What helps motivation?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by shootingstar, Jun 14, 2006.

  1. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    I have times when I am physically able to do some things, but somehow mentally just can't get going. Has anyone found anything that has helped with this?

    I'm considering amino supplements, but there may be other things that would help more. Thanks for any suggestions.
  2. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    I know the feeling and Lamotta's right. It gets to be a habit to think it's all just toooooooo much and sometimes, when we're not feeling well, it can be when we look at it all together.

    What's helps me is remembering the Serenity Prayer. You know:

    God grant me the serenity
    to accept the things I cannot change;
    courage to change the things I can;
    and wisdom to know the difference.

    ....to change the things I can! When I do that, whether it be going through the pile of simple paperwork that grows like moss on my desk, dusting, paying a bill, doing an errand, and even if I can only do ONE thing that day, I feel better.

    If you try it I think it might help you. It chases away the blues and accomplishes something at the same time.

  3. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Thank you both for your input. I think learned helplessness/habits are a part of it.

    It also seems as though everything takes a tremendous amount of effort. Something as simple as getting showered and dressed in the morning, which most people just do without a thought, is always a conscious effort, or more. I miss the spark of interest, enthusiasm. I feel as though I'm stuck somewhere where my whole range of feeling is very limited, no joy.

    The serenity prayer is really true, and a prayer that's close by always.
  4. Marta608

    Marta608 Member

    It sounds to me that you may also be very depressed. I remember when I thought the same thing: there is no joy in my life. Do you take anything to help with depression? Have you tried Magnesium and malic acid? I posted today about my recent experience with it.

    Everybody reacts differently to different things but we have to keep trying.

    Big, gentle hugs and many blessings to you,
  5. hopeful4

    hopeful4 New Member

    I agree with the above folks. Yet, sometimes I'm just too tired, either physically or mentally to get going.

    Sometimes a short walk outside will help, or some yoga.

    Today I had an appointment for a cleaning person to come over, first time in many months. Now that got me motivated! Can't have a cleaning person come over and see what a mess my house is! Ironic, but it did get me tossing out stuff, organizing, and putting away. Even got my dinner cooked in the morning! Then, she just called to say that her daughter is ill, and she will have to reschedule!

    As for the supplements, I think that SAMe is helping me with the depression, and Provigil is helping at times with the energy and cognitive function...not a cure, but a support.

    Best wishes,
  6. KMD90603

    KMD90603 New Member

    This is a tricky question. I find that when I'm feeling physically sick for so long and then I have a couple of days where I'm feeling okay, I have a difficult time getting motivated. I think for me it's due to the fact that I'm so afraid of overdoing it and landing myself back in a CFIDS relapse. I try to remain conscious of the disease even when I have a day where I am feeling okay, that way I don't over day it. However, that does not always work. Yesterday I spent the day outside relaxing with my son. I folded/put away some clean clothes and cleaned one bathroom. Today, I payed for it majorly.

    The best way, I find, to motivate myself is to think of the things I enjoy doing in life. I think of all the good things in my life and I tell myself that if I don't get out of the house, I won't get to enjoy those things. My main motivation is my 5-year old son. Seeing the joy on his face when I take him to the park or take him swimming is absolutely priceless. So, some days it takes all that I have to drag myself out of the house and take him to the park for just an hour. However, it feels great knowing I'm doing something to keep him active and happy. And, I love taking him to the park because I can just sit on the bench and watch as he plays with the other kids there.

    I guess what I'm trying to say is that I use the things I love to motivate me. I think of how much I'm looking forward to graduating from nursing school in a year, and how much I love my husband and son and the rest of my family and friends. And that's usually enough to keep me going when I'm having a good day. On my sick days, nothing can get me motivated.

    Gentle hugs,
  7. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    Looking back I'm wondering if all this down time may not have been a blessing in disguise in the fact that everything may have hit with a vengeance sooner had I not been pretty laid back.

    I should probably move from my home to a condo, something more manageable. The time does not seem right at the moment, and I try to listen to those instincts.

    I just started taking St. John's Wort which helped some a year or so ago. That takes a little while to kick in. No medical insurance so I try to stick to supplements at this time. I do take magnesium, but have not tried malic acid.

