I struggle with depression, but I always feel better after I exercise. Motivating myself to exercise when I feel so down is difficult, however. Do you have any tricks to motivate yourself to exercise when you just plain don’t want to? :)

Shaune O.
I tell myself I only need to give it five minutes. Usually after five minutes I am more than happy to keep going, even if at an easier effort.

Phillip Z.
Think about how you’ll feel when you get done exercising. That sounds so simple but it’s true. The best reward you can possibly get from doing anything is happiness.
-Fellow Depressed Person

Giulliana G.
I also struggle with depression and I totally get you…

First thing, always involve one or two friends in the process… so you always have a buddy to do exercises with you… when you have a friend… he/she will encourage you and you will encourage him/her.

Second thing, try to remember the exercise will help your body but also you soul! Your body will produce endorphins and other hormones that will help you to handle with your depression.

Third, if you don’t manage something big… go out for a walk… you can go and buy fresh bread in the closest bakery… you can go out and sit in the closest park to see birds….. something that bring you joy

Samuel C.
I like to set myself a reward. I like to tell myself that if I do the run then I will get a large slice of cake for example. This way I push myself, motivate myself to run in order to receive that reward. But it doesn't have to be food! It could be an extra five minutes in bed or an activity you don't do often. Whatever makes you want to run in order to get that reward (I find listening to music aslo helps of you aren't listening to music already). In short: treat yo' self! 🙂

Xinying G.
I don’t have a specific answer for you. When I’m down, I also don’t feel like exercising as well. I will just work with what I can at that point in time. For example, if exercising for 20 mins feels like it’s too much, I will just simply take a short walk and consider it as my exercise of the day. Otherwise, I will just start to move my body a little. The small action usually breaks the inertia of not moving and helps me to move a little more.
Presently, I set a schedule so that I can keep to it regardless of how I am feeling.

Eleni Z.
Well, that's a good question. I usually exercise at home by doing stretch, yoga etc…I also have an app for exercising!!

Nicole N.
For me, to get through a lot of thing, I can’t allow myself to think because thinking stops action in its tracks. Never allow yourself to dwell or you will psyche yourself out. I did it for dishes the day before yesterday, for example, because I find certain aspects of this particular chore to be extremely uncomfortable. Do not let yourself think.

Elisabeth N.
When I cannot find the motivation to exercise, I don’t beat myself up about it. We all have bad days. Instead of planning for a full work out, I instead tell myself it’s enough when I just do maybe 3 jumping jacks or push ups. Nothing big, just a small number. I can get myself to do that, usually, because it’s not as exhausting and doesn’t demand as much energy. Or maybe even just swaying to music – it’s better than sitting or lying in bed all day! To run, I tell myself to just put on the shoes and step in front of the door, that’s enough. I don’t have any more expectations for myself. Just do this tiny piece. But most often I realise that once I’ve stepped outside, it would be weird to go right back inside, so I tell myself that maybe I can do a quick walk. And then it usually flows. Don’t be too hard on yourself and recognise that you might not have the energy to do the same thing every day. That’s fine! Make the steps as small as possible and then celebrate it!

Andrew E.
I know exactly what you mean and struggle with that as well. At the moment I have a training plan for my exercise and that is keeping me on track. otherwise I'd have a shower and finish off with cold water to wake me up. Then I would set myself a target to do perhaps some press-ups or sit-ups directly after the shower before I could change my mind.

Kashfia N.
Of course, just start. That starting point is the hardest, after that it’s smooth sailing. Start with something simple like, jumping jacks or jump roping. Once you start, you just cant stop
The same applies for studying or any chores around the house 🙂

Sheldon Z.
Try and remove the need for motivation. Remove the option of not working out. That is, make it a habit, a must do, just something that is part of your day, such as eating or drinking. That way when exercise time comes that is what you do. If you don't have a choice not to exercise then you don't need motivation. And 99% of exercise is just starting.
Another way is the challenge yourself, decide that this week im doing 4 exercises, pick the days, write it down and put it in your calendar. Then do it when it comes around. Good luck!!

Anita O.
I try to listen to my favourite upbeat musics and just move my body. Most of the time it gets me excited for exercise. All of the time, it lifts my mood, even if its just a little bit 🙂

Emy Y.
I don't think that i have an tricks. I just think about my streak and that i'm going to lose that if i don't exercise. Also I tell myself that there is worse to do and that I need to keep going. Because I want to change my life for the better.

