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Waking Up with Anxiety. Why Can’t I Just Get Out of Bed?

Coping with morning anxiety. Tips to start the day and manage panic. From Kate White, Treating Anxiety blog.

Is your anxiety worse in the morning? Do you think, ‘why can’t I just get out bed’?

I’m rarely on speaking terms with breakfast. The thought of getting up, a whole new day, it can be paralyzing. I’m told it isn’t this way for everyone. Nor does a cup of coffee fix it, would that it could. If you have an anxiety disorder, or experience panic, it’s not uncommon to find mornings particularly tough.

I used to chalk it up to depression, tell myself to get up anyway, fast, like ripping a bandaid off. Except that doesn’t always work, and it isn’t just depression. That’s a myth (‘just depression’? Please.). It’s like waking up everyday and realizing I still haven’t fixed the problem. It’s only too easy to get down on myself but what’s really happening?

Waking Up With Anxiety

Coping with morning anxiety. Tips to start the day and manage panic. From Kate White, Treating Anxiety blog. Waking up to anxiety isn’t just demoralizing, it’s debilitating. It can have very real consequences for your relationships, work, financial life. Worry, the million and something-odd things I’ve got going on, they make me feel full before I’ve begun. My head racing so far and so deep into everything that it all comes at me at once. A flood. The subsequent anxiety response by my entire nervous system isn’t a surprise. Like little holes poked exactly in my weak spots, exactly where they shouldn’t be.

Ways to Get Out of Bed with Anxiety

Organize Your Way Out of a Cardboard Box

Sometimes I ‘rescue’ myself by doing things. Many things. In no particular order. I’m too anxious to order anything, and what if it isn’t perfect, what if I’m not okay enough today? Trapped in questions, it’s better to do, even if I get nothing done. A Nike ad gone slightly wrong. The end product of these thought processes may be a sense of powerlessness, isolation, frustration, failure, or doing it all wrong even if things go right.

Analyze Anxiety and Be Good to Yourself

  • Examining your sleep quality, if not quantity
  • Starting the day with something you enjoy
  • Taking the focus off time, and other pressures
  • Stretching, slowing down, breathing techniques
  • Eating for mental health and energy (maybe save the caffeine for later)

Recognize the Cycle of Your Anxiety

Coping with morning anxiety. Tips to start the day and manage panic. From Kate White, Treating Anxiety blog.

Recognizing the pattern as part of having an anxiety disorder, I feel less of the negative, like I can start again. And again. As many times as it takes. It’s a way to get into my day gently, treating my anxiety with compassion, knowing it’s all about where I’m at now.

“Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible.” ~ Dalai Lama

I can mind going back to the beginning, and I can resent it all -the baby stepping, myself, the circumstances which put me there- but I need to do it all the same. It’s a way to remind myself I don’t have a crystal ball because too often I panic when I think I do.

37 thoughts on “Waking Up with Anxiety. Why Can’t I Just Get Out of Bed?”

  1. i’m in highschool and i have been suffering with anxiety and panic attacks since i was in the 6th grade since i started taking medicine years ago i have been fine but recently my my anxiety has been terrible and have panic attacks everyday pretty much. i hate the feeling and o for sure hate it when i’m at school and around other people. so i have missed quite a bit of school and i just don’t know what to do i can’t find the motivation to get up and go anymore because i worry about having anxiety at school. Not to mention it seems like non of my teachers understand and i know for sure my friends don’t understand. This article made me feel not so alone anymore. Thank you

  2. I literally have to go try to take a Xanax then lie back down while watching TV in order to even be able to get up and turn on the shower or brush my teeth. Monday’s are typically the worst with physical stomach aches and racing thoughts.

  3. Today I lay in my bed and think about how much of a failure I am to myself. I work a $9 an hour job despite finishing a certification for work in a medical setting. Thats a long story by itself. I can’t get hired anywhere that’ll make me a decent living. I like my life. My boyfriend NY house my hobbies. But everyday I wake up and feel like the Job I am doing is never going to get me anywhere and I’m never going to move up. But suffering with my anxiety keeps me from achieving any other level of success above this. I just dont have the drive, besides I’m not really good at anything anyways. So me days I feel like I should commit myself. And the only reason that I dont is the fear of having everyone in my family treat me like a crazy person and losing my boyfriend and my home.

  4. I relate to this so much. I almost had tears in my eyes when I was done reading it. I’m very high functioning: work 2 jobs, in grad school… coming from a background of almost always having more than one job, or having a job and being in school at the same time. I really struggle to remember, do, or get motivated to do almost everything. It makes me so sad and that makes it worse. I curse myself for not being able to wake up at 6 am like everyone else, I curse myself on days when my anxiety is through the roof and it causes me to miss work or school. I can’t do anything about it because since I’m not dying, then it’s subjective for most people. I am in therapy (when I can afford it) and I take my medication every day yet this is still a burden for me. When I finish school this time I’m done because I feel it is one of the main contributing factors to my anxiety, and if I think getting my master’s is rough, I can’t imagine what getting my PhD would be like. I know this was posted a while ago, but if anyone has any stories or tips to help make getting up and doing what needs to be done easier, I am open to hearing it. Again, thank you for this post. Now I feel like I’m not the only one.

    1. Hi, Dana. I’ve found myself in much the same place in the past. Have you ever read up on high-functioning anxiety? It helped me understand myself (and my treatment needs) a little more.

  5. I have tried to take an overdose of citizen and go inyo a corner and not be found or go to my liaison officer’s work anx talk to them but couldn’t even do it as i was too scared and anxious to do it and now i am still feeling the same please help me

  6. Thanks for your brave comments I don’t feel so alone
    I live in this small box with terrible morning dry heaves and fear
    I work at home and that’s getting impossible I’m afraid of loosing my friends family and boyfriend
    I don’t want to live but I don’t want to die either
    Help

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