I CAN'T GET MYSELF MOTIVATED: Get out of a slump and start having more energy to get things done.

Have you ever had a million things to do, but the more you think about it, the less you want to do them? You rather go watch your favorite Netflix show or take a nap. All because you can’t get yourself motivated to do anything. We’ve all been there.

The hardest part is getting started. Once you start, it’s easier to go from there.  Next time you find yourself unmotivated, try one or two of the following suggestions to pick yourself up and get started.


When you have low physical energy, notice what you’re eating. Eating a lot of sugary foods, drinking a lot of soda and coffee may give you energy for a little bit. But then your body crashes, draining you of energy. Not eating anything at all is also a problem.

Try starting with certain foods that are known to give you energy such as:

  • Brown Rice
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Nuts- Almonds, Sunflower seeds, Walnuts, Cashews, Hazelnut.
  • Honey. Can put it in your tea or just simply take a spoon full.
  • Fruits- Bananas, Apples, Lemons and Oranges are great at giving you a boost of energy.
  • Eggs
  • Dark green vegetables.


Are you drinking enough water? If you’re even slightly dehydrated, you’re going to feel tired, not be able to focus and even get headaches.

Try putting a slice of lemon in your water for an instant boost of energy.

If you don’t like water, add some  Crystal Light to  give your water flavor. Better yet, try eating more fruits to get water from the fruit.

Coconut water is another great way to hydrate and it’s known as “nature’s Gatorade” because it gives you natural electrolytes.


If you’re not getting quality sleep, it will affect your energy big time. If you’re having trouble sleeping, check out my post on ways to improve sleep

I know it’s not always possible, but if you could, you should take a 20 minute nap, or at least 20 minutes of quiet time. But watch that it’s not more than 30 minutes because then it can mess up your sleep later on.


Get your body moving by stretching or going out for a walk.

Moving your body gets your blood flowing all over, allowing you to think more clearly and giving you more energy.

You can read about ways to exercise without going to the gym here.


Take some time to look at yourself on a deeper level. What excites you? What are you good at and enjoy doing? What bothers you and why? Really knowing yourself on a deeper level helps you live a life with meaning. When you know what your strengths and weaknesses are (yes we all have weaknesses) you become more clear with who you are and  how you want to live your life.

Part of feeling lost and not knowing where to start when you want to improve your life, is not even knowing who you really are and what you want. Self-reflection helps you focus on the things you have control over, lets you define for yourself what happiness means, and lets you explore what makes you happy, not what other people say should make you happy.  Some ways to practice self-reflection are:

  • Journaling. When you journal, pretend you’re writing to someone. Have a nice Journal and comfortable pen, and write. Write what ever comes to mind. You can write as if you’re venting to a friend, or ask yourself questions about what motivates you. You can also question your thoughts. If you’re afraid about something, ask yourself why. What’s holding you back? Is what you’re thinking really true (such as no one likes me) or an assumption? What’s your evidence for and against your thoughts?
  • Keep a list of things you’re grateful for and why you’re grateful for them.
  • Read about topics you want to work on or learn about. You can check out 10 of my recommended books that help you reflect here.
  • Be a student of self development. Read and watch videos on self-help topics.
  • Go for a walk in nature with no electronics.


Another major reason for feeling unmotivated is because you might be exhausted. You probably are always doing things for others, and not much for yourself. That’s not good! In order for you to truly be there for others, you have to first be good yourself. When was the last time you did something just for you?

Some activities that you can do for yourself are:

  • Take an extra long hot shower (or cold, whatever you like)
  • Take a bubble bath
  • Buy yourself something nice you don’t normally buy.
  • Do a hobby you typically don’t have time for.
  • Have friends over and do something fun or relaxing together.


Sometimes you have to get out of your routine and get a change of scenery to get motivated. If you could travel, that would be great. Traveling  has many benefits such as lifting your mood, helping your creativity and being more present. But if you can’t go far, try going to a park or the mall in a different town.

You can also change your environment by rearranging your room and doing work at a bookstore or coffee shop instead of your room.


Remember, the hardest part about getting things done is getting started. Try implementing some of these suggestions to slowly start increasing your energy, get motivated, and get things done.

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About the author.

Liza J Alvarado is a professional counselor in private practice. She serves adolescents,  adults, and Spanish speaking families in the Lehigh Valley, PA area.




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