When depression makes it hard to get out of bed, small steps and self-care help you find the motivation to get out of bed; here are 20 practical tips to start your mornings.
There are days when it is very hard to find the motivation to get out of bed when you live with depression. For many, mornings are the hardest. The thought of starting your day, engaging with others and doing things can be overwhelming.
However, it must happen. Taking small action steps make a big difference. Positive self-talk and giving yourself grace are also very important. Below are some action tasks that have helped me over the past few years to start my day when everything in me wanted to stay snuggled in my bed not facing the world.
1. Get an Annoying Alarm Clock
Get an alarm clock that is loud and impossible to ignore. Place it on the other side of the room so you have to physically get out of bed to turn it off. This extra effort helps kickstart your day and your motivation to get out of bed.
2. Write Down Affirmations
Start your day by writing down a few things you are grateful for and an affirmation. Your affirmation can be simple and action-based – “Today I will find the motivation to get out of bed and be productive.” Putting your thoughts on paper helps motivate you.
3. Create a Morning Routine
Having a set morning routine helps your body go into auto-pilot. Even if it’s just showering, brushing your teeth, and getting dressed – having those small steps matter. They build the motivation to get out of bed.
4. Ask for Help
Don’t be afraid to reach out to your support system for help getting going in the morning. Having accountability from loved ones helps provide motivation to get out of bed.
5. Get Dressed Immediately
Make it a point to get dressed as soon as you get out of bed. Laying your clothes out the night before makes this easier. Getting dressed puts you in the mindset to start your day.
6. Make Your Bed
Making your bed first thing prevents you from crawling back in. It also gives you a sense of accomplishment to check off your first task of the day.
7. Hydrate with Water
Keep water by your bed to drink when you first wake up. Hydration increases energy and the urge to use the bathroom gets you moving.
8. Recruit a Morning Person
Ask an upbeat morning person friend to call and motivate you to get up and start your day. Some positive energy can be just what you need.
9. Allow a Day Off Occasionally
It’s okay to give yourself a pass and spend a day in bed occasionally. Just be mindful that one day doesn’t turn into a week.
10. Talk to Yourself Kindly
Be gentle with yourself. Talk to yourself as you would a friend who needs encouragement. “You’ve got this! One step at a time.“
11. Move Around
Even if you stay in bed at first, move your body. Stretch your legs and arms, roll your ankles – any movement helps wake you up.
12. Listen to Upbeat Music
Play energizing music to distract your mind and fill the quiet. Happy music also stimulates dopamine.
13. Make a Checklist
Having a checklist of small tasks helps you gain a sense of accomplishment as you check them off. You can do this!
14. Call Someone Who Gets It
Connect with friends dealing with depression too. Saying “Today is tough, I could use some motivation” helps you feel less alone.
15. Make a Short To-Do List
Write out 3-5 simple tasks and reward yourself after completing them. Small accomplishments motivate bigger ones.
16. Let in Natural Light
Open the blinds first thing in the morning. Daylight aids productivity and improves your mood.
17. Do Something You Enjoy First
Start your morning by doing something fun like reading, puzzles or cooking. It reminds you life has joy.
18. Get Some Fresh Air
Open your windows or step outside briefly. Fresh air gives you an energy boost.
19. Try Meditating
Clear your mind doing 5 minutes of meditation. Breathe deeply and focus on the present moment.
20. Take Your Medications
If prescribed medication, stick to the schedule. Talk to your doctor about supplements to boost morning motivation.
The most important thing is to be patient with yourself. Getting through depression takes time. Implement one or two small changes at a time. Find what works best for you. On the toughest days, celebrate even the smallest wins like finding the motivation to get out of bed or brushing your teeth. Over time, those small victories will motivate bigger ones. Don’t lose hope. There are many resources and people who want to help you. You can do this!