Staying Productive When Depression Strikes

October is National Depression Awareness Month 

We have all had days where we are just not motivated to do anything. That is normal. But if you add depression into the mix, being unmotivated can take on a whole new level. 

“Being unproductive is certainly a side effect of being in a depressive state,” said Christi Erdman, LAC, Outpatient Counselor, Acenda Counseling and Wellness Center. “Depression can cause us to feel less energized and being motivated to accomplish tasks at hand. We must first address the depression and after that improves, so will someone’s outlook on life and an increase in doing things and feeling productive.” 

When we are not productive, we feel useless and hopeless and this can make the depression worse. It is a vicious cycle that needs to be broken in order to feel better.   

Here are 7 ways to help improve productivity and start feeling better: 
young black woman looking up in sunlight

1. Be realistic with your goals. If you are not feeling great, take things slowly and don’t try to take on too much at once.   

2. Recognize your accomplishments and doing something special for you. You should be proud of what you achieved, so treat yourself to something, whether it’s a special meal, a nice walk in the park, or seeing a friend. 

3. Try to stick to a routine. Knowing what you have to do that day helps stay organized and focused and you will get more accomplished. Writing down your tasks may be helpful. 

4. Get a good start to the day.  Have a healthy breakfast, maybe take a morning walk. A positive start will lead you in the right direction. 

5. Take breaks. You need time to refresh and short breaks can help. Take a quick walk, pour a cup of tea, catch up on emails...whatever you like to do. 

6. Practice self-care. Even if it is just getting up and taking a shower or going for a short walk, doing something for yourself is very important in helping to get out of that depressed state of mind.  

7. Celebrating successes. Even the smallest achievement can be a big accomplishment for someone struggling with depression. It is important not to be too hard on one's self.  

young female drinking coffee and reading practicing selfcare

“Depression doesn’t have to halt your life,” added Erdman. “It’s important to treat the depressionas that is the only way you will start feeling better and live the most productive life you can.” 

Clinicians in our Counseling & Wellness Centers can help you or a loved one work towards mental wellness. Call our main number at 844-4-ACENDA (844-422-3632 x9500) for more information about our outpatient counseling and telehealth services.