Mental health and how do you motivate yourself?

Hello. Heart on sleeve: I have bad depression, and have had for many years. That means that often I feel very flat and nothing brings me joy. Even the things that I am passionate about sometimes feel completely flat, like today while I work on my prototype. It’s horrible, like being a robot, robbed of pleasure. Tomorrow could be completely different; I never know how I’m going to be from one day to the next. A few days ago I was working on a YouTube video and I was on cloud 9 - so happy while I worked on it. Even if nobody looked at it, I thought, it doesn’t matter because I’m enjoying making it. Then yesterday (and today), I am a zombie again.

I was wondering how do you motivate yourself to work on your project even if you’re not feeling good?

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I like to motivate myself by doing different things. Exercising, walking, and eating healthy are the most important parts of keeping a mental balance. Whenever I feel like I’m losing my focus or motivation, I tend to lift some weights or go for a walk (get those endorphines pumping through your veins).

I also don’t try to push myself too hard. Currently, I haven’t worked on my project for 2 weeks because I felt like I was losing motivation, and pushing myself through that won’t fix anything. It’s like when you go into a cave and try to push yourself through a small hole while it feels like you won’t fit, eventually you will get stuck. Take a step back and find a different way to reach your goal.

We all know a melancholic day, but depression is a different beast. I wish you the best of luck!

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I haven’t experienced depression (or at least don’t think I have), so I’m not in any position to comment on that side. However, I wish you well dealing with it (if that is even possible).

But for the motivation side of things - I have a couple projects on the go, so if I tire of one, I’ll work on another. If that doesn’t do it for me, I’ll blob out on YouTube videos and whatever rabbit hole that opens up, read a book or play games. Just anything that’s not to do with that particular project.

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For depression I believe it is very important to seek a professional. That would not only help you with your projects, but with all your life.

About stay motivated, I’m usually always motivated, because I chose a project that I really like. Sometimes I get too lazy to start it on the day, because I know of laborious things that I didn’t finish before, but after start I can take it well.

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Hi Jason. If I don’t feel like working on a game project or any other hobby project then I just don’t do it. No matter how small/trivial or big/important something is, I want to enjoy doing it and do a good job. So, for me, I like to ‘save’ projects until I want to work on them.

I also find it very important to my wellbeing to spend time in nature, whether it’s at the beach or amongst trees. In fact there’s a thing that started in Japan called tree bathing which is focussed on walking, but I find a long slow bike ride in a tree area is also very beneficial.

If I’m feeling down, I try to be kind to myself. This means I give myself a break and say it’s okay to be completely unproductive as it’s what I need right now. So I ‘save’ the nature rides and project work for when I’m feeling good and will enjoy doing those things.

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Thank you for the nice replies and suggestions.

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It also happens to me sometimes. I go out to run, or tell it to a trustable friend. For me, it helps a lot, but don’t keep it to yourself, the more you do it, the more you’ll fell bad

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On my low days, I often resort to micro-tasks; it’s amazing what a simple checklist can do to give a sense of accomplishment. Remember, progress, no matter how small, is still progress.

When I was in my “depression” phase, I took the step to get psychological testing in NYC. The doctor clarified that I was physically healthy but dealing with stress and anxiety. He provided several pointers:

  1. Mindfulness Meditation: Spending even just 10 minutes a day, focusing on my breathing and being in the moment significantly reduced my anxiety.
  2. Journaling: Putting my thoughts on paper helped me process my emotions, making them less overwhelming.
  3. Exercise: It doesn’t have to be intense; simple activities like a 20-minute walk or stretching exercises make a difference.
  4. Setting boundaries: Learning to say no and ensuring I had ‘me’ time.
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For me, motivation is a tricky dance. Some days, I rely on routine – breaking things into small, manageable tasks. Other times, it’s about embracing the ebb and flow. If I’m not feeling my project, I don’t force it. Instead, I might switch gears and do something totally different. It could be a walk, a random hobby, or even just binge-watching a comfort show. I think the key is acknowledging those tough days without judgment. It’s okay not to be on top of your game every day. And hey, about those HHC Gummies from https://www.trythecbd.com – I haven’t tried them, but if they work for you, that’s awesome! Everyone’s journey is unique, and finding what helps is a personal adventure.

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It’s nice that this topic still gets added to sometimes. I had forgotten I wrote it.

