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

November 13, 2011 Kate White

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.

APA Reference
White, K. (2011, November 13). Waking Up with Anxiety. Why Can't I Just Get Out of Bed?, HealthyPlace. Retrieved on 2024, June 20 from

Author: Kate White

February, 12 2013 at 6:22 am

A great way to battle morning anxiety is to work out first thing. It not only will be very good for you, but can help to ease anxiety and stress and is a great way to get the day off on the right foot.

December, 1 2011 at 5:15 am

Hi There,
I've been waking up anxious and dizzy for the past few days, which is new to me. I've dealt with anxiety in the past, but usually in the evening and never dizzy before.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
December, 1 2011 at 6:41 am

Hi Jon,
Thanks for your comment. If the dizziness is a totally new thing, you might want to check with your GP about it as it may be something physical.

Adewale Ademuyiwa
November, 16 2011 at 8:13 pm

Praticing meditation can really be helpful to improve motivation to get up in the mornings.
Due to the worry aspects of anxiety we can get extremely drained. Sometimes people feel like they have done 10 months worth of hard labour with only three hours of worry.
Worrying may increase a lot during the night just before going to bed because people tend to be less busy at the time.
So this is a really good time to practice meditation. Meditation will allow increased focuss on neutral or pleasing thoughts which then allows for better sleep making you wake up felling more capable of facing the day.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
November, 17 2011 at 3:45 am

Hi Adewale,
Great tip.
Yup, meditation is definitely one for my playbook in dealing with morning anxiety. Visualization exercises are a good place to start. A little easier to contend with than meditative breathing and similar which set off the panic too easily for some folks.

November, 16 2011 at 7:38 am

I totally understand. I'm anxious even before I wake up each morning. I actually wake up shaking from anxiety. Where I am lucky, is that I have two dogs that want to go outside and eat breakfast and they keep me busy for a bit. Next, I sit and eat breakfast. So, I do have a morning routine. This in no way makes waking up shaking any easier. It's been going on for so long that I don't panic any longer, but it still is an awful feeling.
A new thing I'm finding is having anxiety in the evening. Same as the morning, everything that needs to be done floods me and I can't relax. I'm hoping to work through this one and maybe get it to go away.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
November, 16 2011 at 8:06 am

Hi Christy,
Dogs are terrific, aren't they? Routine is good too, though I'm not very good at it! :)
Hopefully you'll be able to deal with the evening anxiety effectively, since you're getting to it early. (knock wood)
Thanks for your comment,

Steve K
November, 13 2011 at 11:18 am

I've had poorly medically treated depression for almost 3 years. And since about 1 month ago, I have come down with anxiety as well. Thank you for finding me on Twitter. Though I don't follow much on Twitter (I find it all just TMI and not enough time), I did manage to find this one tweet you sent with a link to this, your article. Thanks for caring about yourself and the rest of the world enough to put yourself out here in such an honest and vulnerable way <3

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Kate White
November, 13 2011 at 11:23 am

Hi Steve,
Glad you found your way here, and thank you. Hope you find some better treatment options soon!

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