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How do I make myself do things when I’m too tired to do them because of depression

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depressed_person18

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Nov 9, 2019
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Part of me wishes there were some secret to doing things you don’t want to immediately rather than dwelling over them for hours, but as someone who is severely depressed, I dread every single thing and I am simply feeling like I am too tired to do anything.

These days I am lying in bed until the afternoon because I have no energy to get up. It doesn’t help that it takes me several hours to just fall asleep. When I’m really tired throughout the day, how can I still motivate myself to do things which make me uncomfortable? Can I force myself somehow?
 
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bpd2020

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Would it help to make a check list and try to work your way through it? Depression really does wipe out energy. I take an antidepressant and that has helped me a lot. Maybe it is something you could consider.
 
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depressed_person18

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Would it help to make a check list and try to work your way through it? Depression really does wipe out energy. I take an antidepressant and that has helped me a lot. Maybe it is something you could consider.
I think that’s a good idea, I’ve actually tried a checklist in the past but I did it for one day and then forgot about it. Guess I just had a particularly bad depressive episode and decided I just wanted to cry in bed and not even do anything at all so I forgot what I should have been doing to try and help me. I have those days quite a lot. Maybe I’ll give the checklist another go.
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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I think the biggest problem when we're feeling low is that everything seems insurmountable. Simple things seem too exhausting to tackle and then jobs start mounting up until you feel too overwhelmed to make a start and then we feel more miserable.

I've found it really helpful to break things down into 5 minute jobs. Set an alarm and do something for just 5 minutes with some real vigour - like you're completing a task in a game show against the clock! Your mind can cope with the short commitment and moving quickly gets your endorphins going and makes you feel better. You'll me amazed what can be done in 5 minutes - we just assume a task will take much, much longer. I keep a success list (the reverse of a To Do List) and write down the things I have accomplished...and you feel more positive and energised as the list gets added to. Rather than thinking "I must clean the kitchen" set yourself 5 minutes to just empty and clean the bin....then another 5 minutes to wipe down the counter tops and so on. For me, it just gets me started and out of the 'worrying but doing nothing' phase. :hug:
 
Mal84

Mal84

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I think the biggest problem when we're feeling low is that everything seems insurmountable. Simple things seem too exhausting to tackle and then jobs start mounting up until you feel too overwhelmed to make a start and then we feel more miserable.

I've found it really helpful to break things down into 5 minute jobs. Set an alarm and do something for just 5 minutes with some real vigour - like you're completing a task in a game show against the clock! Your mind can cope with the short commitment and moving quickly gets your endorphins going and makes you feel better. You'll me amazed what can be done in 5 minutes - we just assume a task will take much, much longer. I keep a success list (the reverse of a To Do List) and write down the things I have accomplished...and you feel more positive and energised as the list gets added to. Rather than thinking "I must clean the kitchen" set yourself 5 minutes to just empty and clean the bin....then another 5 minutes to wipe down the counter tops and so on. For me, it just gets me started and out of the 'worrying but doing nothing' phase. :hug:
Was about to answer the same.

Also, to add, I find having routine helps as well and when I’ve been bad even if it means getting up to go to the sofa, not staying in bed ruminating on your thoughts help.
 
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Nukelavee

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Lunar is right.

And, as you start to do small things, you'll find it easier to do a little more.

Plus, when you look around later, and see you have done stuff, you get some validation.

I once prepared food by the light of my fridge for 2 weeks, because changing the kitchen light bulb was too much work. Building a routine of small chores really helped me get past that point.
 
Lunar Lady

Lunar Lady

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Was about to answer the same.

Also, to add, I find having routine helps as well and when I’ve been bad even if it means getting up to go to the sofa, not staying in bed ruminating on your thoughts help.
Mal made a really good point about routines and developing little rituals that get things done.

When I'm very low, the laundry mounts up. It either doesn't get loaded - gets washed and never finds its way out of the washing machine - or it doesn't get hung out to dry. I found a way around this by creating a ritual that whenever I go and put the kettle on, I spend the three minutes waiting for it to boil feeding or emptying the washing machine. Normally, I would just stand in a daze and stare at the kettle until it boils :) My ritual is to click the kettle on and deal with the washing machine in the time it takes to boil - such a small thing but it has kept all the laundry up to date. No brimming laundry hampers or damp jeans festering in the machine. When you start building routines into your day, you get control back. x
 
JessisMe

JessisMe

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For me I find that giving myself a generous timeline helps in accomplishing tasks when I am severely depressed. For example, “I can lay in bed until ten as long as I have the bathroom cleaned by eleven” and so on.
 
