For me, one of the biggest challenges of depression is getting out of bed. Not only am I NOT a morning person, if I haven’t had enough sleep or went to bed depressed, it can be difficult for me to get out of the bed any earlier than 10-12 AFTER I went to sleep. I wake up “disappointed” which is a challenging way to start the day. I’ve missed so many classes and skipped work simply because I was too tired/depressed to get out of bed.
When I was in junior high through high school, often my motivation for getting out of bed was that guy I was currently crushing on. Not that he ever knew about it but if I could just remember that I could spend some time that day day-dreaming about something that would never happen, I could crawl out of bed and get on with my day.
This motivation did not apply for college. First of all, for my freshman year I went to an “all girls” college in a misguided attempt to focus on school. Yes, I really did thing the absence of boys would stop me from fanticising about them. When I transferred to a local college there weren’t really many crush-worthy beings floated around. My greatest college crush revolved around a World Philosophy professor (I didn’t learn a THING but he had such a lovely voice). It took a LOOOOOOOOOOOOONG time for me to graduate from college because, as much as I loved class once I was there, I just couldn’t seem to make myself go for years and years.
For the first time in my life, I don’t HAVE to get up. Not saying this is a good thing; it’s just the way it is. So I go to sleep at about 5 am or later and wake up whenever I wake up. When I have a particularly frustrating set of days, my body starts sleeping later and later. And when I do wake up I don’t want to get up because I know that nice relaxed feeling is going to dissipate the moment I walk downstairs into chaos.
So I have to have a reason to get up. Today, as it is many days, it’s to get some deals at the grocery store. I started “couponing” a couple of years ago to “help out” and now I am addicted. I can’t get myself to be there when the store opens (as my mother and her mother would have done) but once I wake up enough to remember reality, I feel a sense of urgency about getting a move on.
I also try to have something I am looking “forward to” for the rest of the day. For today, it’s the second episode of Outlander which is pretty powerful motivation to get moving as it requires me to be parked in front of a TV at 9 pm if I want to watch it live.
I’m thinking about making lists. Not just lists of things I need to do, buy but also of things that will make me want to get up. Maybe I should just get a calendar and start filling in each day with things that will make me excited to get up that day. Once I’m up, I’m pretty good at staying in motion so I might manage to get a few more of the less enjoyable tasks accomplished, too.