    After reading your posts I think I need to make a point of doing something fun each day even if it means letting one not so fun thing slide -- as if some of those things weren't getting put on the back burner already! -- take some time to enjoy the sunshine or whatever.

    Thanks everyone for your input.

  8. shanel06

    shanel06 New Member

    You've definitely had some great input. I've taken some of that to thought myself :)

    I suffer from depression - particularly in the winter months, as I guess is considered "normal". But my motivation plumets, or becomes non-existent at that time. And well, my motivation is almost non-existent the rest of the year. So I had to find a way to combat this.

    My method ? I make goals. Every Sunday night I literally write down a series of goals. I divide them into three categories - Domestic, Healthy Me, and FunStuff. So on a given week it might look like this:

    Domestic Diva goals
    - tidy front hall closet
    - sort clothing in corner of the bedroom
    - general cleaning

    Healthy Me
    - increase water by 1 glass per day
    - go for a 10 minute walk 3 days this week
    - book an appointment with Dr. so and so

    - read at least 1 chapter a day in latest book
    - write letter to Uncle Joe
    - choose a yarn for the scarf I'll start knitting next week

    And at the end of the week, I review my goals and see how I did. Sometimes I am rather ambitious with my goals, and I don't meet them. Sometimes I realise this when i write them down and I scratch things out right away. But I do find that making the goals each week has helped me to actually get things accomplished. To keep myself a bit more motivated.

    I hope you find some motivation. It is hard.

    Shannon L.
  9. atiledsner

    atiledsner New Member

    i have notebooks that i journal in and put my want lists in

    at the end of a month i look back on things i have thought of and journaled about.

    as well as the things i got completed

    at the end of a year it really shows how much i got accomplished and where my thoughts were.

    i even write my prayers to God, my praise and thanksgiving.

    this works for me.
  10. Fibrqny15

    Fibrqny15 New Member

    I finally went to my Doc- and ask him for something to get me going.it doesn't hurt to take half of a diet pill from the Doc.
    Robin the wonderful!
  11. BlueSky555

    BlueSky555 New Member


    I feel the same way ALL of the time. I have been like this for a while.

    An example: I had a Drs. appt. today, I thought at 2:15 pm. I had planned to get ready earlier and grocery shop a bit and go by my Mother's. Well, by the time I made myself shower and get ready, I finally ended leaving home at approx. 1:00 pm. I went by Mothers and then to Dr. to find out my appt. was at 3:15 pm, not 2:15 pm. Then received more bad new from Dr.; won't go there.

    I don't have any suggestions but will continue to read. Thank you for the post,

  12. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    In fact I know they have helped recently in setting up a morning/evening routine. I had posted earlier about having problems organizing time, and several people mentioned the flylady site -- a help with household management. The site is a little wordy, I don't even attempt to accomplish or even read all suggested, but it's been a big help.

    I know that accomplishing even one small thing gives me a boost to accomplish the next, relieves the feeling of being overwhelmed. Putting things on paper so they don't slip my mind -- ever present scramble -- could be a help both in keeping focused and reaching an end result.

    Still want that magic flash of aliveness to get me going! That seems to be missing -- caffeine boost -- but from your posts I can see part of that can come from within -- more difficult for many of us than "normals" and some days out of reach, but still a very positive step long-term.

    That half diet pill probably boosts the dopamine. That is one reason I was considering aminos, in particular dl-phenylalanine, and am going to start a thread to ask peoples' experience with that. I don't have medical insurance and prefer to stay with non-prescription help whenever possible.

    Thank all of you for your great input.
  13. Jen102

    Jen102 New Member

    I have the problem of pushing myself to try to be productive. I feel guilty and worthless if I can't do anything due to illness. But the illness is the problem. If I were healthy, there is no end to the things I would be doing. I have found it is best to not berate myself and not push myself on the days when I am too sick to be motivated. If I set goals that I realistically can't fulfill, push myself beyond my abilities, etc, that does nothing to help my self esteem, let alone help me get anything done.

