Depressed in Bed All Day? 5 Coping Strategies for Difficult Days - Cannabotech CBD Oils & Products Articles

Depressed in Bed All Day? 5 Coping Strategies for Difficult Days

Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey - Writer for Cannabotech
By Dr. Lori Beth Bisbey
Nevena Radulović - Editor for Cannabotech
Edited by Nevena Radulović

Published May 9, 2023.

Woman coping with depression lying in bed during the day

One of the more overwhelming symptoms of depression is apathy, which can make it difficult to even get out of bed in the morning.

Apathy is the intense lack of motivation and energy to do everyday activities.

If you're experiencing apathy as a symptom of depression, you may be struggling to get out of bed and do your usual day-to-day tasks. However, no matter how impossible it seems, you can manage this apathy and find the motivation to go about your day by employing the right coping strategies.

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1. Establish an Enjoyable Routine

Setting a routine of small things that you usually enjoy can help provide the motivation to get out of bed, even if only for a short while.

Start with something more simple, like getting your favourite morning drink—a cup of coffee or tea you really like. Then, try making the breakfast foods you enjoy that don't require a lot of effort, like cereal. When you work your way up to taking a shower or bath, make sure you have nice, scented products to make the experience extra pleasurable. Set one activity as your goal on the first day, then include more activities gradually for the best results.

2. Try Light Therapy

For some people, depression is either caused or deepened by a lack of sunlight. In fact, Seasonal Affective Disorder is very common in locations where there's limited daylight during the winter months. So, exposing yourself to natural light can help you get out of bed, as it's believed to have an antidepressant effect.

Light therapy involves the use of a special light box that mimics sunlight, or simply spending time out in natural light (1). This can help ward off the symptoms of depression by equalising your circadian rhythm that governs the sleep/wake cycle and affecting your higher brain function. To successfully incorporate light therapy, try opening up your curtains to let the sunlight in, push yourself to spend some time outside if possible, or get a light therapy lamp to replicate natural light.

3. Take Baby Steps

Depression can make doing any mundane task extremely difficult, so every small goal you accomplish is a victory. Starting with small steps and celebrating each one can lead to eventually achieving bigger goals in your depression management.

When it comes to getting out of bed, sitting up in bed instead of lying prone can be a good first step. Once you accomplish that, try putting your feet on the floor as the second step. Your next steps can be gradually standing up and walking to the door.

4. Make Yourself Uncomfortable

Part of what encourages you to stay in bed is that it's a comfortable environment. So, striving to make your bed uncomfortable may do the trick to encourage you to get up.

For example, you can start using a loud alarm or removing comfortable bedding. However, remember not to make the environment so uncomfortable that it interferes with your sleep quality. Since sleep disturbances are often a symptom of depression, it's important not to do anything that's likely to worsen them. So, make sure to only create uncomfortable circumstances during daytime.

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5. Reach Out to a Trusted Friend

Accountability partners can be really helpful when you want to break your negative cycle and establish new, positive habits. Choose a trusted friend to be your accountability partner and help motivate you to get out of bed each day.

Make plans with your friend or family member and other people whose company you enjoy so that you have set activities to look forward to, which will push you to get out of bed. Your accountability partner can cheer you on to help you accomplish your goals and help you celebrate them when you reach them.

6. Give Yourself a Break

While it's important to strive and break your negative patterns, remember to be kind to yourself. Depression is a difficult illness to tackle, so make sure to celebrate each time you reach a goal, no matter how small.

Even when you don't reach a goal, recognise the importance of having tried and try again the next day. Remember that your problems come from having depression, and not because you're a bad or lazy person.

Take the First Step to Overcome Depression

When you're depressed, even getting out of bed can be an insurmountable task. Some days, you may have to just stay in bed if you're feeling extremely overwhelmed or your fatigue is so intense that you need to recharge.

However, you can start slowly changing these patterns by making small goals and celebrating each accomplishment. And if you're unable to manage these steps on your own, remember the importance of seeking help from professional or trusted friends and family members to inspire your progress and meet all your goals.