These 10 Tips Can Help You Get Out of Bed when you have Depression
We’ve all experienced that feeling of waking up and thinking, “I do not want to get out of bed.” Sometimes your bed feels like the most comfortable place in the universe. Other times you don’t want to face the day’s upcoming activities.
And if you’re living with depression, the very thought of getting out of bed on some mornings brings you to tears.
If you feel like you can’t get out of bed with depression, you’re not alone. Like you, millions of others experience overwhelming sadness, loss of interest in doing anything productive, and an irrefutable urge to isolate themselves from the world. And to make matters worse, depression can wreak havoc on your sleep-wake schedule, making it physically more difficult to motivate yourself to start your day.
While there’s no magic formula to overcome feeling too depressed to get out of bed, there are some things you can do to make it a little bit easier.
Tips to Help You Get Yourself Out of Bed With Depression
We know living with depression can be a daily struggle. So when you consider the following tips, be gentle with yourself. Start by implementing one or two. Then work up to more.
And remember, there is no linear path when it comes to feeling better when you have depression. So if you find yourself mastering getting out of bed for a few days only to find yourself in a deep pit of depression the next day, give yourself some grace and do what you can.
1. Stick to an enjoyable routine
Because depression can impede your decision-making, it’s a good idea to create a routine that is easy to stick to. And when you include small activities in your morning routine that aren’t horrible, you’re more likely to get out of bed.
In other words, don’t set an alarm clock and make yourself get up and run five miles and race the clock to get to work on time. That’s not enjoyable. (Unless it is for you.) Instead, consider factoring in some gentle, relaxing waking-up time that could include:
- Coffee or tea in the sunshine
- Gentle stretching
- Deep breathing exercises
- Playing with your pet (not in your bed if you can help it)
Then get ready for the day by doing things in approximately the same order each day, such as eating breakfast, showering, brushing your teeth, getting dressed, kissing your dog farewell, and heading out the door.
2. Boost your mood with light therapy
Serotonin is your “happy hormone.” The more your body produces, the more relaxed and content you feel. Sunlight is a natural way to increase serotonin levels in the brain, which is why people might feel glum when they don’t see the sun for days on end.
Getting 10-15 minutes of sunlight first thing in the morning will give you a serotonin and energy boost to help you take on the day. Direct sunlight is best, but it’s okay to open the blinds if it’s too chilly outside.
Or, if you live in an area that doesn’t get much sunlight, consider investing in a light therapy lamp.
Related Post: What is Depression and What Are the Best Treatments?
3. Set one goal per day
If you feel too depressed to get out of bed and have a million things on your to-do list that you have to get done, you’ll likely feel overwhelmed and less likely to remove yourself from the comfort and safety of your bed.
When you wake up, rather than running down the list of everything you “need” to get done, think of one single thing you’d like to accomplish and focus on that. It can be something small, like paying one bill.
Or it can be something like attending a new fitness class or organizing your linen closet. No goal is too small or too silly. And when you complete it, you’ll feel great about it and ready to set another goal for the next day.
4. Adopt a pet
Pets can have a profoundly positive impact on your mental health. Whether you get a dog, cat, hamster, or even a fish, it’s great to know you are unconditionally loved by a furry (or scaly) friend. Their dependence and companionship cause what is known as “the pet effect,” helping people feel fewer symptoms of depression, stress, and anxiety.
And you can’t take care of a pet while lying in your bed. You have to get up to walk the dog or feed your cat. Consider making part of your morning routine playing with your pet. That’s a great way to start your day!
5. One step at a time
If you stay all snuggled up in your warm bed, thinking about how much you don’t want to get up, you’ll never get there.
Instead, focus on one thing at a time. Sit up, put your feet on the floor, open the blinds, go to the bathroom, and so on.
These are small steps, but when considering how to live with depression, any steps in a positive direction are huge.
6. Make Plans
When you find yourself settling into a pattern where you can’t get out of bed with depression, take the initiative to text or call a friend and make plans for today or a day in the future. Plan to meet them for coffee, lunch, or a walk around the block.
Having something to look forward to is an excellent motivator for getting you out of bed.
7. Take a “Mental Health Day”
You know what? Living with depression is hard. Some days are harder than others. And once in a while, you just need a break. Don’t be afraid to take a “mental health day” once in a while.
Even if you spend the day home in your bed watching Netflix, reading, or playing video games, cut yourself some slack and give yourself permission from time to time. Just don’t make a habit of it!
8. Set multiple Alarms
This is probably the most uncomfortable of the tips. But if you find yourself too depressed to get out of bed even after hearing your alarm, try the tried and true method of setting multiple alarms.
You can set one up across the room, forcing you to get up and on your feet. Sometimes just stepping out of bed is the hardest part.
9. Reach out to an accountability buddy
When thinking about how to live with depression, you might feel like you’re alone in your struggles. First of all, that’s not true. 47 million Americans struggle with depression.
Secondly, asking for help from friends and loved ones is a sure-fire way to help you on your journey to feeling better. When you find yourself too depressed to get out of bed, text a trusted friend or appointed accountability buddy and let them know you’re having a rough morning. If they’re a true friend, they’ll let you know how loved you are and offer an encouraging word.
Or, if you have a significant other, ask them to help motivate you to get out of bed by making you breakfast, coffee, or even taking your warm, comfy blankets. Nothing like a little tough love to motivate you sometimes!
10. Get help
Perhaps the most important tip on getting you out of bed with depression is not keeping your mental health concerns to yourself. Depression is a serious mental illness that requires professional treatment.
No matter how long you’ve been struggling with depression or specifically the inability to get out of bed due to depression, getting help for depression as soon as possible is a wise decision.
Related post: Finding the Best Depression Treatment in San Diego
Get Compassionate Depression Help at BOLD Health in San Diego
If you are in the San Diego area, contact our team of caring, experienced mental health professionals who are ready to help you learn the tools and strategies to help you get out of bed in the morning and live a more fulfilling life.
At BOLD Health, you’ll get an individualized treatment plan specifically designed to meet you where you are. Our holistic approach looks at your whole self, not just your depression.
We’ll curate a treatment plan to address your mental health concerns, taking into consideration the biological and psychological foundation of who you are.
Don’t wait to get the help you need. Contact us today!