Tips to Help Keep You Motivated During COVID-19

Alexis Dent
May 1, 2020

We are living in strange and unprecedented times. Although in the future we will be able to say that we lived through history, we first have to actually get to the other side of this period. The COVID-19 pandemic and the ensuing chaos it has wrought on the world are not to be understated. It has uprooted lives instantly and changed the face of the world forever. Among the many things in our life that have been so suddenly and unceremoniously altered is how we work, and more specifically, where we work. Working from home has become the new normal for millions of people during this odd time in our history, but for many of them, keeping up the normal pace of the office in the comfort of their own homes poses quite the challenge.


Working from Home Can Be Challenging

Having to try to function normally during this time of great communal stress is no easy task. Mentally, it is much easier to simply separate our lives into different spheres. One such sphere is work-based. You do your job in an office or at a desk, and that is what your brain is accustomed to. Having to shift that mindset to working from home, where you usually rest and relax, is not immediately doable for everyone.

There are also the added hiccups of household distractions like family members, pets, or even just having a day with spotty Wi-Fi that can really interrupt the flow of your work. However, even with all the disruptions, it is important not to be too hard on yourself if you are unmotivated to get work done. After all, you are certainly not alone. Whether your lack of motivation is due to the global pandemic or just a general phase that you’re experiencing, here are some tips to help you get out of your funk and get moving.

1. Exercise

If you’re experiencing a lack of motivation, exercising is a great way to combat it by doing a quick workout in your living room (or out in your backyard if you have one). Sometimes getting your blood pumping is all you need to feel an increase in motivation. After all, those endorphins go a long way in making you energized and excited about life. It doesn’t even have to be a long exercise. A quick 10-minute session could be enough to get your heart racing and your motivation soaring. Go outside and do some jumping jacks or some stretches. Let your blood flow and let your lungs fill with fresh air. This can revitalize you and help you hone in on the task at hand. Furthermore, exercising is a great way to relieve stress, which is something we all could use right about now.

2. Put on Your Favorite Song and Get Pumped Up

If some crunches don’t get you in the groove, then maybe jamming to your favorite tune will. Trying to get work done is no fun, but when your absolute favorite song is powering you, you might just be able to. On the other hand, some people might find it too distracting to have their favorite song on while they work. They could end up with a hairbrush in their hands, in place of a microphone, holding a private concert in their bedroom instead of focusing on their work. In this case, maybe there are other helpful music choices for you to listen to. Working from home allows you a degree of freedom that you cannot have in an office. Blasting movie or video game soundtracks might help you get your head in the game without having to worry about being distracted by lyrics that could make your workday turn into a karaoke session.

3. Write Down Your Goals

Sometimes seeing your goals all laid out, re-energizes you to achieve them. If you want to get these things done, then you can really hold yourself accountable for them if you are looking directly at them. Making a list of your goals is a great way to confront what has to be done, so long as you confront these tasks in a positive manner. You want to positively frame your goals as things that you can definitely achieve, and subsequently give yourself a little reward when you’ve reached them. If you frame your goals negatively, it could just further hurt your ability to gain motivation.

4. Practice Forgiveness

Resentment can be a burden to productivity. For example, there may be a lot of people who you feel are to blame for the things that are going on in the world right now, and you may be resenting how those actions are affecting your life. However, focusing on how unhappy those things make you will never make you feel content or motivate you to get things done. Instead, you should be focusing on how to make the most of working from home and how to remain productive and motivated.

Being able to accomplish your goals will bring you the relief that you might not be able to find elsewhere right now. Keep in mind that you also have to forgive yourself. You are only human, and although it may not always feel like it, you are doing your best and that is enough. Forgiving yourself will relieve feelings that may be dragging you down and lessening your motivation. It’s okay that you didn’t get as much done as you wanted today, or yesterday, or the day before yesterday. What matters is that you keep going.

5. Therapy

Finally, there is always the option of therapy that can give you that boost of motivation you so desperately need. A qualified professional can help you identify the habits and belief systems that are leading to your lack of motivation. Sometimes we are unable to get to the root of our problems, and even if we can, treating the problems once we discover them is a whole other battle. Speaking with a counselor can allow you to unload what’s on your mind and help you get into a better head-space.

When your mental health is thriving, you are more likely to be motivated, successful, and most importantly, happy. Our mental health is something that we should make sure that we are taking seriously, especially in times of crisis. If you feel you need a day away from everything that’s going on, that is okay and healthy. Furthermore, if you feel like there is more to it, then a therapist may be able to help you dig even deeper. You can get therapy from the comfort of your home by receiving counseling online. A little therapy can help anyone, so long as they are open to being helped.

Alexis Dent

Alexis Dent is an essayist, author, and entrepreneur. Her work is primarily focused on mental illness, relationships, and pop culture. You can find her writing in the Washington Post, Greatist, Harper’s Bazaar, Marie Claire, and more.