Getting Out of Bed When You're Depressed

When you're too depressed to get out of bed, it can make it difficult to get your day started. It feels like the weight of the world has immobilized you. Depression makes getting out of bed feel pointless. It's hard to enjoy mornings when it's hard to enjoy anything at all.

One of the few of the benefits of getting up early (around 5am... I know, that sounds intense!) is that you get up before the rest of the world does. You get moments of peace and quiet where you can do whatever you want. You get some you time. If you find yourself not having enough hours in the day, getting up earlier grants you more productivity hours where you can focus on doing things that make you happy. 

But, what if you have a hard time following get-out-of-bed-early routines because depression is always looming overhead? The advice that works for others to simply adjust their schedules, doesn't really apply to you. You're too depressed to get out of bed in the first place.

Tips for waking up early when you're too depressed to get out of bed

1. Find a mundane reason to get out of bed

One of my favorite things in the world is the taste of bacon. To start my morning off on the right foot, I normally have three slices of bacon and this is my "reward" for making it out of bed. Find something simple, a mundane reason, to get out of bed.

These reasons could be:

You want to reward yourself for being able to get out of bed, even on the days where depression is kicking you hard.

2. Don't get on your phone

It's tempting to check your e-mails or social media the first thing in the morning, but you know that you'll end up laying there, longer than you anticipated, scrolling through your feeds. Even worse, you might read something triggering or upsetting that sends you into a bad mood.

Instead of checking your phone first thing in the morning, opt for writing down what you dreamed on a notepad next to your bed. Maybe grab a book and read a few pages.

If you do want to check your social media, be sure that you've already brushed your teeth, combed your hair, and gotten ready for the day.

3. Get to bed, earlier

It's easier to wake up in the mornings, when you've gone to sleep at a decent hour. However, insomnia might make it difficult for you to fall asleep (which you should see a doctor about, since poor sleep is linked to depression). I try to aim for an 11pm bedtime and opt for melatonin (ask your doctor, before trying melatonin) when I'm having a bad time trying to fall asleep.

When trying to get to bed earlier, be sure to:

  • Turn off all blue screens (phone, laptop, tv.)
  • Cut off the caffeine after 5pm.
  • Get comfortable and close your eyes.

4. Put your phone on do not disturb

Turning off the alarms on your phone (except for the wake-up alarm) allows you to sleep without people waking you up at odd hours. This cuts off the temptation to just "check your phone once" and end up "replying only once." Before you know it, you've fallen down a rabbit hole of responding to all the messages you're getting, and browsing the internet while waiting for the next response.

This will also help you get to sleep earlier and prevent a text message from waking you up.

5. Forgive yourself when you can't manage to get out of bed

Waking up earlier and creating a healthier sleeping pattern isn't about being perfect. Even if you only manage to do it twice a week and then struggle the rest of the week, that's fine. You're trying.

Remember that this is not about being perfect and it's more about trying to sleep in a healthier manner, consistently. You'll eventually build a habit out of it, especially if you reward yourself, like from tip #1.

The miracle morning

One of the most realistic resources on waking up earlier, is The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod. Hal Elrod's book outlines a step by step guide on how you can start waking up earlier. 

Adjusting your sleep could help you feel a little bit better, throughout the day. Give it a go!

Written by Mayhem#0013 (Mayhem)