How to find motivation when you’re depressed

How to find motivation when you’re depressed

I spent most of September searching for motivation, as my depression took grip in a big way. So I decided to look into how to find motivation when you’re depressed. I really needed to find the answers for myself. Since the kids went back to school, I’ve been a bit lost to be honest. Since lockdown started, every day my task was to make sure they kids were happy and entertained.

Then returning to school, was supposed to be the chance for me to get more work down on the blog. The complete opposite happened. I’ve been finding things really difficult, and that has continued into October. The longer I’m in this cycle the worse it gets, so this post is an attempt to break it. To have a reason to look for how to find motivation when you’re depressed. To give you some indication to where I’m at right now. I started this post a week ago, and this is the second paragraph.

Planning the motivation

Disclaimer – I am not a medical professional, if you are or think you are suffering from depression. Then a medical professional should be your first port of call. I just want to share some advice, from my experience of living with depression for many years.

So where to find this motivation I’m looking for? When I did my Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, the biggest thing I learnt to do was plan ahead. Think about the things that would make me feel better about myself, and then plan them in for the next day at first. If that proves successful, then you can start planning a week ahead. If it doesn’t prove successful, then just keep planning the next day until you manage to achieve what you planned.

You probably won’t always achieve what you wanted to, and that’s okay! As long as you keep planning and keep trying. So what are the things you can do, to help you get up and get motivated?

Finding the motivation

How to find motivation when you’re depressed

Get up and get dressed

It sounds so simple, but the urge to stay in bed all day is strong when depression has really taken hold. Even if you do get up, the feeling of there’s no point in putting fresh clothes on. Can ingrain itself into your thoughts. If you can’t get up and get dressed, you’re unlikely to find the motivation for anything else.

Go for regular walks

There is nothing better for clearing your head, than going for a walk. It’s something I really like to do. Get away from all the distractions of life, and have a think. The fresh air and exercise seems to help with thinking clearly and more positively. I think there’s some science behind it, with releasing endorphins, but like I said I’m no health professional.

Avoid negativity

Negativity on the news, or in tv programmes are best avoided in my opinion. Also, social media can be great, but it can also be a really bad place to be. If going on the socials is draining any positivity you might have, then it might be time to get off of there. Or cut out the negative influences on there, and the same can be said in “real life” too. If there’s people in your life who only seem to bring negativity, then it may be best to avoid contact with them where possible.

Create a support network and socialize

The most important thing you can do is create a good support network, of people you can trust and rely on. People who know your situation, and will be there for you when you need them. Then when you are feeling up to it, take the time to socialise with them, doing whatever it is that makes you happy.

Positivity journal

Something that I started this year, and that I highly recommend to every one. Is a positivity journal. Where you right down one positive thing you did or that happened every day. You can buy a journal/diary or make something yourself. The great thing about it is, it encourages you to do something positive so you have something to write. Then you can look back at the entries and remind yourself of all positive things that have been happening.

Stick to routine, but don’t over schedule

Lastly, it’s good to try and stick to a routine and make sure you complete the tasks that you plan to do. But don’t over schedule! If you have been really struggling to do anything like I have been lately. The last thing you want to do is set yourself up fail, by asking too much of yourself straight away. It’s an easy trap to fall in too, and something I’m often guilty of doing. Start with small tasks, and congratulate yourself when you achieve them, and then build on that success.

Conclusion

I hope that offers some help, on how to find motivation when you’re depressed. If you can get yourself up and going, then you can start enjoying the things that you like. Whatever that might be. If you have any comments or tips, I’d love to hear them. Fell free to leave a message in the comments section below. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

Simple Jam Tart Recipe

Simple Jam Tart Recipe

Today we are bringing you a very simple Jam Tart recipe, which only uses 3 Ingredients. All you need is self raising flour, butter and jam. A quick reminder that you can find the other baking recipes we have had a go at, on our post Top 20 easy bakes for kids.

This is another first time bake for me. I don’t know why as we all love jam tarts, but I’ve just never thought of making them before. Anyway let’s get to it.

Ingredients

  • 85g of butter
  • 170g self raising flour
  • Choice of jam to be added to taste

Method

  • Preheat oven to 200c/gas mark 6
  • Rub together the butter or margarine with the flour in a bowl until it resembles breadcrumbs. Stir in a few tablespoons of water to form a dough. Roll out on a lightly floured surface. Use a pastry cutter to cut out about 20 circular shapes. We got 16 out of ours,
  • Put each pastry case into an individual cupcake tin. Add a teaspoon of jam to each case, you could add a bit more jam, but be careful not to add too much. Otherwise them jam will ooze over the edge during baking.
  • Bake for about 30 minutes, or until the pastry has gone pale brown (check the tarts after 20 minutes). Then hopefully the tarts should just come straight out of the tray like ours did.
Simple jam tart recipe

Undisputed champion

These were amazing! So simple and easy for anyone to do, and yet so tasty. I’ve been told we have to make some more, unfortunately we’ve ran out of flour. So the kids will have to wait until I can pop down to the shop to get some. Which they are not happy about. We have enjoyed all the things we have baked so far, but the jam tarts are the undisputed champion so far. It is unanimous from everyone, that this has been the favourite so far.

