This past weekend, I had a minor depressed episode. I spent most of my two days off in bed. I’d eventually stumble out to get some food or go to the bathroom, but I spent too much time between my sheets. My energy was low. I had a hard time accomplishing anything. All I wanted to do was sleep. The inertia of depression is powerful! By Sunday afternoon, I had had enough. There was work to be done, and goals to be accomplished. Here’s what I did:
Get some light. Turn on the lights, open the blinds, get that vitamin D. It is very hard to get out of bed when you’re in the dark.
Just get out of bed. Easier said than done, I understand. But as soon as you get one foot on the floor, the other will follow.
Make the bed. You will be less likely to crawl back under the covers if the bed is made.
Clean up. Take a shower, wash your face, put on a little makeup if you want to. Get presentable, even if you’re not going anywhere.
Get dressed. Again, even if you are staying home, put on some pants.
Eat. Fill up your belly with some protein, some carbs, and a little fat. If you need caffeine, get your fix.
Fight the urge. Look how far you’ve come! Don’t you dare get back in that bed!
Accomplish whatever you can. So maybe you’re not ready to conquer that huge essay, but can you do some other work? Are there simple tasks to be done? Can a big project be broken down into simple steps?
Reward yourself. I like to give myself fruit snacks when I do what I’m supposed to do. Find something small and sweet to keep you motivated. You can also give yourself five minutes of social media time, but make sure you stick to five minutes.
Exercise. Take a break to get your blood pumping. Take a 15-20 minute walk.
Get a pep talk. Call or text someone you care about.
Stay where you are. If you keep getting the urge to go back to bed, stay in your spot. Sit at your desk until the urge passes. Distract yourself by watching a quick YouTube video or reading a blog post. If you need to, get up and clean something. Do the dishes, put away your clothes, anything but get back in bed.
At the end of the day, reward yourself with a good night’s sleep. You earned it! You will sleep better at night if you don’t sleep all day, and you will wake up in the morning rested.
It’s very difficult to fight the desire to stay in bed. Sometimes we need some extra time under the covers, but it’s important to know when it’s becoming excessive. When we stay in bed too long, we lose control of other areas of our life like school and work, which only makes things worse. When we get out of bed, we are saying yes to ourselves and yes to our priorities. We are fighting depression!
How do you fight the urge to stay in bed all day? I’d love to hear your thoughts!