Emotional Wellbeing



Self Improvement

Mandy Kloppers

How to Stay Motivated in Tough Times

When the going gets tough, the tough get going.


That inspirational saying has been around for years, but it’s so often easier said than done. Going through difficult times or having to deal with a major life event you never thought would happen can make it hard to “get going” anywhere. Tough times tend to happen when you’re least expecting them. Maybe you’re going through a divorce. Maybe a family member or friend passed away suddenly. Or, maybe you’re just trying to cope with the daily struggles of a global pandemic.

Whatever the case, staying motivated during tough times isn’t easy when you would probably rather hide away. Unfortunately, when you don’t deal with hard times in healthy ways, you put yourself at a greater risk of developing mental health issues like anxiety or depression.

Staying motivated by surrounding yourself with the right kind of support and finding reasons to keep moving forward will help you to get through even the toughest of times. If you’re not sure what that looks like, this article will give you a few ideas that can kickstart your motivation when things start to feel too overwhelming to handle.


Surround Yourself With Support

Do you want to keep moving forward during tough times? Then, understand that you don’t have to do it alone. Surrounding yourself with a support system is one of the best things you can do. During difficult life situations, the right people in your life will make all the difference in how you feel.

The people in your life should build you up, encourage you, and boost your confidence to foster an attitude of self-determination. But, as important as it is to have the right people in your life, it’s just as crucial to distance yourself from the wrong ones. It’s not easy to remove people from your life. But, if there are individuals who constantly try to bring you down, those aren’t relationships worth holding onto. For example, if someone in your life is a narcissist, they may try to belittle you. They will feed on your emotional state and use intimidation and deception to destroy your motivation.

Looking out for red flags in all of your relationships is crucial to staying on track. Be aware of some of the most common signs of toxic friendships, including:


  • You try to find reasons to avoid that person.
  • Your “friend” only likes you when they need something from you.
  • You have to make excuses for their behavior to others.
  • They try to isolate you from other relationships.


As you might expect, these red flags can drain your emotions quickly. That makes it next to impossible to stay motivated. The bottom line? Know your support system and let them uplift you. When it comes to those who want to tear you down, stay as far away as possible.


Focus On Your Goals

When certain parts of life feel hard and overwhelming, it can help to focus on the things you want to accomplish. You should be constantly working on improving different aspects of your life. That might include advancing in your career, learning a new skill, or improving your communication skills. Better communication helps to build trust in your relationships and improves your productivity.

By setting goals for yourself, you’ll stay more motivated because you have something to work toward. While your goals should be realistic and achievable, it’s okay to dream big. But, make sure you have smaller goals along the way to your “major” one.

Small goals should be things you can accomplish relatively easily. Once you do achieve one, you’ll be more motivated to move on to the next one. Achievement is a fantastic motivator. Whether you’re sharpening skills, learning something new, or tackling a project, create a list of small and large goals that will help keep you going, even in difficult times.


Take Care of Yourself

Ultimately, motivation comes from within. There are external factors that can help, but you have to be the one to keep moving forward when times get tough. You can’t stay motivated if you don’t take care of yourself, first.

Self-care is more than just a buzzword or a term used to describe rest and relaxation. It is a necessary component of a healthy mental state. While it looks different for everyone, it’s about doing something every single day that you enjoy. Or, something that helps you alleviate stress. Your methods of self-care could include:

  • Getting more sleep
  • Keeping a journal
  • Exercising regularly
  • Eating a healthy diet
  • Socializing with people you care about


Taking care of yourself will help you from getting burnt out while you try to stay motivated. It will keep you more relaxed and well-rested, so you’re ready to tackle anything life might throw at you.


If you’re going through a tough time in your life, staying motivated is an important key to getting through it and moving on to the next chapter. When you find yourself struggling to do that, keep these suggestions in mind to make it through even the darkest of days.


Photo by Brooke Cagle on Unsplash

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