There are a number of reasons that I struggle to get out of bed:
In the winter, I wake up sore, stiff, and achy, because the colder, overnight temperatures have leached away the warmth in my hips and back. I don’t want to get out of bed and leave the relative warmth of my bed. Instead, I lay there hurting until I finally get up.
The change in my medication the last few months has affected my sleep and digestion system negatively. The effects are particularly intense right after I make the adjustment. I wake up with extreme exhaustion and can barely open my eyes. I then lay there trying to motivate myself to get out of bed.
I hit snooze and I scroll through the internet. I respond to emails and try to feel motivated to get out of bed. Finally, at the last minute, I get up and immediately put on my warm (albeit holey) cashmere sweater and make hot tea.
Sometimes anxiety paralyzes me. I wake up with a thousand thoughts that all compete with each other for my attention. I fixate on one and then another. I began to feel sick to my stomach and tense. Finally, I cannot take the tension anymore, and I get out of bed to break the cycle of worry.
This is How I Work to Cope with Feeling This Way:
- I plan ahead for a buffer in my morning.
I want to give myself enough time to wake up, no matter how slow (well maybe not extremely slowly) that process is. I plan for it so it doesn’t become another thing that I worry about, and that frustratingly becomes another barrier to waking up.
- I have been practicing meditating.
I am focusing on my breathing instead of letting my thoughts run wild. It’s so hard for me, but I’m trying to incorporate a constant practice that I can then call on when I am vulnerable. For example, when I wake up anxious, sore, or exhausted (or more recently: all three).
- I forgive myself for not being able to keep to my habits and routines.
I forgive myself for not being able to wake up quickly and start my day as I normally would. I accept that right now I need my buffers and delays.
- I do what I can when I can.
If I wake up too sore and unwell to eat, I don’t pressure myself to make a meal and eat immediately. I let myself wait until I’m hungry and instead focus on what I can do instead—like make and drink tea, take care of hygiene, and take my medication. If I can’t do all of these things immediately, I also give myself permission to delay them. Delayed is better than never. Having a buffer helps me to forgive myself for delaying my routines.
- I remind myself that this will not last forever.
Instead of focusing on how frustrating these mornings are and what I cannot do, I try to remind myself that this is temporary. Every morning will not be like this and if I work on the first four things, they will be better, no matter whether my body cooperates or not.