How to get out of bed in the morning.

Dr Gary
By Dr GaryCA Latest Reply 2011-08-24 06:39:54 -0500
Started 2011-08-19 19:13:12 -0500

I don’t know very many people who look forward to getting up in the morning. Who doesn’t like to sleep in whenever possible?

Still, for better or worse, the day doesn’t really get underway until you are out of bed. So if you are stuck there, chances are, you’re going to make a day of it. You may not feel any worse, but you also may not be giving yourself the opportunity to feel any better.

I am not telling you to “fake it ‘til you make it.” You have probably heard that too many times already, often from the mouths of people in your life who could, and should, be more understanding but, for whatever reason, aren’t understanding at all. I know this isn't easy.

But I do want to suggest a few techniques that you might use to help yourself make that first big move in the morning. While I don’t expect you to find all of these ideas helpful, I am hoping that at least one or two of them might be useful.

So here goes:

Create an attractive incentive. Get a coffee pot with a timer, so that you can set it like an alarm clock at night. You’ve probably heard the expression, “wake up and smell the coffee.” Well, you can help yourself to do that. If you aren’t a coffee drinker, find something else to look forward to, even a favorite morning TV show, that might make the morning a little easier to face. And what about that nice hot shower? Toast with strawberry (sugar free) jam?

Remind yourself of a responsibility that you want to meet. If you have a family, then I suspect that having enough responsibility is the least of your worries. So I would encourage you to consider: is there a labor of love somewhere in the middle of all of that? Saying good morning to your kids and making them breakfast, helping them to feel safe and secure before they leave for school? Or, feeling that sense of accomplishment when you get in your car and leave for work? Greeting a co-worker that you enjoy being with? What I am suggesting is to focus on some aspect of the morning that you enjoy, rather than focusing on what’s difficult and not so fun.

Or, commit to a new responsibility. You might want to create a reason to get up, such as scheduling a call to a friend or family member, or a morning chore that needs to get done, or even some time on Diabetic Connect.

Enlist your support team. And speaking of that new responsibility, you might want to consider creating some accountability with your support team. Is there someone that you can make a deal with to call, or to call you, in the morning? Nothing like a few words of encouragement, or some tough love, to help you to start the day.

How about a pet? Animals offer unconditional love, and appreciate anything and everything you do for them. But they are on a timetable, especially in the morning, and they don’t take no, or later, for an answer.

Where is your alarm clock? You might want to move it across the room, so that if you want that reward of stopping the buzzing or the chirping, you have to actually get out of bed. And think of it this way: if it’s already across the room, you won’t be tempted to throw it!

Make a list… and then make another one. One of the advantages of making a list is to be able to decide what you want to get done and what doesn’t have to get done. In other words, you can use it make yourself feel even more overwhelmed – and giving yourself one more reason to stay in bed – or you can use it to help you to decide what your priorities are. Be realistic but also gentle with yourself – having a big old impossible to-do list is enough to keep anybody in bed.

Plan ahead. At the end of each day, you might want to try making a list of what you want to accomplish the next day. Decide what you most want to accomplish, what you think is reasonable, and what you don’t need to tackle. Simplify your life. It’s a way to turn the mud – that vague feeling that you are overwhelmed – into a few manageable tasks.

Take baby steps. The first item on your list is to get out of bed. Maybe on the first day, that’s the only item on your list. Go easy on yourself, one baby step at a time. Tomorrow, you can add another task or two that might follow getting out of bed. Everybody has their own process of getting through the day.

Talk to your healthcare team. Are they aware that you are having trouble getting out of bed in the morning? Have you asked them for some help in creating a strategy for getting yourself vertical in the morning? Is it time to have a talk about your drug regimen? It can’t hurt to make sure that you have all of your bases covered.

Don’t beat up on yourself when the day doesn’t go as planned. Okay, so you weren’t so successful, at least not today. Don’t use this as an opportunity for self-criticism. Instead, take a look at your strategy. Are your incentives in place? Your supports? Are you trying to do too much? Take as step back, give it another try tomorrow.

Fake it ‘til you make it. I just had to sneak that in, only to remind you that sometimes getting up in the morning is an “intellectual decision,” something that you choose to do because you want or need to, for any of the reasons that I described. But if you wait to “feel” like getting up, you might just decide you don’t feel like it. Using a little tough love with yourself might help. And keep in mind that positive actions can create positive energy, so look at your getting up routine as an opportunity to build some forward momentum into your life.

And pat yourself on the back for each and every accomplishment. So, you not only motivated yourself to get up and moving but you got a chore or two completed, got your family off to work and school, made it through your own workday? It’s all good, the little bits and the big bits. Celebrate yourself!

Good morning, this is your wake up call. Have a great day!

And while you’re at it, please share any techniques that you use to get yourself moving in the morning!

11 replies

AuntieM234 2011-08-21 20:14:59 -0500 Report

I don't have a problem getting up in the morning. I stay at my daughter and son-in-law's house during the week to help out with my grandchildren. The parents work long hours, so I make breakfast for and supervise the children getting off to school. Last year, the two children walked together to school. This year, though, my grandson will be attending junior high school. He will turn into a teenager in December, so it is fine for him to walk the half mile to school by himself. Not so for my granddaughter; she is ten, going into fifth grade and her school is 1/2 mile in the opposite direction from her brother's school. I could drive her to school, but I've decided to walk with her to her school then back. That way, I will be walking about a mile, round trip, twice a day. If it gets to be a little much, I can always drive her part of the time, but I'm going to try for it! School is in session beginning tomorrow. I also do some laundry and cooking, because all of it gives me a sense of purpose, which is a motivater in itself. I only live half an hour away on the freeway, but staying in the city makes sense, so I only come home for the weekend. ;-) Mara

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-08-22 17:16:32 -0500 Report

HI Mara,

You have lots of incentive to get up in the morning. Having people who count on you is one of the best incentives, if not the absolute best incentive, that I can think of. Labor of love! And if you can build in some of your own exercise into the mix, so much the better. I really like your comment about the sense of purpose. Some days I talk to one client after the other who say they don't have enough purpose in life. Doing for others creates that sense of purpose.

Thanks a lot for sharing this. I am sure your grandchildren must really appreciate you!


realsis77 2011-08-20 12:41:25 -0500 Report

I always love your posts! You always spread cheer and light on things! Your awsome! For me I just put one foot in front of the other and get up! I can't dewell on all my health problems all the time! God knows I have enough of them! Lung disease, spinal fusion,depression,diabetes and more but if I always thought of those things id be really depressed! So I staet each day new! I thank God for a new day! :)

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-08-21 16:36:00 -0500 Report


Great to hear from you. Thank you very much for your kind words. You made my day!

What a great outlook. A lot of us are feeling the same way, putting one foot in front of the other, doing what we have committed to do, facing life and getting on with things. Life on life's terms.

I know you are dealing with a lot of health issues, this has to be challenging in a lot of ways. But you're right, each day is a new day, a new opportunity to be there for ourselves and for others.

Thanks again! Always nice to run into you. I hope you had a good weekend!


realsis77 2011-08-21 18:41:17 -0500 Report

Thanks Dr.Gary! You always make my day when I get to speak with you! :) I hope you have a wonderful weekend! God bless :)

Graylin Bee
Graylin Bee 2011-08-19 21:17:34 -0500 Report

When I had to get up in the morning it was usually a struggle. Finally I figured out work at night, go to bed in the morning.

Dr Gary
Dr GaryCA 2011-08-21 16:32:37 -0500 Report

Hi, if this works for you, then it is a good idea. We have to get to understand our own body rhythms, and then honor them!

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