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The Rule I Use to Get Out of Bed When Depression Doesn’t Want Me To

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Not a morning person? Welcome to the club. 

If you’re anything like me, getting out of bed is at the very least one of the worst parts of the day. I have major depressive disorder (MDD) and while “hating getting out of bed” is not one of the listed symptoms, struggling with sleeping too much and loss of interest in life are. And oh my, in those early morning hours, do I ever wish for nothing else than more sleep at the detriment to any plans, including work. 

The start of my mornings usually consists of a long argument with myself as to whether or not I really need to get moving.  Once that argument is over, I tend to be out the door in a half hour, which as you can probably imagine is a bit of a whirlwind affair. While I do my best to have things prepared the night before, I often find myself already frazzled before even starting work.

Then one day I had enough, and an epiphany came at the same time, and this is when I created my rule that gets me out of bed to work on time.

I’m not allowed to look at my phone until I’m completely finished getting ready.

It works shockingly well for me. 

I’m an Instagrammer, I enjoy perusing Facebook, and I have a few mindless games I like to waste time on. Amidst my morning argument with myself, it’s a usual thing for me to be scrolling at the same time. 

On the day I had my epiphany, I simply had a moment I said to myself, “put down your phone until after you get ready.”  So I did just that, and because I wanted to do my usual surfing, I quickly got ready and had time to spare.

It’s something I’ve continued doing and it really works; it pushes me to get going and I now usually have 10 or 15 minutes where I can sit down without rushing and enjoy my morning phone time. 

Now, of course, not everyone is as attached to their phone as I am, but you likely have something you look forward to in the morning. Maybe it’s your cup of coffee, reading the news, brushing your teeth or putting on your favorite socks. It doesn’t matter how big, small, or silly it is; if it’s something that motivates you, then use it! The main trick is you aren’t allowed to have whatever it is until you are fully ready for the day.

Mornings are still a pain, but with this rule, I’ve made them a little less painful and calmer. I hope this idea can help any of you who struggle to wake-up.

And in case you’re wondering, I use a real alarm clock, not my phone.

Photo by BRUNO CERVERA on Unsplash

Originally published: December 31, 2018
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