Getting Out of the House

If you struggle with mental illness, sometimes getting out of bed is an uphill battle. Your entire body feels like a void, and the mere idea of leaving the comfort of your bed seems to be impossible. After battling with yourself day in and day out, these days come eventually. They can even come when you are already out of the house. Suddenly, overcome by numbness, you have to sit down and regroup. These things happen, and they are not something to be ashamed of. Finding a way to make yourself feel like a human will help you finally summon the courage to leave the comfort of your home/dorm/bed. Having coping mechanisms for these days is vital, and each coping mechanism is different for each person. These are just a few ideas for small things you can do to make a big difference.

  • Make your bed. This is the easiest way to make that first step out of the house. When you bed is all made and nice, you can’t crawl back in and sleep the day away. Don’t worry, you can go back to bed when the day is done.

Photo by Abby Burfine

  • Open a window. When you can’t get actual sun rays, opening a window is the next best thing. Brightening up the room by opening a window will help you enjoy a sunny day, especially if you can’t bring yourself to physically go outside. 
  • Wear something comfortable. This is a personal preference type of comfortable. Are you most comfortable in leggings and a baggy shirt? Put that on. Do you feel at home in sweatpants and a hoodie? Wear it. Do you want to sleep in a dress and heels? Hell yeah, looks great.
  • Do one small thing. This one small thing can be going to class (yay attendance grades), going to a coffee shop (socializing with the barista counts) or wandering around your local grocery store (sadly there is no Target in Nacogdoches, but there’s always Walmart!). Being able to just go and do something will help release the pressure of everything.

 

Photo by Abby Burfine

  • To-do lists help you feel accomplished. There is no greater satisfaction than crossing out things on your to-do list. Starting the list with a simple “Wake Up” just to cross it out afterwards counts. As does the task “Making a List”. Start off small. Task yourself to take your medicine or eat a small meal. Slowly work your way doing something big.
  • SWEAT. (If I had a dollar for every time someone told me to work out for my mental health...) Any type of movement really will help reset your momentum. This doesn’t mean you have to go run 16 miles to improve your mood (more power to you if you can), but just go for a walk. Even just putting on your favorite music and dancing around your dorm will help you feel more in control. 

 

Photo by Abby Burfine

When I am struggling most with leaving my dorm and doing simple tasks, I always remember what my therapist told me: “No one knows what they are doing anyways, you just have to show up.” I have been repeating it to myself ever since she said it. Just show up.