Hey guys, I’ve been depressed for, like, all of high school. And while I have had my fair share of absences (sometimes for months at a time), in my last couple months of high school, I have figured out some tricks that really work for me and help me get my butt out of bed and get to school.
My first tip is to be prepared. I have gotten into the habit of putting my books together, setting out my clothes, and even picking out little things like what makeup I’ll wear the night before. Not having to make the decision of what to wear in the morning not only saves me time, but it helps me feel less anxious. Sometimes, when I’m having a hard morning, I get so overwhelmed by having to pick out clothes that my clothes and I end up in a heap on the floor. Laying out clothes when the pressure is not quite as intense the night before prevents that piece of the morning meltdown. Sometimes, I’ll even sleep in my clothes if they’re comfortable enough.
My next tip is to change up your scenery. When I’m really struggling to get out of my bed, the next night, I’ll sleep somewhere else. Whether it’s on a couch or on the carpeted floor of my room (this hurts my back and neck, but sometimes it’s actually worth it to help me jumpstart in the morning), I will sleep in a different spot. This helps break up your brain’s pattern of not wanting to leave the same spot every day.
Tip number three: alarms. This one comes directly from my therapists (yeah, I have two because one just wasn’t enough to help me with my problems! That’s okay! You do what you gotta do to get by!). They suggested that I poke holes in a box, put my phone with the alarms set into the box, and leave it somewhere it across the room from where I’m sleeping. Then, they suggested that I tape the box shut. All of these steps serve a purpose. Poking holes in the box allows for me to be able to hear the alarms more easily. Plus, it’s so nice and satisfying to poke holes in the cardboard and get some of my stress out! The box is placed across the room from where I’m sleeping so that I actually have to get out of bed (the hardest part for me) to turn it off. I will admit, I have been guilty of letting it go off for a minute or two because getting up can be so hard, but I eventually get annoyed and get up and turn it off. The last step, which may seem like the strangest, is the tape. Taping the box shut allows you to have to complete a task first thing in the morning that is not typical for you. Ripping through tape, which is also very satisfying, just helps change up your patterns in the morning.
Combining all of these pieces is what has helped me the most. If I wake up on the couch, have to get out of bed and rip through tape and turn off my alarm, and then my clothes are right there all ready for me, it’s a lot easier for me to have some momentum to get moving and stay out of bed. I’m not saying that doing these three things will magically fix your depression. (Spoiler alert: they won’t.) But, they have really helped contribute to my not failing out of high school, as they get me up in the morning and help get me into the car and off on my way.
If you’re reading this and you’re struggling with depression or anxiety or just feeling crappy and having trouble getting up, I’m sending you all my love and all my hope that you can find what helps you make it through. If I can provide any tips and tricks that I’ve learned, I’ll do it!
Good luck. I believe in you!