Presentation encourages boosting motivation while stuck at home

Marie Arroyo-Contreras, of Imperial County Behavioral Health Services, delivers a presentation on boosting personal motivation at the Calexico Community Center Wednesday. The presentation was livestreamed on Facebook. COURTESY PHOTO

CALEXICO — Motivation is something that goes up and down.

Lately, with so many holed up because of the coronavirus pandemic, not everyone has had an easy time seeing their motivation ascend. Marie Arroyo-Contreras, of Imperial County Behavioral Health Services, told viewers of a livestreamed Facebook presentation Wednesday that’s OK.

She then provided advice on keeping perspective and getting back on the upswing.

She delivered the presentation, entitled “Boosting Our Motivation During Uncertain Times,” from inside the Calexico Community Center. The collaboration between Behavioral Health Services and the Calexico’s Recreation Department was livestreamed on the latter’s Facebook page. It was delivered in both English and Spanish, and lasted an hour and five minutes.

As motivation is something that fluctuates, Arroyo-Contreras reminded her audience to use the time they’re not feeling on par to reflect.

“It’s OK if sometimes we’re feeling a little bit down,” she said. “The important thing is that we acknowledge and we recognize what’s going on, and we start taking those small steps that are going to make us feel better.”

Arroyo-Contreras explained the COVID-19 pandemic has left many feeling uncertain.

“Right now because of COVID-19, we’re very limited to the things that we can do,” she said. “We wish that we could continue functioning and taking care of business like we did before, but we know that we can’t.”

It’s best not to allow oneself to become overwhelmed with the big picture, she said. Instead, try taking small steps. The incremental movements in a positive direction can help improve one’s mood and, in turn, result in action.

One simple small step that everyone should take, Arroyo-Contreras said, is to take the moment to understand that everyone is experiencing a difficult time.

“In the past, you have been able to achieve certain things,” she said. “Just reminisce and embrace that, and know that once we recover as a community, as a nation and worldwide, we’re going to be able to come back to where we were.”

Furthermore, Arroyo-Contreras advised to take pride in any accomplishment done today — no matter how small.

“Celebrating what we have, your accomplishments, that will give a sense of motivation,” she said.

One example of taking a healthy perspective she cited concerned parents who’ve lost their job due to the pandemic. Despite that uncertainty, they can find fulfillment in the fact they now have some time to see their children.

“Just think about the opportunity that you have to be able to spend a lot of time with your family,” Arroyo-Contreras said. “Whereas before, that’s something that sometimes we didn’t have the time to do, because we’re constantly working, or doing outside things outside of home.”

Staff Writer Vincent Osuna can be reached at or 760-337-3442.

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