    If you are having a very difficult day where you think you are physically able to do a little something, but you just can't push yourself to perform, maybe try just giving in to it. Read somethign for your pleasure or education, enjoy a movie, or something rather than fail at pushing yourself to do something you view as more productive. You may find yourself satisfied, rather than feeling like doo-doo. This has been a tough lesson for me to learn as I have been taught to make every possible moment productive, but it is much easier on your psyche. Blessings. Jen102
  14. AnneTheresa

    AnneTheresa Member

    I love your phrase 'that magic flash of aliveness that gets me going." That perfectly describes what I need when it comes to motivation. Sometimes it's there (once in a blue moon) and gee I'd love to bottle the feeling to use on days when taking a shower seems an insurmountable task.

    All I know about motivation is that it doesn't kick in until after I've already started the activity I'd hoped to become motivated to do. If I want to go for a walk, I won't feel motivated to do this until I'm halfway through the walk. So the trick is getting myself out the door using threats or bribes or gentle coaxing. Whatever it takes.

    I've enjoyed reading this thread and thank you for raising the topic. I'm sure it relates to many if not most of us.

    God bless,
    Anne Theresa
  15. carebelle

    carebelle New Member

    I agree with several of the others.getting up and being social is good for us.I spent a few days with an old friend although my pain has still been terrible the visit was good for my spirit.
    I have been from bed to couch for months and it was good to change my routine for a few days.Being around special friends can help to motivate our way of thinking.My friend has fibro also so she understood when I needed to rest in a chair instead of taking a walk.
  16. libra55

    libra55 New Member

    I used to feel very unmotivated when I got up in the morning. Confronted by dirty dishes, empty pizza and takeout boxes, unfolded clean laundry, basket of dirty laundry, unopened mail, I would collapse in a depressed hopeless heap even before my day began.

    What I started doing about one half to one hour before I go to bed I get ready for my morning. I set up the coffee on a timer so when I hit the floor my beverage is all ready for me. I make sure the counter is clean and uncluttered. Dishes are put away. The trash goes out. Mail is sorted. I do it right over the wastebasket..so I get rid of the junk right then and there. I have my kids help me with these tasks too. They put out what they are going to have for breakfast if it's not perishable, their vitamins, lunch money etc.

    So when I wake up to a halfway clean house and mind you it isn't perfect, far from it, but it's not a total pit. I guess you can say it puts me in a different frame of mind and gets me a little pumped for my day. I can get started on today's business and not feel like I'm a day late and a dollar short cleaning up from yesterday.

    Works for me.

  17. romanshopper

    romanshopper New Member

    For me?


    I take an extra neurontin and a tramadol, lay down and usually realize how much pain I've been in. Then as the medication starts working, I feel better and get more done.
  18. shootingstar

    shootingstar New Member

    So many unique strategies here! I do have a morning and evening routine to keep the house in reasonable order, and that has helped immensely. I can get overwhelmed in a hurry if I get up to a lot of clutter and worse.

    The cards sound fun for a lot of things -- both as a motivator and to keep my mind focused. I tend to get distracted and end up not doing what I originally had in mind -- no end result to look back on with any satisfaction. This could be a big help.

    And seeing family and friends always help. I'm fortunate, though I live alone, to have both a small group of friends and some extended family in the area, all of whom I enjoy. Truly blessed that way.

    All of you are so helpful -- a bright spot in this day! Thank you for being here.
    [This Message was Edited on 06/17/2006]
  19. gerrih

    gerrih New Member

    The thing that helps me the most is a timer. If I don't feel like doing anything -- then it is a timer day. I set it for 15 minutes (sometimes 10 on really hurting days) and make myself do something until the timer rings.

    Then I am allowed to sit and do nothing (or something fun) for 15 minutes.

    Most days I find this effective. if after a few cycles I still feel miserable, then I give myself permission to feel bad with no recriminations. I rest if I need to. Those are the days I just hate but realize that there's nothing I can do if the 15 minute cycle doesn't work.

    What I tend to do is spend the 15 minutes in a specific room. Then as I cycle through the day, I cycle through the rooms. I also make notes on what projects I want to accomplish. The list is broken into small pieces like mentioning a specific drawer...or a specific section of a room etc. This 'smallness' makes the tasks appear manageable.

    I am also taking Zoloft and it helps so much with the pain and takes the edge off depression for me.

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