Struggling With Motivation In The Pandemic? Here’s How To Keep Going

You’re not alone, and we’ve got some top tips to help

If you’re finding that your motivation to do pretty much anything has just disappeared in the pandemic, it might help to know that you’re not alone. A lack of motivation is one of the top things young people have been struggling with: 81% of the people we surveyed said it’s one of the main issues they’re facing too.

It’s absolutely okay to be lacking in motivation. Life is hard right now, and recognising and accepting that is the first step to helping you get your mojo back. Motivation comes and goes for everyone, and so it’s only natural that this is even more likely to happen when living through a particularly tricky time. 

We’ve rounded up our favourite ways to get some motivation back in your life.

Keep it simple

Try to think of just the next immediate step you need to take, don’t get overwhelmed by longer term goals or all the many things you could be doing. Just think about the next simple thing you need to do, and do that.

Do one thing at a time

Linked to the above, take it one step at a time. We can only focus on one thing, and trying to think about everything, or even just two or three things, at a time is impossible and will make you feel overwhelmed. 

Plan your day

If you have things you’re putting off like homework or coursework, schedule these in a plan for your day, and make sure you put the tricky things at times when you are most likely to succeed. Plan in time to do this, followed by dedicated time doing things you like and making this time extra special. 

Image Credit: Zen Chung via Pexels

Minimise distractions

Turn your phone off. And try not to start or end your day reading stressful news or social media content online.

Use visual reminders

Good old-fashioned post-it notes can be a great little nudge to keep you on track. Stick them by where you do your work or studying, or on the fridge, or even by the loo – wherever works for you.

Use a timer

Apps like ‘Tomato Timer’ can be really helpful when you need to push through a task and really have no motivation – they give you an artificial deadline that can focus your mind. 

How does it work? 25 mins is sometimes considered the longest we can concentrate fully on a task, and experts recommend following that burst of activity with a 5 minute break. Then continue that cycle: 25 minutes concentration, 5 minutes break.

Be kind to yourself

Remember to treat yourself with kindness and reach out for support from others too. This can really help give your motivation a boost, even when you really don’t feel like it. Especially at those times!

Reward yourself when you do well

Take time to reinforce healthy behaviour choices. If you like reading, make sure you also get yourself a nice hot drink, or maybe some chocolate to go with it. Make it the time in the day you look forward to. Then you can enjoy it as a reward for your hard work. Remember, you can make the rules, so maybe start the day with doing something you love and then crack on with the harder bits you’ve been avoiding.

Have an accountability partner

Ask a friend to help you stay on track, and you can help them too. Check in with each other regularly to see how you’re getting on, and give each other support and encouragement.

Two young women working together and smiling
Image Credit: Zen Chung via Pexels

Keep a gratitude journal

It doesn’t have to be a big task each day, just make time to think of three things you are grateful for and jot these down in a notebook. You’ll be surprised how many you can think of and they will naturally put a smile on your face as you realise there are little things to be happy about. Reading back over previous days is also a nice way to give yourself a quick boost.

Use self-compassion 

Recognise that motivation will come and go, especially in the pandemic. There’s so much going on, and changes keep happening all around us. It’s a very unsettling time, so don’t be hard on yourself. You’re doing your best. If motivation just isn’t there right now, that’s okay. Take a break and be kind to yourself. 

Get some support

You don’t have to try and get through this time alone. If you’ve got family or friends you can talk to, tell them how you are feeling and let them listen. Often just being able to share with others can be a really helpful way of working through the feelings. They may offer some great ideas, or just be a support for you.

Alternatively, there are some great resources online and we’ve included a few links below to help you find some advice that works for you. 

Discover Fumble’s pandemic support series

The pandemic has had a huge impact on all of our lives, and we’ve all struggled to understand and digest the changes that continue to happen all around us. 

Our pandemic support series explores young people’s experiences of COVID-19, and helps you start to make sense of the chaotic and uncertain time we’re living in. Discover the full series here

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Pandemic Support: For Young People, By Young People

Last reviewed: 25 January 2021 | Image Credit: Zen Chung via Pexels