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A Plan to Get Out of Bed Despite Anxiety

November 10, 2016 Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

The idea of a plan to get out of bed despite anxiety might, at first, seem like the stuff of fairy tales. Like depression, anxiety can make it difficult to get out of bed (Waking Up with Anxiety. Why Can't I Just Get Out of Bed?). Any type of anxiety disorder can be life-limiting, causing people to want to, need to, remain in bed unable to deal with both themselves and the world around them. Despite how it may sometimes feel, you don’t have to remain a prisoner to anxiety. Try this specific plan to get out of bed and get going despite anxiety.

It’s true that anxiety disorders can be debilitating and can have such a strong hold that they keep people trapped in their own mind, in their own home, and even in their own bed. Getting out of bed despite anxiety is possible with a specific plan that takes place in not just the morning hours but all through the day and night.

A Purposeful Plan to Get Out of Bed Despite Anxiety

Anxiety disorders make it hard to get out of bed. You need a plan! Use this plan to get out of bed despite anxiety. Get going...read this.These steps will help put you in charge of your life and will help you get up and going. The first step is to select a journal, a pen or pencil that you like, and a spot beside your bed to keep them. Now you’re ready to put this plan into action.

Before bed:

Reflect on your day and jot down one, two, or three things that went well today. Teach yourself, through practice, to identify things about yourself and what you did well.

Waking up at night:

Frequently, anxiety wakes us up at night and keeps us awake with anxious, racing thoughts (Nighttime Anxiety and Getting Back to Sleep). Make good use of these times. Grab the notepad where you’ve noted things that have gone well. Choose something from your list, close your eyes and visualize it while breathing deeply.

In the morning:

Sit up, stretch, take a few deep breaths, and grab your notebook. Review what went well the previous days. Now, in your notebook, answer this solution-focused question: On a scale from one to 10, with 10 representing perfection, what number do you need to be at in order to get out of bed?

Next, what number do you feel represents you right now? How able are you to get up? Note that these numbers don’t need to be 10s because realistically, we can’t be perfect or experience perfection. In fact, if you feel that your ability to get up now is well below a five, that's okay. You can increase that number, and you can get out of bed despite a low number.

If your number is lower than the number you need to reach, what will you do to get it there? A great way to increase your number is to reflect on things you’ve written in your notebook and the things you thought about in the night. Close your eyes, breathe deeply, and visualize what has gone well, times when your anxiety is a little less than usual. Has your number inched closer to the number you need to get out of bed despite anxiety? Even small movement up the scale can be enough to toss aside the blankets and take steps away from the bed even though the anxiety is still there.

Determine an Action Plan to Stay Out of Bed Despite Anxiety

When you rise up out of bed and into your life, congratulate yourself and recognize this action as a true character strength. Getting out of bed despite anxiety is an act of courage; it’s bravery, it’s perseverance, it’s the refusal to give in to fear and anxiety.

You’re up. To help you stay up, determine an action plan. What little things can you do throughout the day, every day, to keep going despite anxiety? Also, catch yourself in the act of living. Notice when things are going well. Acknowledge what you’re doing right. Of course, remember these to jot down in your journal when you go to bed at night.

Anxiety can be strong and stubborn. Chances are, you are stronger and more stubborn. Following this plan to get out of bed despite anxiety will help you move ever forward. Show anxiety that you’re the one in charge.

Let's connect. I blog here. Find me on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, and Pinterest. My mental health novels, including one about severe anxiety, are here.

APA Reference
NCC, T. (2016, November 10). A Plan to Get Out of Bed Despite Anxiety, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2019, July 21 from https://www.healthyplace.com/blogs/anxiety-schmanxiety/2016/11/a-plan-to-get-out-of-bed-despite-anxiety



Author: Tanya J. Peterson, MS, NCC

Tanya J. Peterson is the author of The Mindfulness Journal for Anxiety, The Mindfulness Workbook for Anxiety, Break Free: Acceptance and Commitment Therapy in 3 steps, and five critically-acclaimed, award-winning novels about mental health challenges. She speaks nationally about mental health, and she has a curriculum for middle and high schools. Find her on her website, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.

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