Motivating Yourself on Your Off Days
By Ariel Hsieh
May 17th 2021
Some days, you just hit a slump. Maybe you have an assignment due soon, or a dance practice you need to attend, but all you want to do is lie in bed and do nothing. Days when you have trouble finding motivation are difficult, and it may feel impossible to do anything, but there are some methods to help you break out of your slump, and get on with your fabulous life!
Break your tasks down into small, easily attainable goals.
Large tasks can be overwhelming on your off days. It can feel like an impossible endeavor that cannot even be tackled. When your tasks seem too big to face, you break it down into smaller pieces. Set these smaller goals that are easily attainable. It can be as simple as getting out of bed and changing out of your pajamas, or spending just five minutes on your assignment. What is most important is that these goals are easily within reach. Your day can feel as large as a mountain, but if you only think of taking that next step rather than the thought of climbing the mountain, you will reach the top.
Reward yourself for achievements
Sweeten your tasks with the promise of reward. Set your goals, and decide on a reward for the completion of that task. It can be a favorite snack, or even time to do something you enjoy. You can set yourself time allocations, for every X minutes spent on your assignment, give yourself a break to read a chapter of a book, or watch an episode of the tv series you are watching. Completing your task could take more time, but at least you’ll be tackling them while doing things that you enjoy as well.
Dance Your Heart Out
Put on your favorite song and just jam! Exercise can help shake yourself into a better mood by increasing blood flow to the brain and providing a quick distraction from negative thoughts that hurt your motivation. Exercise has been scientifically proven to reduce stress, improve mood, and increase energy and stamina. Music can also influence your mood, so pick a song that will help you energize yourself for the day.
Talk to a Friend
Sometimes, a good friend can give you the kick in the butt you need to start working. Talking with a trusted friend and explaining your thoughts to another person can help you gain a better understanding of your own thoughts and emotions that could be holding you back. Your friend could give you some insight into your situation that you were unaware of by providing an outside eye. Understanding your own thought processes and emotions is crucial for creating change.
Reframe your thoughts
Once you find the underlying cause behind your lack of motivation, you can take steps to address the source of the problem. Reframing your thoughts is to identify and acknowledge when you have a negative thought, and spinning the thought into a positive light. Are you avoiding the task from a fear of failure? Reframe your thoughts. Nobody is perfect, and if you try, at least you will learn and grow. Imagine success instead of failure and always try. Reframing your thoughts is a difficult process, and one that requires practice and time. Don’t feel discouraged if this method does not work for you.
It is ok to give yourself time
Sometimes you can’t find your motivation no matter how hard you try. Sometimes, there are days when it feels impossible to do anything, and that is ok. Give yourself time to recover. Your well-being is more important than anything else. It is ok to seek help. It is ok that this process takes time. Not every method of motivation works for everyone. Find the ones that work for you, and discard the ones that do not. Take your time to find your style to take on the world, and be yourself without judgment. You do you.