3 Realistic Ways to Get Out of Bed in the Morning
It’s 7 A.M., my alarm goes off, and I can’t get out of bed this morning. Some days, when I’m feeling really ambitious, I hit ‘snooze’ and crawl out of my covers nine minutes later. Most days, however, I turn off the alarm and return to the safety of my slumber. When I finally wake up hours later to afternoon sunshine forcing its way through my eyelids, I feel disoriented, disappointed, and dysfunctional. I wonder why I can’t leave my bed.
I can’t always identify the cause of my morning paralysis. Sometimes I’m stressed for the day ahead, whether there’s a legitimate reason to be or not. Sometimes I’m physically exhausted, despite 10 hours of sleep. Sometimes, there is no reason.
3 Simple Tips to Wake up and Get Out of Bed in the Morning
Everyone struggles to get out of bed in the morning at some point or another. Here are three tools to help your feet find the floor a bit faster.
1. Create a reason to get out of bed.
This may feel impossible, but one beautiful thing about life is that you can choose to do what nourishes you. You will still have days packed with responsibilities, but you will always have time to do one thing that you cherish. One moment to stop by your favorite café. One moment to hug a loved one. One moment to go for a short walk. When you wake up, create space in the coming day to do something deliberate. Even if it’s small, when you envision doing it, you will feel a sense of control and peace. Practicing this in the morning will remind you that you can create meaningful moments in your day.
2. Seek help from a friend.
Having a close friend to check that you’ve gotten out of bed can motivate you to rub the creases in your eyes and start the day on your feet. In addition to keeping you accountable, your friend might talk you through the process when your blankets and sheets are extra crispy-cozy. Sometimes I ask my mom to call me at a certain time to make sure that I’m out of bed. It’s important to choose a friend who will be supportive, not demeaning, when you struggle.
3. Do something before you check your phone.
When your phone is your alarm, it’s almost instinctive to refresh the inbox and start scrolling. However, going straight to your phone forces your morning inspiration out of the picture. It’s instant numbing, which isn’t a fabulous way to start the day. Now, this « something » can be the smallest thing. You don’t have to wait until your lunch break to check your phone. It can be bite-size. Stretch. Wash your face. Stand up and touch the wall. Open the blinds. Then, if you wish, pick up your phone. When you make this simple switch, odds are that you’ll spend less time on it.
Set Reasonable Goals For Getting Out of Bed in the Morning
It’s normal to feel motivated right after you set new goals. I fall victim to the classic goal-setting trap on a regular basis. I envision myself waking up each morning with a deep sense of purpose, going for a run, and preparing a nutritious three-course breakfast. I feel a surge of recommitment and I try to revolutionize my morning all at once. However, running headfirst into a well-meaning yet extreme goal like this is not sustainable. Three days in (maybe a week if I’m lucky), my resolve starts to crumble. I grow more discouraged than I was before.
I have learned that adjusting months (and possibly years) of habits happens gradually. Downsizing my goals until they are attainable has been a gamechanger. Instead of punishing myself for not reaching my goal, I rewrite the goal. Having realistic expectations of myself has been the most effective way to shorten the time I stay in bed each morning.
So start small. If it typically takes you an hour to get out of bed, reward yourself when it only takes you 57 minutes. If you’d like to exercise in the morning but have never woken up early enough, jog up and down the stairs and congratulate yourself for advancing closer to your goal. Recognize when you do a little better, and be gentle with yourself when you backtrack. Moment by moment, you can transform your mornings.
When you have a clinical mental illness, you might battle this on a deeper level. If these suggestions feel overwhelming to you, consider getting professional help. This article is directed to a more general audience to help with day-to-day wellness.