Five Things to Do When You Can't Get Out of Bed

Wednesday, May 06

By Rebekah Crinean

I’ve been there. Through poor mental health or just plain quarantine blues, some days you just don’t want to get out of bed. It sucks. To help you out, here are five things you can do to hopefully help you get started with your day.

1. See what you can achieve from your bed.

If you’re struggling to get out of bed then ideally the first bit of advice would be to simply make yourself get up. But that isn’t always possible or helpful advice. Sometimes, even just getting up can take all your energy. So see what you can do from bed. Do you have a hairbrush within arms’ reach? Brush your hair. Do you have some clothes lying around? Try and get them on. Use deodorant, put on some lip balm, do anything you can that begins the cycle of productivity.

2. Talk to someone.

Most of us keep our phones next to our bed overnight, so use that! Pick it up but do not start scrolling on social media – that’s a guaranteed trap to keep you glued to your screen (and your bed) for hours. Message a friend, or call a loved one. You can tell them that you’re having trouble motivating yourself or even just chat to them, but chances are that talking to someone who loves you will help you get started.

3. Capitalise on your bathroom trips.

At some point, you’re going to need to drag yourself to the bathroom. Once you’re up, stay there. Brush your teeth, if you can. Showering? Even better! If you like, spritz yourself with some perfume or cologne so you smell nice. The point is not about starting your entire morning routine and doing absolutely everything. It’s about doing a few small things for yourself to nudge your brain into Doing The Thing.

4. If you do end up back in bed, don’t be mad about it.

Here’s the thing; when it comes to your mental health, pretty much everything is easier said than done. It’s a mental health problem for a reason. The issue isn’t your physical ability to achieve something, it’s about the mental block that stops you getting there. So even if you do end up crawling back into bed or just not getting out of bed in the first place, remind yourself that that is okay. Forgive yourself, as hard as it may seem. Some days are really just not the one, and that isn’t your fault. Give yourself an hour or so and try again. Maybe you’ll spend the whole day in bed today, but you amp yourself up enough to get up tomorrow. That’s great! Small steps are totally key.

5. Once you get up, take it easy.

An inability to get out of bed is a sign that your brain is just not feeling it that day. Be kind to yourself. That might look like face masks and eating fresh fruit and doing something nice with your hair, or it might look like sitting on the couch with a family size bag of Doritos and occasionally crying. There is no wrong way to do it. All you have to do is stay out of bed until either you feel better, or it is a reasonable time to go to sleep. You can always try again tomorrow.

Mental health problems aren’t easy on anyone, and lockdown has a lot of people in that mindset of ‘what’s the point in getting up?’. But if the line is starting to get blurred between a lazy day and an inability to get out of bed, it’s time to review. And if you’re struggling, talk to someone. There are mental health services you can access, forums with people who understand your experiences, counsellors if you need them. There are friends and family members who love you, and want to see you doing well. Talking helps. Take care of yourself.

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