Sunday via Syl: Feeling unmotivated? 8 Things to Try to Boost your Motivation
Almost a month ago, someone reached out to me on LinkedIn letting me know she chanced upon my profile while looking for jobs and wanted to tell me that she really enjoyed my blog–that it’s thoughtful and authentically me, with a great mix of my professional and personal life. She has been writing for a while herself but has always been hesitant to publish anything on her blog because she’s worried about what others will think. She found my post on expressing rather than impressing (Confidence is a matter of mindset) and let me know that it really help change her perspective (win!).
Such positive feedback right? I was super humbled, happy, and felt guilty for not posting for a month now.
Truth is for the bulk of that month, I was feeling pretty unmotivated. I skipped posting on Instagram for three weeks following June 2, 2020 (#BlackoutTuesday). I didn’t have the energy to post and act like nothing is happening in the world.
I told my friend Cody about how unmotivated I’ve been feeling and he said something simple, yet very powerful: “perhaps your next blog post should be about being unmotivated and how you shouldn’t let it discourage you because everybody needs to take time for themselves.”
Here are some of the things I’ve been doing to combat my unmotivated self:
- Like Cody mentioned, take it easy, acknowledge that you feel unmotivated and let it sink in and be okay.
- Trying to fix my sleep routine so that I can get back to a more normal sleep schedule and not feel so tired throughout the day.
I admit that I have not been getting my much needed 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. It’s worse when I think about how silly this is, considering it’s quarantine and “work from home” time – so what is stopping me from this? Lack of quality and quantity of sleep leads to irritation, decreased cognitive abilities, puts your physical health at risk, weakens your immune system, and lowers our quality of life overall. GET SLEEP! I notice a visible difference when I get that rest compared to days where I get 4-5 hours of sleep.
- Go on more walks.
When quarantine first began, I was paranoid and locked myself indoors for 2-3 weeks without stepping foot outdoors (and I was wondering why I was going stir crazy?!). A short walk to a nearby park can be super relaxing and restorative. 10/10 recommend – of course, don’t forget your masks, and keep distance with others!
Piggybacking off of #3…exercise. This seems so counter-intuitive but I’ve noticed how my lack of motivation ties into the lack of movement, the lack of sleep, and therefore, my overall productivity. Want to know one of the main brain chemical messenger responsible for making us feel motivated? Dopamine. And what helps with dopamine release? Exercise. By simply doing even a few minutes of exercise, you’ll experience a positive shift in your mood and energy levels.
- Take a warm shower.
A warm shower helps to make your blood flow easier, and it also allows you to breathe deeper and slower.
- Do a face mask.
When my skin is happy, I’m also happier. Give your skin and yourself some love by relaxing with a sheet mask or a good exfoliating face wash off! Skincare is a great form of self-care and we all know we could use some of that!
- Free-write on paper or do some reflexive writing.
I am currently taking a course on coaching skills and techniques and we are encouraged to write at least five times a week. Our professor wants us to practice reflective writing, an opportunity for us to reflect on our learning experience, insights and challenges experienced, as well as both professional and personal growth on the course. Reflective writing is a bit different from free-writing and regurgitating what has happened, it’s more so about gaining clarity about something–helping us to discover things that we might not have considered before.
- Chat with some friends or peers virtually!
Today, I had an hour Zoom video call with some fellow Instagrammers/bloggers. This was our first time meeting virtually–to get to know each other a little more. We chatted about Instagram, collaborations, pitching companies, negotiations, the current state of the world, etc. It felt really nice to get some human interaction, even if virtually. Sometimes we are so hard on ourselves but we all have different resources that we may know of that others don’t know, and these sessions can really help everyone involved.