How can I start feeling motivated and happy about life again?

I have very little motivation to do anything and things feel very much like a chore sometimes; I’m getting through the days rather than enjoying them. I feel like there should be more to life than this, but I’m worried this is how I’ll be forever because I don’t know how to change it
Asked by Kai

Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you have made some efforts to manage how you are feeling but find that you want or maybe even need to do more. I am glad to hear medication has been helpful, but in my practice, in most cases, medication is a bandaid rather than a solution. For a lot of people it helps to get them out of the deep, dark, depth of the hole they are in but there may still be digging out to do.

I highly encourage counseling if you are not getting it currently, this way you are getting the tools and skills, as well as having the opportunity to process the things you may be feeling or struggling with. I would love to offer you some tips to help get you through this struggle (at least to start). 

- motivation: it is hard to give specific feedback without more information on you and your situation, but in most cases motivation works best with a few other things. 

1) routine: having structure to your morning and evening can help prepare you for a good night's sleep (so you have energy) and set you up for a productive day (refreshed). Creating a routine in those two areas and help you stay on task and also feel good about what you are doing. 

2) self-care: super important you are taking care of yourself- if you are not having your basic needs met then it will be hard to move your focus to the things you want to do or even maybe need to do but are not dire. Things like staying hydrated, hygiene, eating regularly and well, moving your body and decompressing from stress. I know it is super easy to say, but starting with those things and getting in the habit may in turn help motivation. For example: the theory that an object in motion stays in motion, very much applied to our bodies. Going on a brief walk can get those chemicals flowing that encourage more positive mood but also more energy to do tasks. 

3) time and task management: be realistic and keep it simple. It is SOOOOO easy to list out 300 things you need or want to do, then feeling overwhelmed and doing nothing, then feeling bad about it. I recommend keeping your to-do list for each day under three items and it can be even more helpful to make at least one of them an anchor task (something you HAVE to do ie: an apt, a call, etc). 

In relation to happiness--- I wish I could answer that. Happy is something that looks, feels and is achieved in many different ways depending on the person. YOU have to decide what would make you happy and then make the plans and steps to achieve it. In conjunction to self-care above, taking inventory of your life and then setting goals can help you feel like you are working towards something and have purpose. Deciding what you want family, work, romance, friendships, hobbies, health, etc to look like that then make small goals to work toward. Again, you will need to make sure those basic needs are in check, otherwise it will be like swimming up stream to achieve those goals. 

I hope you decide to utilize some support, you do not have to do this alone, and you can do this!