Getting out of bed
Getting out of bed seems like the most mundane thing one can do in the morning. It can be annoying, and you might not always want to do it, but it’s still a relatively simple thing to do… right? Wrong. There have been times when no matter how much I need to do, and how much I hate myself for not getting out of bed, I can’t do it. I can’t do what is considered one of the most mundane morning activities; get out of bed.
When I was in middle school I was angry all the time, most of the time at nothing. I would yell at my mother, saying the meanest things, that looking back at now, are probably my only regrets in life thus far. In high school my mom suggested that I go to a therapist and there I discovered that I suffer from depression. I was categorized as “majorly depressed”, and being labeled that was debilitating for me. I was already having trouble doing the simplest things like, shower, do homework, and get out of bed, and now that I was named “majorly depressed” everything seemed even harder. It was like my body decided since I was depressed I wouldn’t have to do anything, like it was using depression as a catalyst or excuse. I started playing hooky from school, pretending to be sick, or have a migraine. One time I just didn’t get out of bed and waiting to see if anyone (my mom) would notice I didn’t leave the house. At the beginning of each school year, I would be super motivated to work hard and stay organized and on top of my work, but as the year progressed I would become less and less motivated. I would stop doing my homework, and I never really studied for tests anyway but I would stop caring about grades I got on tests. Then, I would hate myself for not working and not caring.
I struggled for years with my poor mental health. While I was lucky enough to have my wonderful mother as a support system, and I had tried therapy with little success, there were a lot of highs and lows throughout my high school experience. It wasn’t until my second year at university that I was determined to better myself and make a difference in my own life. I started the semester with my usual gung-ho, and yet again I started to slide down the slope. I missed a lot of class, but luckily I didn’t fall behind in the material. I kept asking myself, “why do you keep doing this?”, but it didn’t change anything. Finally, I decided to go to therapy again. I think the reason I decided to start therapy again is because it’s a resource there to help me, and who am I to refuse help? I’ve decided to go in there and tell the therapist what I want out of the experience and hopefully gain something.
I realized that the best to get out of bed is just to do it. Don’t think about it, don’t plan it, don’t hesitate, just do it. That’s how I succeeded in my first semester at university. I just sat down and worked. I had a routine and I stuck to it. It became so easy to do things. I didn’t have a hard time getting out of bed anymore. I just did it. I know this method isn’t going to work for everyone, so here are some other things that helped me get motivated.
1. Set goals! Ones that are easy to accomplish
Psychologist have done multiple studies on the relationship between goals and happiness, and achieving goals increase happiness. The tricky part though is when you set goals that are too hard to accomplish. That just gives you another thing to be upset/stressed about. You want something that will lift you spirits quickly and make you feel proud. Even if the goal is to shower every day this week, accomplishing that will do you wonders, I promise.
Here is the information of one study on the relationship between goals and happiness.
Emmons, R. A. (1986). Personal strivings: An approach to personality and subjective well-being. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 51, 1058–1068. http://dx.doi.org/10.1037/0022-3518.104.22.1688
2. Reward yourself!
If you accomplish something, or do anything good, reward yourself. You deserve a pat on the back because you and I both know how hard accomplishing anything can be. I finished all my homework the other day, and decided as my reward I would buy myself and curling hair wand, because I had been wanted one for a while.
3. Create a routine!
This probably helped me STAY motivated the most. When your routine becomes second nature, you don’t have to think about completing the tasks at hand.
4. Practice self-compassion
Every time you think or say something bad about yourself, combat it with something good and positive. I catch myself thinking I’m fat, and I respond with “yeah, but you’ve lost 10 pounds in the last two months”, which I had. Yay!
5. Take care of yourself
Exercise, shower, put on a nice outfit. You’d be surprised how much being clean and ‘put together’ can help with your mood. I normally wear makeup every day, but on days I feel particularly bad, I will fix my hair as well, and wear something special (like my favorite outfit).
6. Ask for help!!! Talk to people!
Chances are you’ll find someone going through a similar experience. Plus, socializing is a great excuse to get out your house and have some fun.
7. And last but certainly not least, realize there is nothing wrong with or bad about you.
Know that what works for one person might not work for you. You just have to try out a bunch of different stuff until you find what works for you. And know, that it is OK TO FAIL! You don’t need to get better right away. Things take time, and that is 110% ok. Anyway, you learn far much more from failure than from success, so just think how far ahead you’ll be of everyone else.
All in all, no one can make you do anything. You have to do it for yourself. And I know that’s hard and scary, but trust me when I say, you can do it. I did it, heck I’m still doing it. I have still yet to completely crawl out of my hole. But you know what, I’m climbing, and that’s all that matters.
by Kirby Gundlachby