Staying motivated with your health is challenging on the best of days – but add symptoms of depression and anxiety into the mix, and it can feel almost impossible to get out of bed and face the day.

And unfortunately this is the reality for 1 in 5 of us who will experience the impact of mental illness at some point in our lives… sometimes even when we least expect it.

Mental illness might be something you live with every day as you constantly work to navigate the challenges and obstacles it creates for you. Or, maybe you go through periods of feeling low every now and again. But the reality is, most (if not all) of us will experience mental health issues at some point or another.

And unfortunately, busy women tend to be those who suffer in silence. With a to-do list as long as your arm, you can tend to put everyone else’s needs ahead of your own while also placing unrealistic expectations of what you can and can’t achieve in a day (we’ve all been there).

But it’s important to remember that mental health makes up a huge part of your overall wellbeing and it can be a major factor in how motivated you are to stay on track. Just as a knee injury or a sore back would take you out of the game physically, a fragile mind can be just as debilitating – if not more so.

So, how do you stay on track and stay motivated if mental health is something you struggle with? Here’s our top 5 tips for boosting your motivation when you’re dealing with symptoms of depression and anxiety:

1. Acknowledge

As a busy woman with a million things to do, when you’re feeling low it’s common for you to  push your feelings to one side and tell yourself that you’re fine.

But if your child came to you saying they felt low, what advice would you give them? We can bet your first instinct wouldn’t be to tell them they’re fine when they’re clearly not.

Our first tip is to acknowledge how you’re feeling. Recognise that today isn’t the best day and that you aren’t feeling 100%. Remind yourself that feeling this way is perfectly okay and part of what makes you human.

2. Pause and breathe.

When you’re feeling anxious or depressed, it’s very easy to become consumed by those emotions. This can leave you feeling flustered, overwhelmed, and worse off in the long-run.

To avoid this happening – pause. Take a few deep breaths and count backwards from 5. This helps you to focus on something else, become more mindful, and think clearly.

3. Ask yourself what you’re feeling.

A lot of the time we tend to bundle our emotions into one category. We say we’re feeling ‘stressed’ or ‘anxious.’ But it’s important here to check in with yourself and ask yourself exactly what you’re feeling and why you might be feeling that way.

If you’re stressed – what’s stressing you out? If you’re anxious – what’s causing your anxiety?

By doing this simple activity, you’ll have a greater understanding of what you’re dealing with and how to move forward.

4. Give yourself permission to feel it.

Whatever emotion you’re feeling – be it stress, anxiety, depression, or something else entirely – give yourself permission to feel it. Don’t act as though you’re making a big deal over nothing. You’re not. Likewise, don’t push it to one side and expect it to go away. It won’t.

When you allow yourself to feel exactly what you’re feeling in that moment, you’ll be able to sit beside the emotion instead of being absorbed by it. This will give you a clearer mind so that you can regain control of the situation.

4. Focus on your WHY.

Think about your WHY – that deep, emotional reason of why you really want to change.

Maybe it’s that you’ll have more energy for your kids. Maybe you’ll feel more comfortable in your own skin. Or, maybe it’s so you’ll feel mentally stronger to tackle life’s many obstacles. Whatever your WHY is, focus on it now and allow it to drive your motivation.

A final note…

Don’t underestimate the benefits of physical activity and a balanced diet in protecting your mental health. We know that on those hard days – those days where it’s a challenge to even get out of bed – the last thing you’ll feel like doing is hitting the gym. But any kind of physical activity can boost your mood, energy levels, and alertness. Studies like this one even show that people who exercise regularly have better mental health and emotional wellbeing, as well as lower rates of mental illness.

So, whether it’s a 30 minute walk, a yoga session, or simply getting enough sleep – try to take care of your physical health, too. If you need a helping hand, download the LifeBuddi app for iOS. Through personalised nudges, daily support, and more than 20 podcasts of health coaching, the LifeBuddi app will support you to take small steps everyday that will boost your motivation and help you to overcome symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Staying motivated with your health is challenging on the best of days – but add symptoms of depression and anxiety into the mix, and it can feel almost impossible to get out of bed and face the day. Check out our top 5 tips for boosting your motivation and staying on track with your health when you're facing symptoms of depression and anxiety. #LifeBuddi #health #wellness #app

 

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