The realities of living in a global pandemic are harsh. Most people are stuck inside the majority of the time with little to no human interaction and it can be quite challenging at times.  People are scrambling to try and find ways to keep themselves occupied while at home, and things just start to feel repetitive. Not only this, but a lot of students are in a completely different school environment than before, whether they are fully virtual, hybrid, or full time. Being at home all the time and starving for human interaction can lead to a lack of motivation, and it can be quite the burden. A lack of motivation is one of the most challenging dilemmas to face, but there are ways to overcome it. Here’s how.

     According to healthline.com, a lack of motivation is a symptom of depression. While this is not always the case, for most people, it is. The pandemic has left lots of us struggling to find happiness, and in turn decreased our motivation to do things we used to do without much thought. The first step in finding motivation is to know you are not alone. Countless people are suffering from the same exact issue, and it’s important to know it will not last forever. The quote “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are” by Theodore Roosevelt is a valuable lesson. Do what you can with what you have, and be proud of the progress you have made - even if it isn’t much.

     Furthermore, start small with your goals. First things first; do not try and overdo it.  Try something simple, such as getting out of bed and getting dressed. Just start the day. Eat breakfast, greet your family, anything. Another extremely helpful thing to do would be exercising. According to webmd.com, exercising helps your body to release endorphins, which are the “feel-good hormones.” Exercising is pretty much guaranteed to boost spirits, so give it a try. Small victories such as these are extremely beneficial, as they are a step in the right direction of increasing your motivation.

     Another contributing factor to a lack of motivation is overscheduling. Do not get spread too thin by making too many plans or commitments, and don’t feel guilty about doing “too little.” According to health.clevelandclinic.com, overscheduling impacts the whole body and mental health. Instead of enjoying these frequent activities, it’s common that the individual feels overwhelmed and anxious at all of these events. This overexertion can lead to a decline in physical health as well, as there is not much time to rest in between. There is no need to feel like the day is wasted if every second was not spent actively doing something productive. Congratulate yourself for every task you complete, no matter how small. By doing this, your confidence and self motivation will increase. 

     Additionally, a lack of sleep is a huge factor in a lack of motivation and depression. In reference to healthline.com, a lack of sleep affects people in ways much more than just feeling tired. Effects of sleep deprivation include impulsive behavior, anxiety, paranoia, suicidal thoughts, depression, and countless others. Since a lack of motivation is a symptom of depression, it can also be caused by a lack of sleep. A few ways to improve sleeping habits include limiting daytime naps, going to sleep at the same time every night, avoiding heavy meals late in the day, and making your bedroom dark and comfortable.

     As stated previously, depression and a lack of motivation is something experienced by countless others in the world, especially during the tumultuous times we are currently living in. It is important that people know it gets better, and that this is not forever. All it takes to get through this is to just keep moving forward and know that it will get better.