In moments like these, finding comfort in the safety of our beds or even under our blankets feels like the right thing to do. But it doesn’t necessarily make us feel better.
In fact, we may beat ourselves up and feel guilty because we can’t find the motivation to do things. For example, take care of ourselves, clean up our spaces, deal with our feelings, go to work or school, or talk to someone. And we feel stuck in our beds as the world continues to go on without us.
The truth is that we won’t feel stuck forever. We will eventually get up, but it takes time to give ourselves some grace and find the courage to do so. But you can do it.
Why can’t I get out of bed?
There are many reasons why we simply can’t get out of bed. At times, life just feels overwhelming, and it’s hard to deal with our stress and emotions. Or it could be a mental or physical health condition that is making us feel confined to our beds. N-o matter the reason, it’s okay to feel this way. And getting to the bottom of why we just can’t get out of bed can help us move forward.
Here are some reasons why you may not be able to get out of bed:
- You just experienced a big life event like the death of a loved one, a break-up, or a job loss, and the feelings of grief, rejection, loss, or failure are too overwhelming to deal with right now.
- Maybe you feel numb, like isolating from others, guilty, exhausted, or simply have no energy or motivation to do anything. These could be symptoms of depression.
- You feel scared–about the future or interacting with others, worried that something bad is going to happen, or life feels out of control. These could be symptoms of anxiety.
- Maybe you just feel off physically. You could be getting or just getting over a physical illness. Or tired from work or school, lack of sleep, or what food or substances you put in your body.
Reflecting on why getting out of bed is difficult is important. This is the first step you can take toward finding the motivation to get out of bed and confronting what is keeping you in bed in the first place.
If you think you are experiencing symptoms of depression or anxiety, consider taking a mental health test. This can help you see if you are experiencing a mental health condition and help you figure out your next steps.
Finding the motivation to get out of bed
Motivation is not the easiest thing to find. It takes energy. It takes effort. And we may not have any of either of those right now. And that’s okay. There are ways that we can get ourselves to get out of bed, even when we really, really don’t want to.
- Just take the first step. Roll on the floor. Put your feet on the ground. This is the hardest step. Eventually, you might get up and brush your teeth or use the bathroom. Then do this again, and again, and again. So that getting up becomes easier and more of a habit. Once you are up, try to stay up and out of bed.
- Think about your responsibilities. Maybe you have to feed your pet, water your plants, or go get the mail. These are all things that can get out of bed. Use these moments to get up and keep going.
- Think of something you want to do. Sometimes, pairing something we don’t want to do with something we do want to do helps to build motivation. For example, you don’t want to get out of bed, but you do want to listen to music. Listening to energizing music can give you the energy you need to get out of bed.
- Reach out to someone else. If you’ve tried to get out of bed on your own, and you still can’t, it may be a good idea to reach out to someone. You can reach out via text or phone to a loved one who can offer motivation or come over and give support. You may want to call into a warmline if you’re more comfortable getting support from someone other than a loved one. Or have a discussion on an online forum like Reddit or in a Discord or Facebook group. Sometimes, the motivation we can’t seem to find for ourselves can come from others.
- Do you need to talk to someone? If you feel trapped in your bed and cannot get out over a longer period of time (days or weeks), this is a sign that you could have severe depression. And you should reach out to a mental health professional.