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, July 21 from

Author: Kate White

K. Justice
February, 16 2023 at 12:18 pm

I have always struggled with anxiety and depression. I take medication for it and I’m able to function and enjoy every day living. The last several weeks have been a nightmare for me. My Mom has stage 4 lung cancer terminal. She is 85. She has hospice come to her home. My husband, myself, my Dad, and cousins help take care of her. I work at home which is a blessing. It so hard for me to get up in the mornings. I cry all the time. With the help of my wonderful husband, I’m able to get out of bed and into my home work office and try to make it through the day.

May, 20 2022 at 3:14 pm

I wake up everyday late and still try and sleep more until day 3pm. It’s like my body cannot move. I’ve been going through some major health issues and I know I have tons of appointments to make. I just can’t deal with it. I’m on state disability so I’m alone all day. Usually to scared to shower and go any place. I’m on meds, they do nothing, been on every med there is for 27 years. I feel like I’m loosing my mind. I have to take 17 different meds in the day to deal with my current health and mental issues, but by far getting out of bed seems to be the worst. I need relief. This went away for like six years and has come back worse than ever.

August, 26 2021 at 11:19 am

I have suffered with anxiety and depression my whole life. I have been on and off of meds for 30 years. I find I improve at times but then fall again. I'm currently in a terrible cycle of morning anxiety. I wake up at 7:00 thinking I can do this and the panic hits me immediately I feel frozen and just stay in bed for hours on the days I don't work. I cannot motivate myself with anything to force me out of bed. Somehow I get up in the afternoon just so my husband doesn't come home and find me having been unproductive all day. Im so unhappy, I'm miserable, feel like I'm just waiting to die. I need help but do t know what where to turn.

Ron Foster
May, 1 2019 at 3:48 pm

I have it bad. Chronic insomnia and waking up with the heart pounding. Hard to break this cycle. But can't give up! Just need more support. Thanks to everyone 😀

November, 3 2018 at 1:06 pm

I know that feeling Noel. I'm not retired but I can barely breathe. I with there was a free support group for what we all have

September, 20 2018 at 4:16 pm

I am retired and stay in bed after taking an Ativan to numb the anxiety and depression I awaken to. I know this is unhealthy but lack will power to motivate toward positive routine. Not finding any pleasure in life. Thank you all for reaching out.

May, 12 2018 at 10:41 am

It is comforting to see so many others experiencing the same type of anxiety. My typical routine is to get up take a half of lorazepam then catch up on emails etc., eat breakfast, then go back to bed when I can. When my anxiety is really bad as it is today I just want to lay there forever. Eventually I do get up and get ready. The anxiety passes as the day progresses. I am retired so unless I have an appointment there is no reson to get up. I want so badly to get out of this horrible cycle. I have begun to see a psychiatrist and start minfulness classes on Monday. I will be starting CBT as soon as they can get me in. I even feel calmer writing this post to others are experiencing the same symptoms.

April, 7 2018 at 10:39 pm

I’m a senior in high school. With person family problems and constant anxiety in school I just want to hide in a ball every single day. When things go too well in the morning, I start panicking because there is always a balance and bad things will happen. My anxiety gets to a point where I feel like I’m fending for myself in a school filled with people who can come after me and say anything to me and beat me down. I get terrified at situations and have to think 50 steps ahead. Lately I have so much work piled on and it’s causing so much stress and my anxiety isn’t helping and nobody seems to understand when I try to vent. Everybody has their own problems so there is no point in voicing out how I feel to my friends. My parents will brush it off and call me lazy and say that I just don’t want to study. At night it’s the worst. I’m left with my thoughts and my anxiety kicks in and I start thinking of school and how I’m gonna fail all my classes and I’m not a good student and make dumb decisions. It’s awful I hate this and and hate coming to school so much. The teachers are intimidating, the staff, the students, everybody in general. It’s like being isolated and having to hide what you’re feeling 24/7. I know I’m going on and on but I haven’t been able to pour out how i’ve been feeling for so long.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

