It's hard to feel like doing anything when you are depressed. The 5 tips I'm going to share with you come with a disclaimer. When you're depressed, almost everything that would improve your condition, you don't feel inclined to do. You already know this, right? Like think positive. Okay, that can be annoying depending on who is saying it. Disclaimer: This article doesn’t address ways to get out of depression. These tips are for those who can push through and do it anyway. You will start to feel a little bit better as a result of the things that I'm going to share with you today. You are not going to feel a lot like doing it. That's kind of like the weather report which tells you if it is rainy or snowy or windy. Well, that's just the weather report. You still go out and do what's necessary even when the weather is not supportive of your activities. Think of how you feel as more of a weather report, then this depression doesn't have to take you out of the game.

How do we get motivated to clean for example when we're depressed? We'll just use that as an example, but really it could be anything. How do I get motivated to (Fill in the blanks) when I'm depressed? Let's start with a little mental exercise that you can do. It's actually one that helps to hack into the physiology of your brain, because depression has a chemical element which you probably already knew. We want to attack this both from a psychological standpoint and from a neuro-physiological standpoint. I want you to take 3 to 5 deep breaths in a very specific way- slowly. You are going to breathe in through your nose very slowly. And while you're breathing in, I want you to imagine and picture yourself in an environment that is clean and organized where you are surrounded by the things that you love. Picture that as you are breathing in. And then hold briefly. Just a few seconds is all. And then you'll exhale through your mouth also very slowly. In fact, you want to take about twice as long to exhale as you did to inhale. And while exhaling, imagine the depression, the stress all of the negativity just flowing out with that breath. This is a little psychological exercise that also hacks into the neurophysiology that's driving your brain chemistry. So, give it a try. Inhale through the nose while envisioning all of the results of what you want to accomplish. Being in a clean environment. Hold briefly and then out slowly through the mouth while you envision letting go of or breathing out all of the negativity and the depression and the stress. Just try that and let's see where that puts you.

Tip number 2. Set a time and effort goal rather than a task goal. So, for example, instead of telling yourself, “I'm going to clean off that messy countertop in the kitchen.” What if instead you set a time and effort goal. “I'm going to put in 15 minutes on that countertop.” Oh, well that seems a lot more doable. You don't have to finish it. Put in 15 minutes of work hard on it for a certain amount of time. Time and effort goals give you a way to check something off your list before it's actually done. Some of the things that need to be done are not doable in 10 or 15 minutes. But if you set a goal to work for 15 minutes, you are that much closer to it and that helps you to feeG a little more accomplished as well. I did this recently in my own home even though I'm not currently struggling with depression. There is still a resistance to take on some of those big tasks like cleaning out my basement. Wow, that's a big job. I set a time and effort goal for 20 minutes. I told myself, “I'm going to work hard on it for 20 minutes and then I'll do something else.” And it was amazing how much I got done in that 20 minutes. Give it a try.

Tip number 3 goes back to Grandma's rule. Do you remember Grandma’s rule? Grandma’s rule is work first, play later. That makes a whole lot of sense from a logical point of view. When we are in a state of depression, we kind of veg into a passivity that doesn't help us to get things done. You know that there's work that needs to be done, but you'd rather relax or play or whatever your depression is inviting you to do. So, going back to Grandma's rule, we work first and play later. Tell yourself, “Yes, I am going to lay down on the couch and take a nap. Or I'm going to play this video game after I do the time and effort goal.” That just puts it up in a chronological order that's a little easier to manage.

Tip number 4 gets back to positivity and how we train our mind to go a certain direction. Look at the clock. Do you see what time it is? How certain are you that 8 o'clock is coming? Now, I don't know what time it is right now when you are reading this blog, but I am pretty sure that 8 o'clock is still coming. Even if it's a minute or 2 after eight, because there's another one coming on the other end of the day. You see where I am going with this? 8 o'clock is coming. How sure are you that you will be around for 8 o'clock? I mean you've made it to every 8 o'clock so far your whole life and there's 2 every day for those who don't get up early. Notice that you've got 100% track record of showing up for eight o'clock.

There are two possibilities for what life will be like at the next 8 o’clock. They will be either worse or better. Things are not going to be the same. You may be more tired or hungry, but you will at least be a little older. So, by your own evaluation, which you can't turn off, things have to be either better or worse at 8 o'clock. Here's the brain hack. Better by 8. BB8 for short. Can you find some way to make things a little better by 8:00? Yes, you can. It doesn't have to be a total transformation. Just a little better. Can you do that? How does that feel? Better by 8:00.

Tip 5 takes into account the other strategies that we have already talked about. In the time and effort goal say we commit to just a half hour of work. Now, before you start, go on a brisk walk. Take the first 10 minutes of that half hour to go on a brisk walk. Get your blood flowing. Get out, move around, go outside. This is essential to your brain functioning. What you'll find is you will accomplish more in the 20 minutes after your walk than you would have accomplished in a half hour without it. You will also feel better. Remember, depression staps the energy. It sucks the energy out of you for the things that will actually help you.

Hopefully these tips will give you some place to start. I am all about principles of positivity. To power-up your positivity, I've put together a 6-module course. When you complete this course, you will feel more positive. You will have more energy. You will know how to approach relationships and stress and anxiety and fear. This is a powerful course intended to put you in position to succeed. If you are ready for your Positivity Power- Up, please visit