Staying motivated with low energy people around you

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30/11/2013 at 14:07

How do you do it? I know other people do - but I find myself too easily slipping into laziness myself...

My husband has depression. I have a history if depression myself. Sometimes it's too easy to be unmotivated but I am always happiest when I am active. I worry that we bring each other down too often.

Our sleeping patterns are messed up - I was once a morning person but am not now. It is a miracle if we get up before 10 am. I am on maternity leave and my husband has flexible work hours but heading into winter I worry we will just miss out on all the daylight hours.

Sometimes the feeling at home is just so low. I struggle to empathise with my husband because I feel like he has given up fighting his depression. Things we can not change become the focus of continuous negativity.

He has lost the energy to do things he can to make positive change to his life. He used to seem so proud and motivated in his work and extracurricular activities.

Now he has a scholarship to finish his PhD but even though he is very capable he never works but just procrastinates on the internet all day. He comes home and does the same thing. He is so sure that there will be no work around for him when he finishes that he won't try. It is becoming a self fulfilling prophecy. Sometimes I think he is headed to just becoming my dependent and I will have to support our family alone.

I often want to snap at him but I think all I can do is try to be a healthy example. I hope that if I become better at having a healthy routine and mindset he will find it easier also. Our 7 month old baby needs energy and entertainment from us also.

How do you make your own energy unsappable? I guess this does not seem running related but I believe you need positive energy to be a good consistent runner. I was once and am aiming to find that in myself again.

cougie    pirate
30/11/2013 at 14:54
Im no expert but the change has to come from within.
Arrange to run a 9am parkrun.
Plan a trip somewhere.
Join a running club or similar.
Take the lead.

Maybe read some motivational books ?
30/11/2013 at 16:22

I know they are bit expensive but have you thought about trying one of those "lumie" body clock lights... 

The website says they can help people with depression, not just SAD.

30/11/2013 at 16:30

Hi Sharm

I have started reading this book and quite like it. It explains a lot about the illness and how to deal with it. I have not finished it yet but so far its interesting...


Good luck!

30/11/2013 at 17:46

for you and your baby make a point of getting outside for a walk at least every day. during daylight hours. Do you go to any mother and baby groups to get you out and mixing with other people? When I had my first child I didn't really know anyone and found myself quite isolated - everyone I knew was at work, but I took him out in the pushchair every day for a walk. You could probably take your daughter round parkrun in a pushchair too - maybe you could get your husband to go too - he could push the buggy while you run? Or you could go round together. 


30/11/2013 at 19:39

I don't think you can make your energy unsappable but you can learn to recognise the difference between feeling lazy and unmotivated and genuine tiredness.

As Mathschick says, definitely make a point of getting outside with your baby every day. And for at least an hour.

I agree that a  Bodyclock might be a good idea. The problem is that the more you sleep the groggier you feel - so it can't be helping.

Good luck.

30/11/2013 at 21:01

I think you have the answer to your own question...sometimes the positive energy comes from running. If your baby sleeps till ten, then that's really an opportunity for you to get out and run. Come in, get showered, kick start the day. Don't worry about your husband  for the moment, you can't do everything at once. Just do your own thing and set the example. Go for a run and then honestly ask yourself if you feel better than you would feel if you hadn't gone. If you do feel better, do it again the next day.


02/12/2013 at 18:05

I'm in a fairly similar situation, my OH has depression and can be very unmotivated at times, and I get frustrated and angry. He sounds similar to your husband, in that he believes something bad will happen and then seems to start a cycle of self-destruct so it becomes inevitable.

He's not a morning person, and if I wasn't around he would stay up until the early hours of the morning and his body clock would get later and later.I am the opposite and like to get up early to run 2/3 times a week. I do the morning dog walk/run and also have two horses that need feeding and riding. In short, I have to get up in the morning as the animals are dependent on me.

When we first met I adopted his lifestyle of lethargy and late nights, but in the end found much more happiness in doing the things I enjoyed so took up running and horses again. I think it's important to do what makes you happy and you'll find that your positive frame of mind (and routine) will rub off on him, and he may end up wanting to join you in your activities, even if it's just a walk in the fresh air.

We have a much better balance now where I'll get on and do stuff and if he wants to sit about and do his own thing then that's fine. However, we book things in the diary such as day trips or nights out etc so we always have something upcoming to look forward to.

