How Can I Get Out of Bed on Days I Feel Depressed?
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Depression can have wide-reaching effects on your life. If you have major depressive disorder (MDD) or another mood disorder that causes you to feel depressed, managing your symptoms is important. Left unaddressed, depression symptoms can become more intense and debilitating. Overcoming the symptoms of depression is often challenging. This can be especially true for college students.

College can come with a wide range of rewarding, enriching experiences. However, it also often comes with a host of unique challenges. Some of these challenges — such as meeting deadlines and managing your time — can be made more difficult by depression. When you feel depressed, your regular activities tend to require more effort. Feeling low and unmotivated can make it hard to complete even simple tasks like getting out of bed. If getting out of bed on days when you feel depressed feels like climbing a mountain, you are not alone. Fortunately, there is a way forward. By taking the right steps, you can find a way to get out of bed and start your day on a brighter note.

Tips to help you get out of bed when you’re feeling depressed

  • Start small — When you’re feeling low, your regular tasks can seem overwhelming. If you feel overwhelmed by the day ahead, try to start small. Break each task or activity into smaller, more manageable tasks. It can help to start with something simple and achievable like brushing your teeth. Starting with a simple task is a great way to build momentum as you move into the rest of your day. Once you get the ball rolling, you can gradually tackle bigger tasks as you go along. When you’re feeling depressed and having trouble getting out of bed, try not to think about the whole day ahead. Instead, try focusing only on your very next activity. Starting small and taking tasks one at a time can be highly effective in improving your motivation level.
  • Get moving — Try starting your day with some physical activity. Even if it’s just a short walk or some quick stretching, a little exercise can go a long way. Exercise releases endorphins, which are natural feel-good chemicals produced by your body. By moving your body shortly after you wake up, you can give your mood and energy levels a boost. Your morning routine doesn’t need to be strenuous. Physical activity can take many different forms. Doing some push-ups or going for a light morning stroll can be a great way to get some exercise without needing to go to the gym. By practicing some light physical activity after you wake up each morning, you can improve your alertness and feel more motivated to tackle the day.
  • Make a schedule — Does your daily routine lack structure? Having no consistent routine can make your life feel more chaotic and hinder you from feeling motivated. If you do not have specific times allocated for coursework, for example, it can be hard to get started on an assignment. Fortunately, the solution is simple: making a schedule. Sticking to a schedule can provide stability, making it easier to navigate each day. A consistent schedule starts with a regular wake-up time. Setting alarms and following a consistent sleep schedule can improve your ability to get up in the morning, even on days when you’re feeling depressed.
  • Reach out — Depression can be hard to deal with alone. By reaching out to others, you can get more support. As a college student, some people you might reach out to include parents or guardians, trusted professors, and on-campus counselors. Talking to someone else about how you are feeling can be a great source of comfort. You may also gain a fresh perspective by voicing your thoughts and feelings. When you are facing the challenges that come with mental health symptoms, it can also be helpful to connect with a professional. Seeking professional treatment can be crucial to long-term mental wellness.

Get help managing your depression with Lightfully U

Want to take steps toward lasting mental health improvement? With Lightfully U, you can get professional help in treating your feelings of depression and other symptoms. Our specialized Virtual Intensive Outpatient Program (vIOP) is designed to help college students address their mental health concerns and improve their overall condition. Everything we do is based on a data-driven approach that centers on the client. We treat each client as a whole person and provide care rooted in both evidence and compassion. With our help, you can find new motivation to get out of bed each day.

Change is possible. When you’re ready to take the first step in treating your feelings of depression, reach out to us. We’ll take the next steps together, toward the fullest, brightest version of you.

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