes and visualise how you felt. Magnify those feelings – both emotionally and physically. Experience them as you would in the moment. Remind yourself that you are still that person who is motivated and energetic and ready to hit the ground running. That person has not gone anywhere – they are still there – you just need to remind them to pop back again!