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No matter who you are or where you’re from, as long as you are a human being, you have probably experienced the feeling of wanting to pull the covers back over your head when the alarm goes off.
Sometimes, it happens after a romantic breakup. Sometimes, when we are having problems at work. And sometimes, it’s just because it’s the dead of winter and we are steeped in “blah.” The individual reasons are not terribly important—or at least, not quite as important as what we need to remember when we arrive unceremoniously at that awful place.
We need to remember, specifically, that there are ways to climb out—no matter what.
We all know that gravity can be ruthless. It can weigh us down and make it so that staying in bed seems like a good option—sometimes even the only option. When we succumb to inertia things only get worse, and this is how a little funk can become a full-blown bout of depression.
Want to prevent that disaster?
Here are a few things to remember:
1. Change is a-comin’. I was on a bus coming back from Manhattan on New Year’s Day when I could swear the world was coming to an end. I kept checking my phone for a text that wasn’t coming. I had to face the fact that the romance that I so desperately set my hopes on was not going to happen. I wasn’t sure if I was going to make it.
Here I am, two weeks later, and it seems rather silly. Everything is temporary and transient. Our lives, our heartbreaks, the line at the department of motor vehicles—it all eventually comes to an end, even if it feels like it never will.
2. You have a choice. Pushing against that 1000-pound weight of wanting to give up is great exercise. If you’ve ever read Mel Robbins’ 5 Second Rule, you know that there is a great deal of power in just doing the ole five, four, three, two, one, and bam! Out of bed you go! That really is 95 percent of the battle.
Besides that, it gets you prepared for number three.
3. Move a muscle, change a thought. I will be the first to admit that the first time someone said this to me 10 years ago, it kicked off some really dark fantasies of that person falling off a cliff. But I have been around long enough at this point to have realized that there really is truth in that statement.
If you get up and take a walk, take a ride, jump on the train—anything that results in movement—you are absolutely going to feel better, even if it is just for a few moments.
Remember that you are not looking for an eternal cure. When you can’t drag yourself out of bed, what you really need to do is get present, and not concern yourself with the future or the past. Chances are that one of those two things are what got you all messed up to begin with.
4. People love you. Again, I wouldn’t be bringing this up if I, too, didn’t experience amnesia with this important truth. I am the first one to get trapped in the mindset of thinking that all is lost when someone completely ignores my comment on a Facebook post or when my blogs sit there without a single view.
But the truth is, when I got quiet and really thought about it, I began to realize that sometimes, I focus on what makes me sad instead of what I need to feel grateful for. I suspect that if you have trouble getting out of bed, this could be true for you as well.
5. Life is a party. More specifically, it’s like a party in a mansion. If you limit yourself to the downstairs living room where everyone is drunk and starting fights, that is how you are going to perceive all of life.
Unfortunately, you will be missing the two people by the pool who are falling in love, the young girl in the driveway helping the old guy to his Crown Victoria, and the religious guy in the library giving comfort to the depressed guy who just received his divorce decree.
What you focus on is what your truth is. That being the case, do yourself a huge favor and focus on something better than whatever is making you not want to get out of bed.
If any of this sounds too pat and too easy, there’s one last thing you need to remember—it is easy. We, as humans, have a tendency to try to complicate everything. This does not tend to help us. Life, in its most organic form, is simple and beautiful, yet miraculous, all at the same time.
When we get outside ourselves for a moment and embrace this at its deepest level, we’re one step closer to jumping right out of bed, looking up to the sky, and saying, “Thank you.”