Feeling Unmotivated? How to Use Self-Care in the Morning to Refuel Your Drive

Burned out and feeling unmotivated? Here's how to use self-care to get your groove back. 15 self-care ideas to refuel your energy.

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We all get in those moods sometimes when we just can’t seem to get motivated.  It’s the feeling of being drained of energy, motivation, or willingness to take action.  Undoubtedly, this lack of drive is not your normal self. 

Normally, I’m self-motivated, driven, and I love my to-do lists (even more so love checking items off my to-do lists).  But on rare occasions, I get in an unmotivated funk. In those times, I feel completely lost and confused because I’m not my normal self.

In this post I’ll tell you how to use self-care to restore your energy and motivation to get you back to your thriving self.

What not to do when you feel unmotivated

Human nature motivates us to help other people. It feels good to give to others and we do it all day everyday between kids, spouse, work, etc.  

But there’s a dangerous pitfall here…

You can’t pull from an empty tank. 

You can’t constantly give your own mental and emotional energy without refueling or nourishing your own needs.

So, what should you avoid when you’re unmotivated?

Don’t give until you’ve filled your tank first.

If you’re constantly pulling energy from your own tank, what fills it back up? 

You can give to others, but not at the expense of completely depleting yourself, mentally and emotionally.  As doing so will only lead you to a path of anger, frustration, and even resentment.

The pent-up frustration manifests inside you and can lead to that notorious state of feeling unmotivated. 

What to do when you feel unmotivated

Fill your own mental and emotional energy tank before you help others.

How do you do this?  By starting your day with self-care.  And, I literally mean, let self-care be the first thing you do in the morning.  

Show up for yourself first

When you show up for yourself first you become more present. When you start your day doing something that fills your soul or provides you with joy, you feel a sense of gratitude.  Like that self-care box is checked and now you can focus your attention on other things or other people (without the resentment). 

The benefits of starting your day with self-care

  1. Start your day on the right foot.
  2. Lead with a healthy mindset.  
  3. Carry a sense of calm throughout the day.
  4. Feel accomplished.  

For example, I love to workout.  Ever since I made the switch to early morning workouts I’ve noticed a lift in my mood, demeanor, and overall mindset. I carry that with me throughout the day and feel like I can excel in anything I do. 

So long feeling like I don’t have enough time, I’m too busy, or exhausted… Because I filled my hypothetical tank up first.

A lack of motivation or drive can be solved just by doing something good for your mind, body, or soul when you start your day.

I personally love to workout first thing in the morning, but if that’s not your thing..

Here are 15 ways you can start your day with self-care:

  • Take a workout class in person or online
  • Make a healthy breakfast
  • Write daily affirmations
  • Journal
  • Meditate
  • Take a bath
  • Read
  • Write your goals
  • Review your goals 
  • Make a plan for the day, week, or month
  • Play with your pet
  • Take a walk
  • Run or jog
  • Yoga
  • Enjoy your favorite hot beverage like coffee or tea uninterrupted

3 tips to ensure you get your self-care in first thing in the morning

  1. Wake up early, before everyone else.  You know once everyone else is up and at ‘em, you’ll feel a sense of pull to start giving.  Getting up before everyone else allows you to prioritize yourself without feeling any guilt of putting your self-care first.
  2. Create a plan for the week.  I like to take Sunday to map out my week beforehand.  What do I need to do?  What do I want to do?  What self-care actions will support those goals?
  3. Use a planner.  If you haven’t been using a planner, now is a great time to start.  There’s something about writing down your goals, obligations, and plans that allows you to feel less overwhelmed and still able to prioritize your self-care.  When you pencil in that self-care time, you will be more likely to stick to it.  


If you are finding yourself feeling unmotivated, drained of energy or determination, don’t worry. You aren’t alone in that feeling.  Putting self-care first in the morning will help you reclaim your drive and motivation to take action.  Showing up for yourself first will make showing up for others that much better.  Other people will be getting the best version of you when you’re running on a full tank.  And remember, self-care is not selfish.  

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