Your techniques for managing motivation sound like what I try to do these days. I try to break things up into small tasks too, or just say to myself “I’ll do 30 minutes work, and then I can stop if I’m not feeling it”. Sometimes I stop at 30 minutes, but sometimes I look at the clock and 2 hours have gone by. I find it’s important to stay connected to my project and not let too long go by without doing something on it, even if I just load it up and look at my events. If I don’t work on my project for a few weeks I find it tough to remember why I designed things a certain way or even how some things work. The longer the break the more intimidating it can feel to go back.

I find it useful to write notes where I explain how my events work as if I am explaining it to someone who doesn’t know my game. Then if I have to take a few weeks off, I can read the notes and get back into things again.

Just getting away from the screen and going for a walk can transform my mood. Sometimes while I walk I suddenly realise how to fix something I was stuck on, or I have an idea for a new feature.

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Mental health plays a big role in achieving career goals.

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Oh I understand how challenging it can be to deal with depression. My brother has also struggled with it.

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I can relate to those ups and downs. What helps me stay motivated on my projects, even on tough days, is setting small, achievable goals and giving myself credit for any progress, no matter how small. Also, finding something that brings a bit of joy to the process, like taking breaks to enjoy a vape session with my favorite flavor from Crave Vape, can help break up the monotony and keep me going.

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Coincidence seeing this now. A couple of days ago, I was at a friend’s place and the conversation went as to how he was not feeling like working. He was supposed to be editing a video for a client of his. And I mentioned how I’m also that way sometimes in that my brain simply refuses to function no matter what. If I force it, my project just ends up with a whole bunch of errors that often leads to me having to redo the whole thing.

But one of the things I noticed is that whenever there’s another person nearby who’s doing some comparatively similar work, it tends to rub off on me. Like my brain picks up on that other person’s energy.
So after I told my friend that, we then proceeded to experiment with the concept. I pulled out a spreadsheet I had that I needed to work on and started to just work on it. We were still carrying on with our conversation now and then so we were not that fully focused on our respective tasks. But it must have worked since both of us have been able to complete our work.

I don’t really know the full dynamics of this concept though. So it may or may not work depending of a bunch of factors. Like, for instance, how comfortable one is when working with people nearby. Or suppose one is in a public place like a library and the people nearby are strangers. Also often it is more preferable to be working in solitude in order to give full focus on the task at hand. That and probably a whole bunch of other factors.
But yeah, just an additional option to consider.

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I find it’s all about perspective. I find that, being a minimum-wage-job-holding, few-friend-having, pessimistic twit makes me oddly happy at times. Or content. Can’t really pick between the two.

But I know one thing - I find it easy to live in such conditions, and I think it’s all about adjusting criteria to finally be able to smile. Or grin, either way works. It’s in the little wins, as they say.

I guess I’m trying to put this in funnier terms than it actually is, but I find that, in relation to game making, I admit it’s very daunting at the best of times just to switch on the application, let alone work on it. I’m sure we’ve all been through that phase of feeling as if it’s too hard, or not worth it but I assure all of you, if you make it, people will play it. It may be odd to say but I value to handful of people who’ve played my attempts at games so far, as lacklustre and trite as the games may be, as it’s interacting that’s the beautiful part of development.

I suppose I’m trying to say that…it’s great to have a community of like-minded peeps who you can chat with, and hopefully raise your spirits in the mean time. This is the thing that gets me out of bed at the moment, not work or the other stuff.

As someone once said:
Yes, it’s hard, but life is. You just have to keep going. It gets easier each day. that’s the best part, but the worst part is doing it every day.

Keep strong bud, we’re here for ya!

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I know how you feel, i am fighting this depression for years and at some point i just surrendered to it, i can’t do anything, it will stay here, my life didn’t change at all, i saw only the world around me become sand and flies away leaving me alone, i can’t keep like that and i don’t want to continue like that, I don’t know how to help you, I can’t even help myself, the life I live until now was just a path of sorrow and the body i have ut just start to feel useless and older day after day. I live in a point where i can’t do anything to change my life, hoping to die while i am sleeping and never wake up again, this life, my country killed me when i was just a kid and only now i see my dead corpse walking around my shitty city asking himself “what i could have done to live better?” “Nothing” is the answer, i was born in a country where my path was already write on someone’s book, didn’t like that life, tried to rebel to it and now i don’t have anything left in my hand, just these days who run to much faster to me and I can’t keep my step with them. I live a life i just hate and i want this sorrow stops at some point, even if i had something to be grateful to have, this can’t keep me live well as i want. Life is a privilege to a minority of people, the rest of us just survive in a shitty dirt piggy ranch.

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