You could also try sharing out the chores at set times e.g. my OH always does the evening dog walk and horse feeds as I work late. That way, he has to get out and self-motivate even when he feels like hiding away at home. I've also found that lots of praise and thanks (not in a patronising way!) really helps to keep his mood up. This year he has just started his own business after years of being employed in a job that he disliked. I know the above sound a bit cheesey and as though I'm incredibly unsympathetic and bossy (maybe I am!) but it's what I found that worked for us!

Your husband is the only person who can fight his depression but you can help him by showing him a positive outlook, good routine and being there for him when he needs it!

03/12/2013 at 13:17

I'm also in a very similar situation and have been for a few years. My wife has been clinically depressed for around ten years. About 8 years ago we moved to an area where we don't know anyone (for a fresh start!). It didn't really work and, whilst we do have good times, it can now be a lonely experience for me when my wife goes through periods when she really doesn't get out of bed much. 

In those times I run because I have to. I realised a long time ago that it's one of the things that keep me going. Thinking about it, I have a number of alternative psychologies to motivate me to get out and do it.

Sometimes I feel good and giving and want to be the strong one. That's when it's easy. "I'm doing this for both of us". 

There are also times when resentment creeps in. That's when I'm doing it for me. "Fuck you, I'm not coming down with you". A run generally brings me back to an equillibrium.

I have running so much part of my own personal therapy now that if I do feel dark moods decending, I go for a run almost out of fear of what might happen if I don't. The great thing is that it always works, at least to some extent. I don't know what I'd do if it ever failed.  

I have no idea if this would help for you. All I know is exercise works well for both if us and now we even run together sometimes. 

Edited: 03/12/2013 at 16:24
06/12/2013 at 11:24

Thank you for the replies!

I really didn't expect to get many since afterwards I kinda thought my Q was basically "wa wa wa wa...".

I am relieved to hear other people understand my situation and have developed ways of managing it in their own lives.

I will come back and reread all of your answers when I feel a bit lazy!

06/12/2013 at 12:29

I don't really want to do that. I think we all have our highs and lows.

How could expect my husband to stick by me for example if I get cancer later in life if all it takes for me to betray him is a bit of depression?

I guess it is hard to tell what my effect is on him without such a controlled experiment as you have suggested but he claims his depression is work related and has gone on since before we met. I think it is important to not make things harder by getting depressed also.

06/12/2013 at 12:37

One comment you made was quite pertinent to me - "Things we can not change become the focus of continuous negativity". Whilst my good lady hasn't suffered with severe depression this was one of the things that used to get her down. She would have a bit of a moan about something (that she couldn't change) and when I asked her what she was going to do about it she obviously didn't have an answer. Eventually, she came to realise that it was pointless worrying about such things. Nowadays, she will have a bit of a moan at something, like we all do, then just forget about it. You didn't say if you had spoken to someone about it ? I would certainly encourage you to continue with the running both for the good of yourself and your baby

seren nos    pirate
06/12/2013 at 12:38

concentrate on yourself and the baby for now.get out get into a routine .try and enjoy life abit.long walks in the sunshine kicking the leaves around.and then when you are stronger then try helping him.hopefully with you more upbeat it might help him cope better as well.


 good luck

06/12/2013 at 14:21
Nick Windsor 4 wrote (see)

If I lived with a depressed partner I would simply go out and find someone else, maybe for a bit on the side to start with, and I would over the next few month monitor the said bit on side's behaviours. If this new person was found to be full of life and I was enjoying myself I would leave the old one and move on. If on the other hand I was boring the shit out of the new person and driving them into the ground, I'd change my ways and go back and be a better person to the original

You're boring the shit out of this forum....

06/12/2013 at 15:12

Personal taste Peter. I find Nick much more interesting than you.

06/12/2013 at 15:14

I'm not surprised Max, not surprised at all.

06/12/2013 at 15:22

At least you modified your language in that reply.

06/12/2013 at 15:25

The fuck I did!

06/12/2013 at 15:36

Peter read this quote and try to learn to love a little more:

“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”

06/12/2013 at 15:39

If you're talking favourite quotes, I rather like: "People who talk about revolution and class struggle without referring explicitly to everyday life, without understanding what is subversive about love and what is positive in the refusal of constraints, such people have a corpse in their mouth."

Your turn.

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