Straight up, there’s no easy answer or secret recipe for this one . . . on how to get out of bed when your depression or mental illness is drowning you!
It’s fucking hard to get out of bed when all you want to do is sleep your life away.
So many days, I hoped that if I slept all day, I’d wake feeling not depressed.
I didn’t want to be depressed. I really didn’t. I lost count of the number of times I thought to myself, ‘This is not me. Why can’t I just snap out of it? I hate being like this!’
If sleep could ‘fix’ depression . . . how awesome would that be?
When you’re a mum, you can’t sleep the days away. You have little people relying on you to function . . . even at a very basic level.
Their basic human needs still need to be met even if you’ve given up on your own. They still need to be fed, watered, clothed and kept safe.
It’s hard. I know. You resent them and you resent being a mum.
Keeping yourself alive feels like hard work and then you’re responsible for keeping these little people alive too. It’s all SO much to deal and cope with.
But I want you to know you can do it.
I know it doesn’t feel like it but you can and they need you to. It’s not going to be easy but you are capable and stronger than you think you are right now.
So when you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning, remember that and use your little people as your reason to get up each and every day. They need you. Now and in their futures.
And remember, this, your depression, doesn’t have to last forever.
Want more strategies for getting out of bed in the morning?
I’ve got seven more . . . 12 in total!
So what worked for me to get out of bed every morning when I was struggling with my depression?
I took baby steps in approaching each and every day.
Seriously, I did one thing at a time and focussed on that one thing.
For me, my day starts with getting up and having a shower. It’s the first thing I do. I LOVE showers. And my bed. Those are my two favourite places in my house.
Back to the shower. I don’t worry or think about anything else . . . except for whether I wash my hair and/or shave my legs.
Most of the time, I didn’t bother shaving my legs because it took too much energy so I just wore long pants all the time. And if I didn’t have the energy for washing my hair, I’d just wear a hat if I was going to be seeing people during the day.
Otherwise, I just enjoyed my moments in the shower. The peace and quiet. The feel of hot water running through my hair and down my body. The peace and quiet. Wait . . . did I mention the peace and quiet?!
Shower time was, and still is, my Me Time. Not even the cat is allowed in the bathroom while I have my shower.
Side Note: This is what being present is all about. A lot of the experts will say that practicing ‘being present’ is a useful tool or strategy when it comes to managing your mental health. When our depression is fuelled by all the thoughts and feelings swimming around in our heads, it’s really nice to tune all that out by BEING PRESENT.
The next thing I focussed on was getting dressed. I made this really easy for myself by limiting my clothing options. Which wasn’t too hard as I was wearing baggy jumpers and jeans to cover and hide my body.
As you know, body image becomes a part of your depression too. Also, I avoided going out socially so it wasn’t like I had to put too much effort into the way I looked or dressed. I didn’t really care.
And I have to say . . . there’s no shame in simplifying your life like this.
This is a strategy that highly successful people use to reduce the amount of decision fatigue in their lives.
Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg choses to wear a grey t-shirt and jeans to work every day. President Obama favoured only blue or grey suits for the same reason. They literally wanted to preserve their decision-making ability for the many critical situations they faced each day.
Seriously, this is what worked, and still works, for me. ONE THING AT A TIME. Baby steps. That’s all I could cope with and even now, I want my life to be simple.
Try it for yourself.
Write a list of the things you need to do to get up and out of bed every morning.
Create your own ‘It’s Easy For Me To Get Out Of Bed When . . .’ list of steps. Then you’re not having to think about what you need to do to get up. You can physically cross the steps off your list, each and every morning.
That’s another thing too right . . . when you’re depressed you have limited mental bandwidth. Even the smallest or easiest things, take up SO much brain power and energy. It really is an effort just to exist. Depression is exhausting. So we need to make our lives as simple as possible to get through the day.
And consider sharing your ‘It’s Easy For Me To Get Out Of Bed When . . .’ list with your partner, your kids and the people you live with. Put a copy on the fridge as well as next to your bed. Show them what it takes for you to get out of bed each and every morning these days.
And where possible, get them involved and helping.
It’s hard to accept help when you’re depressed. I know. You already feel like a failure and like you’re not good enough. To accept help feels like these beliefs are true. They’re not.
Don’t know how to ask for help? Click here for How To Tell Someone How You’re Feeling.
The people you love and who love you, they want to help you. Let them by involving them in your morning routine.
Here’s 5 ideas on how to get out of bed in the morning:
- If your kids laughter and smiles motivate you, get them to help by asking them to jump on your bed every morning and tell you, ‘It’s wake up time Mummy . . . Come on get up. I love you!’
- If you have one, get your dog to jump on your bed and give you morning cuddles.
- Set your alarm to play your favourite song. Hearing it first thing might help you to get up and get moving.
- Think of five reasons why you need to get up today.
- Make a photo book and fill it with photos of your favourite people, memories, trips etc. Have it next to your bed so in the mornings you can flick through it when you wake to remind you of all the reasons why you should get up today.
Ready for more strategies for getting out of bed in the morning? Grab them here:
TO SUM THINGS UP:
- Getting out of bed in the morning is hard when you’re depressed. Create a simple morning routine to help ‘get you up and at ’em’.
- Ask your partner, kids or whoever you live with to help you by sharing with them what helps you get up in the morning.
- Pick one strategy and stick with it for a week or two. If that doesn’t work, try another one.
- When you’re struggling to get out of bed in the morning, remember your little people need you. Now and in their futures.
So . . . what gets you out of bed in the morning?