April, 17 2018 at 11:41 am

I’m a sophomore and I feel the exact same way. I know it sucks but it’s kind of feels better knowing someone else shares these experiences. I hope it gets better.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

September, 21 2019 at 1:03 pm

I’ve had horrid insomnia since I was 11, and debilitating anxiety since I was born. My mom said she could feel me shaking in the womb during storms and loud things. I just want you to know that I managed to graduate high school dealing with 9 untreated mental illlness, 2 eating disorders, abusive parents, and a toxic friend group that lead me into alcoholism at age 15.
I want you to know you are so capable of graduating. Guess what.. I also graduated college and have a degree now. Yes, there were several suicide attempts along the way, and I didn’t graduate in exactly 4 years. But I’m telling you, if I can do it, anyone can. It IS possible.
Go get that diploma! I believe in you so much!!

October, 29 2017 at 5:48 pm

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

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

tammer p jensen
March, 23 2018 at 12:14 pm

you are not alone I wake up like this every morning would be happy to just get up go to the bathroom and not have a panic attack just because I set up so no you are not alone

Austin Raths
July, 25 2017 at 3:55 am

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.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

August, 28 2017 at 6:43 pm

I feel the exact same way

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

tammer p jensen
March, 23 2018 at 12:16 pm

I to take Xanax daily I take half a tablet at night and half in the morning sometime it works sometimes not

May, 22 2017 at 9:02 am

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.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

tammer p jensen
March, 23 2018 at 12:23 pm

I not should how I found this website but glad I did its nice that there are others like me I am a nurse 40 years three years ago I started having these attacks really strong yes it make me feel stupid like there really is no one else who goes through this I feel shame when it happens and I have to run out of my house and get air in my robe you sometimes have on control over your body functions I really hate this and no one seems to understand my husband is forever trying to make me sit down when I have a panic attack are anxiety not understanding I cant do it people really need to be educated I belong to a group called dare if you go on facebook look it up they really do help you thanks for listening

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

December, 25 2019 at 6:48 pm

I retired from 30 plus yrs of nursing and the anxiety depression and panic are terrible. I am on meds. Seem to just think about my death... I’m terrified and a Christian. Feel hopeless😢

January, 2 2020 at 3:34 pm

My name is Mary-Elizabeth, and I am the comment moderator for all HealthyPlace blog posts. Thank you for reaching out with honesty and vulnerability. I am so sorry that you have found yourself in a desperate situation with anxiety and depression. Please know that your presence on this earth matters, and you have a purpose for being here. HealthyPlace offers a list of hotline numbers and online resources that could be of support, encouragement and help to you, so please check them out:…. In addition, the HealthyPlace Anxiety-Panic community might be a source of comfort and solidarity to you as well: You are important and worthy of life—much love to you!

June, 1 2020 at 3:54 pm

Just remember that as a Christian we have no reason to fear death. It is not the final frontier for us. As Jesus said:
John 5:24 NKJV
[24] "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who hears My word and believes in Him who sent Me has everlasting life, and shall not come into judgment, but has passed from death into life.
And Jesus says this to Martha when speaking of Lazarus’s death.
John 11:25-27 NKJV
[25] Jesus said to her, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.
[26] And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die. Do you believe this?"
[27] She said to Him, "Yes, Lord, I believe that You are the Christ, the Son of God, who is to come into the world."

April, 10 2017 at 4:58 pm

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.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 24 2017 at 6:36 am

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.

