Thursday, March 21, 2019

How To Get Out of Bed in the Morning

As you're probably aware, I am a very depressed person.

Last year, during all those Black Friday sales, I bought myself a tablet. I'm reluctantly dragging myself into the technology of today, I suppose.  Anyway, the only app I've installed so far is a mood tracker. It's been very useful in helping me check in with my emotions, but the reason I mention it is that after the first 14 days it was like "Hey, so... you're experiencing a severe depressive episode and you should contact a doctor and psychotherapist as soon as possible."

Funny, because my reaction was kind of like... you call THIS a severe depressive episode? Hang on to your hat, mood tracker!

Don't be too concerned about me--my mood has lifted significantly since then. And I'm going to tell you about one thing that's helped tremendously.

When I'm super-depressed, getting out of bed is a challenge. Big-time.  I wake up thinking "What's the point?"  And I often can't bring one to mind.

I recently read a book called UNCERTAINTY: Turning Fear and Doubt into Fuel for Brilliance. There were a few useful insights in there, most notably a description of something called Process Visualization.

With Process Visualization, instead of picturing yourself getting the thing you want (winning a race, landing that promotion, getting a million-dollar windfall), you envision yourself going through the steps it'll take get there toward a goal.

For me, the goal of every day is to get out of bed and do some work (writing during the day, recording audio at night, the business of being an author in between), so I visualize myself starting my day as follows:

I get out of bed, I brew a pot of tea, sit down with a cup and read for a while. After that, I go to my computer and work on my current book. When I've written a chapter, I reward myself by washing dishes (a bubble bath for your hands, as my old Girl Guides leader used to say).

You know what? The simple act of visualizing myself doing those tasks is enough to encourage me out of bed. Once I've pictured myself doing it, I have direction. I can get up because I know what I'm going to do.

If you have trouble getting out of bed, give Process Visualization a try. I hope it works for you as well as it has for me.

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