Living with depression is hard for many, no matter the symptoms being experienced. Sometimes, just the act of getting out of bed can seem like a major hurdle. It may not be easy but there are ways to be able to surpass the morning depression and get a start on the day.
Create a morning routine
Having a routine to try and stick to can motivate you into getting out of bed. According to Renee Garfinkel, Ph.D., establishing a morning routine may need to be more of a conscious choice. Depression can make you wonder why you should get out of bed at all. Having a routine that feels automatic can give you less time to dwell in the mindset. Start slowly, by sitting up, then pushing your pillows up, and then making the bed. Sometimes just the act of sitting up can get you closer to getting out of bed. This way you can start looking at your morning in a more gentle and positive way.
Considering having a pet be your motivation
Having a pet is possibly one of the best ways to tackle depression and can help motivate you to get out of bed in the morning. According to Alan Beck, the director of the Center for the Human-Animal Bond at Purdue University, “All people report feeling less lonely in the presence of animals – even birds. Animals are good for everyone, but particularly for anxious and depressed people. For one thing, pets keep us anchored in the present and distract us from negative or anxious thoughts.” Pets help you focus on the present because you must pay attention to their care as well as your own.
Listen to music
According to Timothy J. Legg, Ph.D., research shows music can be a great way to boost your mood and improve symptoms of depression. It may also help you strengthen your reception of positive emotions. Music has therapeutic abilities and people who suffer from morning depression have found their solace in music. Listening to upbeat music or song first thing in the morning will lift your mood to start your day.
Bright light therapy is often recommended for people with major depressive disorder with a seasonal pattern or sleep disorders. In a study conducted by Dr. Raymond Lam and his colleagues from the Department of Psychiatry at UBC and Vancouver Coastal Health Research Institute, light therapy was tested. “These results are very exciting because light therapy is inexpensive, easy to access and use, and comes with few side effects. It’s important to find new treatments because our current therapies don’t work for everyone. Patients can easily use light therapy along with other treatments such as antidepressants and psychotherapy,” Lam said in a press release.
Talk yourself through each step
Your degree of motivation, enthusiasm, and positive self-talk is what can help change your attitude of being able to get up out of bed. On harder days, you can take it slow and let your morning routine take its natural course. You can begin to narrate everything that you do, like opening your eyes and simply sitting up on the bed. You continue and assess what you need to get accomplished in the day with a positive mindset. According to Dr. Gregg Jantz, “Overcoming depression requires a multifaceted approach – both internally and externally. While there are many thought patterns that you can shift internally to help shake the feeling of depression, oftentimes people struggling with depression need external help.”
Reach out to someone
If you need extra help, you can reach out to someone for help. If you live with someone, ask them to come in and wake you or sit with you as you wake up. It can be anything from making coffee or making sure you’re out of bed before they leave for work. Find someone you are comfortable talking about your struggles with. Most people are compassionate and will be willing to help. It is important to remind yourself that you are not a burden and those who love and care for you will likely be happy to help. You can also seek help from a professional that will help you in a deeper way and find what is right for you to start feeling better.
Sometimes, it’s OK to just stay in bed
There will be days when you just don’t think you can get up at all, and that’s OK. As long as you remember to try and take care of your responsibilities, like calling off of work. It is fine to take a mental health day if you are feeling overworked and overwhelmed. Taking time to yourself can be important, but if it is a crisis, make sure to reach out for help. Remember, mental health is just as important as physical health.