Uplifting music for motivation and inspiration

Even though I recovered from Anorexia ten years ago, I’m very open and candid about the fact that my journey continues when it comes to being completely well mentally (and physically) because I still have anxiety and body dysmorphic disorder. So there are days when I need to be productive, I need to get up and go, and I just can’t. It’s like being crushed by a giant weight I can’t push off, however hard I try. And it’s worse, because I know I have to face the day and I’ve usually got millions of things to do! This happens especially on dark, dank days when the sun doesn’t decide to show its face – and we have a lot of those days here in England.

One thing I’ve learnt over the years (even in the absence of the sun) is that music can help with this. Certain types just lift my heart a little and I feel able to potter about and do things – even if they’re only small jobs. At other times I feel invincible and get LOADS done – just by listening to a few playlists.

What music??

Music is subjective of course and it depends on taste. I’m one of those people who loves pretty much every kind of music (apart from the screamy heavy metal stuff and loud opera – both hurt my ears!) I have a real mixed bag of artists if you were to browse my iTunes – from Drake, Kendrick Lamar and Lil Wayne to Louis Armstrong, Etta James and Einaudi (a classical pianist). It all depends what mood I’m in – and what I want to do. Acoustic tracks and piano music are good for writing sometimes, but at other times I need a kick up the arse. Uplifting music takes soo many forms – it all depends on what you want it to do and how you’re feeling.

Soul

I LOVE soul music – it’s my go-to for everything. I found a few playlists on free internet radio 8 tracks which I’d love to share with you – even if it’s not your thing, give it a listen in the background. It’s feel-good, happy, genuine music and for me it’s hard to be unhappy when I’ve got my soul on.

R n B

RnB is great because for those of you who hate old music (:() there’s a modern reincarnation of it for you to enjoy. I love Jhene Aiko, The Weekend, Trey Songz and Neyo for chilled, soulful music.

Motivational

Rap is great for this but also electronic, house or dance music with a rapid solid beat. Obviously I always listen to this type of thing at the gym but I also like listening to it if I’ve got a job to finish or need to feel excited and upbeat.

Calming

If you’re really after something very subdued and calming then for me piano music and relaxation songs are the best. The sort you listen to in a spa (with chimes and whales) do send me to sleep so I can’t always listen to them for long unless they have got a beat to them – and there’s a fair few ambient, ethnic tracks that do!

Motivational

I love it when people make mixes on Youtube or Soundcloud which incorporate sometimes almost subliminal messages into decent music which gets you going and motivates your mind all at the same time. Harmonic Vibrations on free playlist sharing site 8tracks is one of my favourites for this – you can check their page out here.

 

What’s your go to music (if you have any!)?

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Procrastination – the thief of time (and sanity)

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Lack of motivation and high levels of procrastination are frustrating traits we all harbour. Yet for those with anxiety or depression it’s multiplied by 100% or more, meaning it’s harder to get out of that rut you’re stuck in. Couple that with self-esteem issues ‘I can’t do it’ and you’ll never get things done. Having a huge to-do list and having achieved nothing due to your lack of motivation only serves to impact your low self-esteem further.

I am the sort of person who gives myself a million things to do – and I control that with just as many lists. But I realised that I was just re-making lists neater when I’d crossed a couple of things off to pacify my OCD tendencies – and I was not actually getting things done. When I realised that the biggest tasks such as arranging all my photographs from the past year (which had now become two years) had been on the list for 12 months or more, I decided I needed to sort out my procrastination as it would help to increase my productivity, subsequently easing my anxiety.

How do you get that magic motivation?

It takes a lot of stern words with yourself (which may well be deserved) but it’s definitely possible to at least minimise procrastination. I say this so candidly because it is so important to conquer the little urchins in your head that give you insignificant things to do; in fact it is imperative to recovery and improved mental health. I’ve included a few tips below that I have picked up over the past year or so which I am implementing in my daily and weekly routine – little tips which have made a huge difference to my productivity!

  1. Break down big goals. Staring up at a HUGE goal just gives way to self-defeating thoughts of ‘oh my god I can’t do this’ or more likely ‘I don’t want to do this.’
  2. Get your ‘worst’ job out of the way first. Your least desirable job of the day or week is best tackled first, if possible. It gives you the motivation to go ahead and do the other jobs because they don’t seem so monumental once you’ve got the one you were least looking forward to out of the way.
  3. Prioritise your to do list. Some of the things on your daily or weekly to do list don’t really need to be there. Break the lists down into manageable smaller lists – how many tasks can you physically do today? If it’s ten, cut it down to ten. Less imperative tasks can wait till tomorrow.
  4. Don’t put too much pressure on yourself. If you don’t complete the tasks within the allocated time, don’t beat yourself up. Just take it as an indicator of what you can manage in one day and cut your lists accordingly for the next day.
  5. Putting it off won’t make it go away! When you prioritise, make sure you do so in order of actual importance and not in the order of what you want to do or feel like doing. If a bill needs paying and it stresses you out and you can’t be bothered with it, putting it at the bottom of your list will make it disappear. If you tackle it first (as in point 2) you’ll be laughing!

I would love to hear some of your own tips for minimising procrastination and getting motivation to do mundane every day jobs. Please share them below!

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