DepressionSometimes depression can make it hard to live your life in any meaningful way, but there are still things you can do to help yourself feel better.

Depression has a reputation for being a problem with sadness, and while that’s certainly a component to this disorder, there’s so much more to depression than just feeling blue. It also has a tendency to affect a person’s motivation and energy levels, making it hard for them to function as normal– sometimes, making it so difficult that they can’t even bring themselves to get out of bed. If you’ve ever struggled with depression, either seasonal or year-round, you may have experienced this yourself, and you know how awful it can feel. However, your situation is never hopeless! Even when you feel too depressed to leave your bed, there are still steps you can take to make the situation better. Here are a few that you can try.

Try In-Bed Self Care

Working against your depression requires a certain amount of self-care in your routine, which can sometimes feel impossible when you don’t even have the will or the energy to throw back the covers. Don’t let yourself be fooled, though. There are still plenty of things you can do to help your mental health, even when you can’t get out of bed! Light therapy, for example, is often found to be beneficial for depression, especially during the winter, and you can do it right from your bed. Meditation is also something that’s easy to do while you’re curled up in bed, and you can even find gentle “bed exercise” routines online that will help you to get your muscles working, blood flowing, and endorphins pumping without you having to get up. You might be surprised at how much better you feel!

Find Workarounds

Next time you’re going around in circles in your own head trying to motivate yourself to get up, try to figure out what some of the main roadblocks are that are keeping you in bed. Some of them are probably very understandable, and easier to build a workaround for than you think! Maybe the thought of braving the cold outside your blanket cocoon is just too much for you, but leaving a long, warm robe with a hood and fluffy slippers right at the foot of your bed can help keep off the chill enough for you to get up. Maybe you’re dreading the feeling of turning the lights on, so you can try seeing how much of your morning routine you can get done in the dim glow of a lamp or nightlight instead. Giving yourself accommodations that make it easier to get up and get moving is almost always a good idea, because it gets you to the same end goal!

Find Something to Motivate You

If you find a reason to get yourself out of bed, it doesn’t matter how trivial or silly it might seem– it’s still a reason, and it’s still working! Many people with depression have found that a pet that relies on them is the only thing that keeps them going each day, so there’s no reason that feeding your cat, dog, or goldfish is the reason you get up in the morning. Making your way to the living room to watch your favorite TV show in the morning can be a good way to get yourself moving if it works for you. Even planning an enjoyable breakfast, like a fun pastry, might be enough! Your reason to get up doesn’t have to make sense to anyone else. If it works for you, then it’s a good reason!

Adjust Your Treatment Plan

At the end of the day, when depression is making it hard for you to function in any way, including getting out of bed and going about your day, that means it’s time for you to seek out help. If you’re already being treated with medication, therapy, or other modalities, adjusting them can help you to have more energy and motivation, and if you’ve never tried these things before, now might be a good time to start. Transcranial magnetic stimulation is a treatment that might work well for you if other treatment methods for depression have failed. You can find out more about it here!