Jam tartar

When I go and get that flour, we will be making some more. I’d like to get some different jams, and some lemon curd in too. I highly recommend giving this simple jam tart recipe a go. You won’t regret it! As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

The good and bad things going on at school

The good and bad things going on at school

I’ve not been putting much on here for the last month or so, and I will talk about why at a later date. Today though I wanted to share with you the good and bad things going on at school. Jack and Lily both went back to school happy enough, but now as we start to settle into the routine of being back at school. The little cracks start to appear.

To be honest, on the whole Jack is doing really well at school. He’s doing some really good work, he’s maturing as a person, and he’s becoming more involved around the school as a whole. Whereas previously he’d mostly stay in his class room, even at dinner time. He still eats his dinner in his class room, where he usually has a friend stay with him. He took his and his classmates plates back to the dinner hall, when they had finished last week. These are the tiny things that in normal circumstances, wouldn’t mean much. But us, and families like us, are massive.

Confusing Jack

There has been one thing that has annoyed me a bit though. One of Jack’s obsessions at the moment is something from Minecraft called SCP’s. It is videos made using minecraft, and the scp’s are mostly monsters. Jack wants to research about the SCP’s during his time on the computer at school. Some of the images he finds have scared the other children, so he was rightly told he couldn’t look for them.

What school did was create a list of safe SCP’s he was allowed to research. Jack was happy with this compromise, and was sticking too it. He then went on the computer and found the website blocked, when he searched for the SCP on his safe list. The school have blocked the website as it’s unsuitable. I have no problem with that, but I do have a problem with how they’ve gone about it.

They should have blocked it from the start, and they definitely shouldn’t have come up with this safe list. To then go and block it. It left Jack very confused, and unsurprisingly caused the first major meltdown he’s had in months. Long term it will be for the best, but it’s caused him to become unsettled, when he was doing really well. Which is disappointing. Hopefully it’s just a small blip, and things continue to go well.

Bigger problems at Lily’s school

On the surface Lily’s return to school is going really well. She says she doesn’t want to go every morning, but her friend comes and walks to school with her. And she goes happily enough, and comes out of school at the end of every day smiling. But a closer look reveals all is not as rosey as school would like everyone to believe.

We err promised when Lily started at the school last September, that we would work towards a Education, Health and Care Plan (EHCP) for Lily. Obviously Covid happened and we didn’t get far with that, in the last school year. We had a multi agency “child in need” meeting, through a zoom call. These have been in place for a few years now for Jack, but now include Lily as well.

The question was posed to Lily’s headteacher, what is happening about an EHCP for Lily? He said they would be working towards applying for one later in the year . Which we were happy enough with. Then then next day we get and email from the SENCO from Lily’s school, which basically said they have no intention of applying for the EHCP. Instead they want to apply for non legally binding support, where they will get funding, but it has to be re applied for every year. There’s no legal requirement that the funds even have to be spent on Lily. But most importantly, when it’s time for thinking about secondary school for Lily, we will have nothing in place for her to have extra support. The school are simply taking the easy option for them, but it the right option for Lily.

Apply ourselves

We will be going down what will be a very lengthy process of applying for the EHCP ourselves. Already we have had some great advice and support from Social Media and the local community. We would like to thank everyone for that. I am going to use this platform to share the experiences we go through with this. The number of people we have already met who have been through this, or are in a similar position just locally has staggered me. Not to mention the people all across the country, we’ve heard from on social media.

So if we can share this journey and help the people who go through this after us, in any way at all then that would be great. So this has been the good and bad things going on at school. People often say it must be difficult being a “special needs parent”, and I always say that it is. But it’s hardly ever because of the children. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism

Chocolate Sandwich Cake Recipe

Chocolate Sandwich Cake Recipe

Today we are bringing you a chocolate sandwich cake recipe. I’ve had complaints from the kids, that we are not getting through our top 20 bakes for kids recipes fast enough. So I was ordered into the kitchen to bake this cake, which was done with both Jack and Lily. So a real team effort.

The chocolate cake was the one the kids had been really waiting for, and they were both delighted. When I told them that’s what we would be doing.

Ingredients

For Cake

  • 100g butter
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 75g self raising flour
  • 25g cocoa powder

    For butter cream
  • 100g butter
  • 225g icing sugar
  • 30ml milk
  • a few drops of vanilla essence

Method

For Cake

  • Cream butter and sugar together until it has a light and fluffy texture.
  • Beat in eggs one at a time, with a table spoon of flour each time.
  • Gently fold in remaining flour and cocoa powder, then transfer the mixture to 2 sandwich tins.
  • Bake at 180 degrees for 25-30 mins, when finished leave to cool.
 tin

For Butter Cream

  • Beat Butter until soft.
  • Gradually beat in sugar and milk until light and fluffy
  • Stir in drops of vanilla essence, to taste.

To finish, take the cakes out of the tin and put the butter cream on one side of one of the cakes. Then put the other cake on top and sandwich together. Finish off with a dusting of icing sugar on top.

For those who like their cake really chocolatey, you can make the buttercream a chocolate cream. And even put the cream on top of the cake as well. We find that way a bit too sickly for our taste, apart from Mum who likes it all chocolate.

Chocolate sandwich cake recipe

I have to say that this chocolate sandwich cake recipe, is probably our favourite so far. It definitely is for the kids, and I have to say I probably agree with them. It was a nice light chocolate taste, not too sickly and went great with a nice cup of tea.

We definitely recommend giving this a try, and that you enjoy it as much as we did. As always, thank you for reading.

Dad Does Autism