As someone who has struggled with depression and anxiety for the majority of my life, I have firsthand experience with what it’s like trying to get yourself out of bed. Getting out of bed can be a struggle for everyone at some point, but when you’re in the midst of a bad depressive episode the only thing you want to do is sleep. That’s when having responsibilities can be a challenge because if you aren’t getting up, the consequences can be major. If you’re like me, you’ve probably grown tired of people telling you to just suck it up, and to get up and take on the day in spite of how you’re feeling. Sometimes that’s just not an option. Over the years I’ve come up with a short list of things I do that help me crawl out from under the covers, even on the worst days.
- Set up the coffee pot the night before. If you’re someone like me who deeply depends on coffee to get the day started, then the most beneficial thing you can do for yourself is remove all of the work and thinking from the morning. This may sound simple, but if all you have to do is get up and push a button to get your steaming cup of caffeine, it’ll be a lot less intimidating. Even better if you have a coffee pot with a timer! If coffee isn’t your thing, fill the teapot with water before you go to bed and have the teabag already in the cup so all that’s left to do is boil water and pour. This can work for any of your morning routines in the kitchen; whether
that’s prepping as much of your breakfast as possible, or getting the blender or toaster out for easy access! I can’t tell you how many times I’ve been able to get up easier, knowing all I had to do was push a button. Just try it, and tell me if it works for you!
- Clean up the kitchen. If you don’t do anything else before going to sleep, tidy the kitchen! It will make your morning so much easier. There is nothing worse than waking up to a sink full of dishes and a counter top scattered with pots, pans and last night’s leftovers. Of course this is easier said than done, and it can be difficult when depressed to muster up the energy to do this; but I’m telling you that waking up to a tidy kitchen will allow your mind to feel less cluttered. Plus it’ll be far easier to get breakfast ready to go and find the coffee pot! This doesn’t mean you need to scrub the sink, mop the floors and clear out the fridge; all you need to do is clear the counter tops and be done with it!
- Decide on your clothes before bed. You’re probably noticing that most of these tips take place the night before, and that’s because it is much easier to do things when you’re already awake versus when you’re dreading waking up. So tip number 3 is to decide on your outfit and how you’re doing your hair (if applicable) before you hit the pillow. You don’t even need to physically get the outfit ready—although that’s an added bonus! Just simply thinking about it, checking the weather, where your day is going to take you, and maybe just making a note about it in your phone so you don’t forget. It also helps to shower at night so you have less to do, and it takes you less time getting ready because you don’t have to moisturize or blow dry your hair. This tip can save you if you’ve woken up late, or struggled to get up; and it also takes the stress out of it in the morning.
- Book appointments for early morning. This tip generally works on days when you aren’t working, or in school or wherever it is you normally have to be 5 days a week. On my days off, I find it the absolute hardest to get myself away from my pillow and comforter. I have no obligations beating down on me, and no mangers expecting me to be at work. I tend to sleep in a lot later, and then I feel like I’ve already wasted my whole day—so what is even the point of getting up? I would be lying if I said there were days where I just… didn’t. However, I have found that by making an appointment for around 9 or 10am on my days off, it really helps get me motivated for the rest of the day. I mean of course there aren’t always appointments you need to book like doctor, dentist or counsellor, but if you make a plan with a friend to get together for coffee it’ll work the same! By making it earlier in the day it forces you to get up and be somewhere and gives your body time to adjust to the day. Then when it’s over and you’re home, it is slightly less tempting to dive into bed and cocoon yourself.
- Baby steps. If you are finding the thought of getting up and getting ready for the day, making breakfast, and driving to work extremely intimidating; try taking it slow. Get from your bed to the couch, and once you’ve adjusted move your way to the kitchen and start the coffee maker. Go back to the couch for a minute if you need to, and then go brush your teeth. Once you get started you’ll start to feel better and will be able to finish your routine. Put on some music if it helps!
Those are my 5 tips for getting out of bed when you’re depressed! I’m not going to be the one to tell you that exercise, meditation and essential oils are what will help, I mean I’m sure they would but they aren’t the only options! Not to mention, they can tend to feel kind of overwhelming. These tips are more like basic survival skills when in a time of need. I hope these helped you, and if they did I would love to hear about it! Depression is different for everyone, so if you have any other helpful tips please feel free to comment them down below!
Thanks for reading,