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What To Do for Burnout, Depression & Lack of Motivation

24 Aug
This Week's Q & A: Question:
What tapes do you recommend for burnout, depression, lack of motivation and procrastination? Basically, I can't get going and have little desire to get going. I have been working with a counselor who recommends your work.
Girard


Hi, Girard.
Well, as I'm sure you already know, you need to muster up some energy to get yourself out of this, and your main symptom is that you feel no energy... a circular problem, to be sure. The main symptom of depression is the tamping down of our natural energy, so that we feel inert, dispirited and too tired to move, liberally sprinkled with a feeling of "why bother, anyway?". So somehow you've got to marshall enough inner “juice” to give yourself a jump start to get this ball rolling. Then, hopefully, you'll have some momentum to sustain some change. Here are some thoughts:


(1) It's good you're in counseling.

(2) You may need some temporary anti-depressant medication to help you break this cycle. Don't be shy about using it. Sounds like you might need it, at least for now.

(3) Cut out sugar and alcohol if you're leaning on those substances at all. They may provide a temporary feeling of relief, but ultimately they depress you further.

(4) Try our Combat Depression imagery, which uses imagery to break through the fog surrounding you and taps you back into your own inner source of energy. Use our Confidence CD as a back-up to help you envision a livelier future for yourself.

(5) Force yourself to do some sort of aerobic exercise, even if it's walking slowly on a treadmill 30 minutes a day. You need this as a manual tool to get some of your own natural energy moving again. Additionally, Qigong practice or yoga would be ideal, an even stronger way to activate you. If you can’t get yourself to a class, use a video, such as Amy Weintraub’s excellent Breathe to Beat the Blues and Life Force Yoga to Beat the Blues; or Ken Cohen’s superb Qi Healing.

(6) Do not sleep in. Force yourself to get out of bed and moving in the morning.

(7) Use the power of your intention and will to override this powerful downward pull toward passivity and inactivity. As one of my ironic and very smart friends used to say, No one is coming! So don’t await rescue. You are the one who will save you.

Hope this helps. All best,

Belleruth Naparstek

Psychotherapist, author and guided imagery pioneer Belleruth Naparstek is the creator of the popular Health Journeys guided imagery audio series. Her latest book on imagery and posttraumatic stress, Invisible Heroes: Survivors of Trauma and How They Heal (Bantam Dell), won the Spirituality & Health Top 50 Books Award