Sharon P.
I think of my dogs and how much they enjoy a walk. I think of how they selflessly accept if I don’t take them out, but also how excited they get at the mere word, “walk“. I don’t think it’s fair for them to miss out on something they enjoy so much. After all they give me unconditional love and patience. With that in mind, what’s a short walk?

Jo O P.
Well, friend, I struggled with depression a while ago and it was already difficult to get out of bed; one thing I started trying was imagining myself as my significant other, it's hard, but just give your mind a few minutes to get the idea of it and try it, it helped me a lot and I hope it helps you too, be safe, you'll be just fine, my beauty.🤧❤

Albertine Z.
After exercising, write a diary. Talk about your emotions, and how you liked how much exercising could make you feel better. It will help you exercise the days after, and it will help with your depression too 🙂

Eva N.
hey!! if i was in your shoes, i would think about how better i will feel after i exercise. that would motivate me more and, somehow, i would push myself to go and exercise. good luck, dear!! 🥰💖

John C.
I tend to pair the exercise with something that I like. For me, that's listening to Chuck and Josh on the 'Stuff you should know' podcast. Depending on the activity, you'll have to pair something that is compatible. It really helps you balance out things till a habit forms

Yolanda P.
I was exactly in your situation last year. You know that you would feel better after exercise so just start it! Don’t wait till you feel good to start just start you’ll feel better.
After awhile you can do it with less afford. But consider how much your exercise is intense to get the most of this.
Good luck 🍀
Jito!

Max F.
Hi beautiful! I know exactly what you mean. When I was battle depression, I felt the same as you. One thing that really helped me, was making a playlist of my favorite songs, and listening to them. I would choreograph a “routine” while I was working out to the song. Also, as weird as it sounds, saying “ok, when I’m done, I’ll treat myself to a snack” is helpful! Maybe you treat yourself to a piece of chocolate if you finish your workout, and even if you don’t finish, give yourself that piece or chocolate, you deserve it!

Love you! You got this, I’m here for you♥️

L Ane I.
I do. I think it's better to do at least 2 minutes than not to do anything. I run on the spot or do jumping jacks and then automatically I want more 😊

George A.
I honestly just bribe myself.. Like I'll say of i do this 30 minutes exercise i will buy myself a bar of chocolate or a nice cup of coffee

Jon E.
I always plan for a nice reward at the end of a hard task, like getting up early and exercising. That helps me focus on the reward whenever I feel it is too hard.
Another trick often use is to just count to 10 and start the task. I try and ignore my mental thought process. Once my body starts moving, my mind catches up.

Lenise Y.
I focus on the feeling and results I'll have after exercising rather than what I'm feeling in this moment. Looking forward to that rewarding feeling of caring for myself gets me motivated to do it, even if it's only for 15 minutes or so.

George P.
I also struggle with depression, of course everyone is affected by it differently but I can tell you what works for me. Make it easy and enjoyable.

I exercise as soon as I wake up. So the first thing I do is tell myself I had a great nights sleep, if I check to see if I feel awful it tends to becone a self-fulfilling prophesy.
Every night I put my work out clothes on the radiator so they're lovely and warm to get into in the morning. I also only listen to a playlist of songs I love when exercising or light a favourite sented candle. Doing something like this that makes you happy, whatever it is, incentivises exercising.

But most importantly start small. Make your goal so easy, 10 jumping jacks, 5 sit ups or just 1 push up. Make it so easy that it is entirely achievable. 9 times out of 10 you'll find you want to do more, and on the days you can't, don't worry you already achieved your goal!

Be patient and gentle with yourself. I know what it feels like so remember this is your life, you cannot fail. There are good days and bad days. If it's a bad day just know that by tomorrow today will be over.

Silke G.
The only trick I have is to just do it. Whether happy, sad, rain, or shine I just made sure I had something fun to do for a workout (I like to dance). No matter what I was feeling I knew the workout I'd do would help me feel fulfilled and put me in a better mood than when I started. Then, I forced myself to go…every day….no matter what. It just became habit after that.

It's not willpower, it's self care cause it's fun.