I have struggled with depression for what feels like forty lifetimes, and I have found that reminding myself of these three things really helps me get up on those days when I’d rather lie under a pile of blankets and stare at the wall:
1. There are things to see outside. When I wake up, I try to go outside as soon as possible. Whether it’s just to take out trash, or to sit outside with a cup of coffee, going outside is a good boost. Even on the coldest day, just giving myself a few minutes outside can give me things to look at and think about. There are plenty of things just on your doorstep that you might find amusing. I think this trick also helps me to “peel the bandaid off” of going outside and facing the world of the public.
2. It’s a cycle. Remind yourself that if you stay in bed, you are just going to perpetuate a vicious cycle. Getting out of bed and going on with your day is the only way to break that cycle. As tempting as it is for me to want to stay in bed all day until a feel better, staying in bed never makes anyone feel better that’s not physically ill. Pushing yourself to get up, break the cycle, take a minute outside may seem like small potatoes to some people. But the rest of us know it’s a really big step some days.
3. You’ll never know until your try. It’s an old saying, but it’s true. Some days I really have to remind myself of opportunities and parties that I missed because I decided at the beginning of the day that it was going to suck. The decision was based in fear, but the reality is, you never know how good or bad a day is going to be until you try. And you never know if you can beat depression, unless you try.
This is a list of three things that may seem simple, but are absolutely not simple for anyone suffering from depression. Remember to practice self-acknowledgement when you’ve done something good. Don’t just get up, go outside, decide that you still felt sad and so that was a bust. Remember to give yourself some credit for getting out of bed, and for going outside, and for anything that you do that goes against your intense urge to plop facedown on your mattress and ignore everything. You deserve that credit.