Darlene Hilliard
July, 27 2017 at 4:19 pm

I couldn't wait to get up in the morning now I can lay in bed e eryday.I'm bipolar

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

tammer p jensen
March, 23 2018 at 12:27 pm

back when these attacks started I really thought I was mentally ill not so I will never think I am mental again because life throws so much at us we don't take It all this is what we get but crazy anit it never sell yourself short always be postive

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 28 2023 at 7:45 am

First of all I got to say that you are very strong! This year is the last year of my master’s degree and I wouldn’t be able to work 2 jobs at the same time. I totally relate on not being able to wake up because I go through this every day. I stay in bed for hours bc my anxiety is just too high and the more I do the more I feel like a complete loser. I can’t maintain an "healthy" lifestyle because my anxiety and depression can at any moment ruins everything and I have to start all over again. I can’t really afford therapy so maybe there’s that. I think it is important to not be too hard on yourself and take one step at a time. You’ll get there.

April, 15 2024 at 12:13 pm

Lillian my name is John 51. I am really struggling with anxiety. I find it hard to stay out of the bed most of the day. My family say I am not trying hard enough, but I haven't the motivation to do it. I know people say you need to do these things to get well, but when you are so full of anxiety and depression you find it hard to leave the house. I am afraid I won't get well again

Anne Marie Wilson
September, 7 2016 at 5:40 pm

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

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

Darlene Hilliard
July, 27 2017 at 4:21 pm


August, 21 2016 at 4:02 am

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

August, 7 2016 at 3:06 pm

Hi my name is Dave ...I'm a 56 year old male I feel the same way you guys do ...just wish I was my old self again ...but I do sleep good ...weekend is the worst for me ...and evenings ...wish somebody could fix my head

lisa Durham
July, 10 2016 at 10:15 am

Hi my name is Lisa.
I am 48, I'd really like to pack a suitcase and disappear. I feel like hiding. I wake up every morning in a state of panic and feel like I can cope with life, my head when I'm awake is never relaxed it's always over thinking and it's exhausting. I have been on antidepressants for years. I self medicated with strong pain killers to help me sleep as much as possible to get away from my anxiety. I won't tell the doctor this in case he takes away the pain killers. Today for example is Sunday so I've managed to spend the whole day in bed with the help of the painkillers.Then there's the other me...I will find projects to do and be creative and positive and upbeat for a week or 2 then I fall back into hopelessness panic and no motivation to live my life.

May, 3 2016 at 1:21 pm

You just made me feel sane.

March, 24 2016 at 5:14 am

The daily devotional book Jesus Calling by Sarah Young is really helpful.

November, 6 2015 at 4:11 am

My name is Mike. I'm 28. I still feel like I'm 18. This is the core of my anxiety. I have lived my life very slow. To me at least. I have accomplished and seen major things since graduating highschool but I feel like I'm still a teenager trapped in an adult body. I have no career but a great degree. No partner but lots of friends. No money but great credit. I'm handsome but shy. I have prolonged "growing up" for years by going to school and considering my self a student. So myself and everyone around me won't expect the next steps I should be taking. I tried to continue my eduction this fall and had a mental break down about the school debt and time to get a higher degree. The life I think I should be living by now took over my mind and gave me such great panic attacks I ha to drop out of school. I've decided to put school on hold as try to get a career with the degree I already have. I work part time because it worked around my school schedule and I never picked up more hours. So I have 4 days off a week to be trapped in my mind by myself. The mornings are extremely tough. I hit snooze until 5min before I have to take a shower and go to work. The day before yesterday was my day off and I didn't get out of bed until 4pm. I sat there with my eyes closed just trying not to worry. I see a therapist and take Prozac so I'm trying to get a handle on it. I'm scared of failure but to anxious to do anything productive. I feel broken. I feel like a need a life coach/best friend/Doctor/financial advisor/personal trainer/guru to literally hold my hand and tell me a play by of how to live and what to do. I'm scared I'm going to be alone,poor, and hated by my family and friends. I've built this façade of being everyone's golden boy and now I can't back it up. I'm am extremely luck enough to have friends and family understand I'm going through something but I feet that understanding will run out and they'll become annoyed and disappointed with me. I know it's all in my head but I can't break through it and obtain my true potential. I see I'm not alone. I'm greatful others have shared their anxiety. I wish there was a foolproof step by step way to just live a normal happy life and wake up everyday wishing my life was different.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 1 2018 at 2:35 pm

Mikeny585- Did you ever find a solution? It would be greatly appreciated!

