Depression is a hell of a drug.
It’s Spring Break for most schools here, and the weather has celebrated by giving us all a break from Spring. It’s been a week of hail, regular rain, freezing rain, snow, and more snow. Today’s high is a balmy 33F.
As a result, I’ve been stuck indoors with a spell of depression whose butt I was really hoping to kick this week, but the weather had other ideas.
So I have zero motivation. And it’s gotten me thinking about how useless motivation really is, anyway.
There’s some research on this. A 2002 study split participants into three groups: a control group, a “motivation” group, and an “intention” group. The motivation group was told to exercise when they felt motivated; the intention group was asked to complete the following sentence:
“During the next week, I will partake in at least 20 minutes of vigorous exercise on [day] at [time of day] at/in [place].”
A week later, 38 percent of the control group had exercised. A whopping 91 percent of the intention group had exercised.
The motivation group? 35 percent. They actually fared worse than the controls!
The thing is, I know setting intentions works for me. It’s the driving force behind my ADHD-hacking system. I know my motivation lasts as long as my attention span does, and my attention span is [insert squirrel joke here].
The problem is, depression kills intention, too. I haven’t figured out how to hack that one yet.
Tl;dr I actually have EXCITING NEW READING MATERIAL for y’all in the works, which I will post here starting this coming Wednesday. I’m writing it on my calendar right now.