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Nukelavee

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I wake up and get dressed right off, and have a coffee and read teh news (and here). Make the bed. Boom, I've done something productive, and don't have to make myself feel worse for doing nothing all day.

Plus, I remind myself how happy an empty kitchen sink makes me, so I do dishes.

I feel like its a huge thing to have certain small tasks on automatic, I just do them. It also helps, because otherwise, when you look around, ever thing you haven't done reminds you of how bad you feel.

Sometimes, it's about just minimizing how unhappy you are, not about being happy itself.
 
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Dispatch

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I wake up and get dressed right off, and have a coffee and read teh news (and here). Make the bed. Boom, I've done something productive, and don't have to make myself feel worse for doing nothing all day.

Plus, I remind myself how happy an empty kitchen sink makes me, so I do dishes.

I feel like its a huge thing to have certain small tasks on automatic, I just do them. It also helps, because otherwise, when you look around, ever thing you haven't done reminds you of how bad you feel.

Sometimes, it's about just minimizing how unhappy you are, not about being happy itself.
Excellent post thanks
 
J

Jules5

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Jan 27, 2019
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Florida
I think the biggest problem when we're feeling low is that everything seems insurmountable. Simple things seem too exhausting to tackle and then jobs start mounting up until you feel too overwhelmed to make a start and then we feel more miserable.

I've found it really helpful to break things down into 5 minute jobs. Set an alarm and do something for just 5 minutes with some real vigour - like you're completing a task in a game show against the clock! Your mind can cope with the short commitment and moving quickly gets your endorphins going and makes you feel better. You'll me amazed what can be done in 5 minutes - we just assume a task will take much, much longer. I keep a success list (the reverse of a To Do List) and write down the things I have accomplished...and you feel more positive and energised as the list gets added to. Rather than thinking "I must clean the kitchen" set yourself 5 minutes to just empty and clean the bin....then another 5 minutes to wipe down the counter tops and so on. For me, it just gets me started and out of the 'worrying but doing nothing' phase. :hug:
Hi Lunar Lady I love what you say about breaking things down into 5 minutes-
 
I

indigo6

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Jan 30, 2019
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I have been like this today so its coincidental you posted the same.
I lay in bed for 3 hrs happily staring at the sky.
Then I thought about what Id like to do not had to do. That made a big difference.I didnt do the usual, washing on, toast etc. I let myself do whatever came along, allowing myself to stop if I no longer wanted to do those things either.
Im still n my lounge clothes but Ive made a pot of healthy veg chilli. Repotted some plants and watched a film I love that helps my thinking.
Im also getting out of my promised visits to 2 people.
My brain has changed (lately and I dont know for how long) I need to change a little too, for now, without pressure or routines.
Maybe Ive stumbled onto something. Forcing ourselves into the same days. Same things, same people is even more tiring (as you know its takes longer to do anything) than going with the flow where we might find a reward in something else. Still active, only different.
 
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Blackrose09

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Jun 24, 2020
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Anyone here suffers or suffered with blocking their body due to depression?
And with enormous fatigue that even waking or standing up is hard?
 
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Blackrose09

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Jun 24, 2020
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Somewhere
Anyone here suffers or suffered with blocking their body due to depression?
And with enormous fatigue that even waking or standing up is hard?
Please if someone suffered like this and recovered please answer. Is it from chronc sleep deprivation? I did a mri scan to my brain and everything is fine.
 
Faith198

Faith198

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Mar 30, 2020
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616
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Ohio
Would it help to make a check list and try to work your way through it? Depression really does wipe out energy. I take an antidepressant and that has helped me a lot. Maybe it is something you could consider.
This^ the only way I can cope (sometimes). Also, on days where I feel and don’t need to do anything I just give myself a break. I would recommend finding some things you like doing. Like finding some new activities to do. I know it’s hard with COVID but you could pick up an art kit online or something? I’m sorry if this isn’t much help but I do hope you feel better. I know depression is very hard :hug:
 
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