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

February, 1 2019 at 11:32 am

Wow I’m a 29 year old female and feel EXACTLY the same!!! It’s crazy. I can so resonate with wanting someone to hold my hand through life. In the past this was a relationship - although I wasn’t as aware and conscious of my anxiety issues as they’ve gotten worse in some ways as ive gotten older. Really struggling not having a partner but also not sure if I can handle that right now. I so appreciate your most it helps immensely just to know I’m not alone.

In reply to by Anonymous (not verified)

July, 23 2023 at 7:08 pm

I feel the same!!! I’m 21 but quickly heading to 22. All my life I just want someone to hold my hand and tell me what to do. I’m scared and lonely despite having a supportive family and a few good friends. It feels like most days I don’t even know what to do anymore. I’m supposed to go to UCSB this fall and I’m terrified of being there alone and so far from my mother. I rely so heavily on her that I barely get through my day without some sort of contact. I’m always tired and anxious and therapy just never seems to help. I’m scared of getting a degree in English but I don’t know anything else that I can do. I don’t want to be stuck in a low paying position. I just want something stable.

September, 13 2015 at 9:22 pm

This is the key that staying in bed is the start of my circle of depression. I keep saying to my just another 1/2 hour (am 67 so I don't have to get up for work. At present I get up at about 4 in the afternoon. I have decided after I have taken my tablet for anxiety I am going to do 3 things ie plant some cuttings in my garden, go to the shop and make a meal for myself. Hoping these ease my anxiety. If these work for a few days I am going to make my self get up a 10-11am best wishes to you all. I'll keep you informed how I go

August, 5 2015 at 9:14 pm

Hi, I've recently gone through a harsh relationship break up and these morning anxiety episodes are really affecting my life now. I wake completely stressed and can't get out if the bed, it's gotten so bad now that I can't go to work. Please can you help? Thanks

Susan Jones
June, 27 2015 at 9:53 am

I'm so glad I saw these comments. I have had depression for years and anxiety some of the time. About 5 mos.ago had lots of issues going on. Then morning episodes of depression and anxiety started for the first time. Recently it stopped for five days in a row. Something triggered me and it's back.
On medication but hasn't changed morning
episodes. Been researching this and trying
different things but no relief. What a way to greet a new day. To all who are dealing with this, we must keep trying..we can't give up.
You have my love and compassion. I'm praying for better days ahead. Now I know I am not the only one with this problem. Thanks for sharing.
Love & Peace, Susan

June, 22 2015 at 7:20 pm

When I wake up in the morning I feel like I can't get. I don't want to get up. I have things I have to do but, it's so hard get. I not sure if it's anxiety. Should I have a talk with my doctor or is it just something else.

Sandy R.
December, 6 2014 at 5:27 am

I struggle with ocd & depression. Waking up knowing my rituals and intrusive thoughts with be battled with,I just don't want to try. Rough times!

Barbara Rolnick
November, 26 2014 at 9:49 pm

interested to know more

Kathy Glynn
November, 19 2014 at 8:40 am

I loved your helpful hints! Could I be put
On your mailing list. Thanks

Alexandra Oliphant
November, 19 2014 at 7:00 am

I wake up with sickening, physically debilitating anxiety that I don't know what to do about. I feel in severe pain and I'm not even worried about anything. I have bi polar 1 disorder
Please help. Alex.

November, 18 2014 at 5:19 am

I can't focus enough to meditate and, to be honest, all that stuff makes me think about the people I know who have told me to do things like that while simultaneously telling me what a worthless person I am. I think I'm done trying.

November, 15 2014 at 8:03 am

thank you!!!!!!!!! GREAT article. And others that I couldn't stop reading, they helped me so much. Truly.

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