There are some days when depression sticks us firmly to our bed. We know all the basic self-care advice, but it can feel a million miles away from where we are. We’re not going to be able to run a soothing bath and find a bath bomb to put in it, when we’re struggling for the energy and motivation to make it to the loo.
We’re not alone, however isolated our ‘can’t get out of bed’ days make us feel: there are so many others who face similar struggles. And there are simple things we can do to make the difficult days just that little bit easier.
We feel completely stuck. There is nothing physically attaching us to our bed, but we feel completely unable to move. Our body can feel heavy and slugglish. Our limbs can ache and no position feels comfortable but the thought of moving makes us want to cry. Our brains work incredibly slowly, or stop working entirely. We can’t think. We can’t remember how to get up and get dressed. Everything feels overwhelming and impossible.
FLIP THE PILLOW
Being stuck in bed can feel very claustrophobic. We can feel hot and bothered. Flipping our pillow over every now and again can give us a cool surface. It can help us to feel a little cleaner and a bit less constricted.
TRY AND SIT UP
Even if we can’t get out of bed, sitting up can feel a little better than lying down. Sitting up allows us to look out of the window. It helps us to feel a little more awake. It can make us feel a little more human.
It’s really important that we take our medication, however bad we feel and however much we don’t want to. Not taking it will make us feel worse. Stopping medication suddenly is dangerous and can have significant consequences. If we’re struggling to work out what to take and when, we can ask our chemist to count it into dosette boxes for us. Keeping it next to our bed with some water, can help us to take it even when we’re struggling to move away from our bed.
Being dehydrated can make us feel horrible. We can’t think, we feel dizzy and we feel sick. Having a water bottle next to our bed makes fluids easily reachable without having to get up. If we haven’t got a bottle by our bed, then if we do manage to get up – even just to go to the toilet – filling up a water bottle while we’re up can help.
Not eating is likely to make us feel even more rubbish. If we are hungry, it’s even harder to think. It can make us feel sick, dizzy, and disorientated. We’re probably not up to cooking or doing anything complicated, but having something easy within reach of our bed can help us from getting too hungry. It could be cereal bars, breakfast biscuits, or something else. If we find some non-perishable snacks that we like, then we can leave them there permanently for whenever we have a bad day.
Chewing gum can freshen our mouths up. It involves less energy than cleaning our teeth. We don’t have to get as far as the bathroom or compute all of the steps involved in teeth cleaning. Keeping some chewing gum next to our bed can give us the chance to freshen up without having to get out from under our duvet.
When we’re going through a really tough time, washing can feel like an impossibility. Keeping a pack of wet wipes by our bed means we can quickly wipe ourselves down when we have the energy. It’s not a deep clean but it can help. They’re also useful for mopping up any spills.
FIND A NOISE THAT HELPS
Sometimes, any noise can feel too much. It can hurt and make us want to cry. However, sometimes, a little noise can help. Whether it be music, the radio, the TV, or something else, background noise can help us to feel less alone. We might not be able to get as far as the living room to watch TV, but we can sometimes play things through our phone, or watch something on a laptop or tablet in bed.
USING OUR PHONES
Having our phones by out bed can be useful when we feel unable to move. We might not be up to answering texts or responding to emails. However, being stuck in bed can get very boring so having some mindless games to play can keep us occupied without having to think or use any energy. If we want to avoid notifications, we can put our phone in aeroplane mode.
If we have a furry friend, we could encourage them to plonk themselves on our bed next to us. Pets can be amazing companions and interacting with them can help us to feel a little less alone.
THIS ISN’T FOREVER
Right now it’s absolutely horrible and things can feel very bleak. But, however bad we feel, however stuck we feel, nothing can last forever. Eventually, our mood will pick up. We will begin to feel a little better. It might not be today, or tomorrow. It might take time, help, and support. But we won’t always feel this bad.
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