According to HealthCentral, depression is one of the leading causes of disability in the US. This fact alone can explain why so many people are asking, “How can I get motivated when depressed?”

Dealing with depression is not a fun experience. But there’s always hope, especially if you know how to keep yourself motivated during this extended period of sadness and emptiness. Here are some practical and actionable tips to stay motivated during depression.

Set Tiny Goals

“There is only one way to eat an elephant: a bite at a time.”- Desmond Tutu.

One of the main reasons for being depressed is not achieving what you had hoped you could have achieved. To stay motivated and stop missing deadlines, start by setting small goals. As you complete a goal, don’t forget to congratulate yourself. One step at a time, and ultimately, you’ll achieve your final destination.

Get Up and Go for a Walk

What better way to start your day than with a victory? Wake up early as the sun rises, go for a walk or run, and enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature. Walking and running are also good exercises that can increase the level of happiness hormones in your system. A happy and positive mind can trounce depression, and a little bit of fresh air and nature always helps.

Visit a Therapist

Depression and sadness are not the same. In simple words, depression is a sadness that time doesn’t heal, which refuses to leave without specific guidelines after it becomes your house guest. Even if you recover from depression once, there’s a 50% chance of recurrence, and the probability is almost 80% if you already experience two or more episodes of depression.

These are pretty frightening statistics, and this is why we suggest visiting a trained therapist whenever your sadness continues for an extended period, and becomes a dramatic interference into your regular life. Therapists are trained professionals and can offer tips to stay motivated and fight depression. Some of the methods licensed therapists follow to treat depression include psychodynamic therapy, interpersonal therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT).

Staying motivated becomes more challenging when your depression level increases. Try to get on top of your sadness early and keep it at bay, so it doesn’t become too overwhelming. There is always someone out there who can help.