By Lillianne Pavich
Just like our energy can change throughout the days and weeks, so can our motivation. One day it seems possible to move mountains and accomplish everything, but other days it seems impossible to move the mountain of laundry into the washing machine. This struggle is especially the case when we are experiencing stress, which many of us are facing during the COVID-19 pandemic. Because stress or negative mood states can directly effect motivation, coping skills that improve mood, will also help with motivation.
Here are a few tips that may help overcome feelings of anxiety and spark motivation:
Set goals and complete them in a satisfying way: Creating small, easy to accomplish goals can boost motivation, but everyone has a unique way of completing a task. Some people find it helpful (and oh so satisfying) to cross tasks off on a list, while others prefer working on one task at a time before moving on to the next. Find a way that feels right for you!
Stop comparing yourself to others: Many of us have said: “I can do it later” or “it can wait,” while we scroll through Instagram for three hours. Our scrolling can create more anxiety because, let's be honest, it is hard to ignore the thousands of people posting their new cooking skills and workout routines during quarantine. Although these influencers may seem motivational, sometimes they can cause us to feel more anxiety because it makes us believe that we need to be productive all of the time.
Be kind to yourself: Instead of forcing ourselves to make the most of each day, we can take time to step back from the adjustment of our new normal. While some may have time to complete projects or explore new interests, we aren’t doing the pandemic “wrong” if we aren’t being productive every hour of every day.
Here are a few more quick tips and reminders if you need a little boost to get you started:
Habits and routines take time to form - consistency is key
Recognize what you do and don’t have control over like having to cancel that sunny vacation that you planned for all year.
Just start! Don’t wait to feel “in the mood.” Sometimes the feeling of motivation and satisfaction comes after you complete the task.
Take breaks often (e.g. nature walks, fresh air, stretching etc.)
Seek out support when you need it. www.together-wr.com Resource line: 604-531-0361
Remember, be patient with yourself - this pandemic is new to everyone. Some people will be more motivated than others and yes, it’s okay not to be motivated 100% of the time, especially with so much change. The Covid-19 crisis brings forth many new challenges to overcome and we are all adjusting to our new normal. Find what works for you and your family and check in with yourself regularly. If you are feeling stressed and anxious this could be causing lack of motivation. Take time to reset and, if it is needed, seek out support through the community, family or friends and remember, humans are resilient, an obstacle today could be a walk in the park tomorrow.