What to do on the Days when you Don't Want to Get Up

What to do on the Days when you Don't Want to Get Up
Gema Sánchez Cuevas

Written and verified by the psychologist Gema Sánchez Cuevas.

Last update: 16 January, 2024

It’s happened to everyone at some point. There are those days when you just don’t want to get up. It might be because you’re dealing with a lot of separate problems, or because you’re in some kind of pain that you can’t sort out. It can even be that you just feel bored with everything, but can’t escape it.

The last thing you want on this kind of day is for someone to come and try to cheer you up. That’s how twisted this emotional state is. You need motivation, but you push away anything that could give it to you.

You basically just don’t want to get out of bed, you want to stay there in a permanent state of inactivity. You’ll sleep or stay half awake, but either way the point is to not start your day.

Maybe that’s no so bad in the end. Maybe it’s just a mental state that’s like a really extreme way of stopping. Maybe you’ve needed to stop for a while, but just never recognized it.

The days when you don’t want to get up are a great opportunity to start confronting whatever’s going on.

Enthusiasm is the electricity of life. How do you get it? You act enthusiastic until you make it a habit.
-Gordon Parks-

You don’t want to get up, so you take a break

It’s okay, and it’s even a good idea for you to give yourself some space on the days when you just don’t want to get up. It’s definitely a good idea to take a break

It’s probably what your brain has been shouting for you to give it, you just didn’t want to listen. You can’t always do what you want in life, but there are times when it’s really important to let your wishes have their way.

What’s not okay, if you’re sad, is to not get up at all during the day. Or to just get up for a little while and go back to bed. It’s not okay because it means giving up and moving one step forward into/closer to depression.

If you give up over and over again, you’re going to start cutting off bonds, having issues at work, and getting wrapped up in a spiral of apathy that won’t be very easy to get out of.

That’s why the best thing is to just take a break. But remember that it’s only a break if you do it for a little while, not a long time. Something’s up and you need to think about what it is. 

You need to figure out why you’re having a day where you don’t want to get up. Try to find a way out, even if it’s only partial, for your situation.

The first steps

You don’t want to get up today, but you have to. Sleep a little longer if you want, but don’t let that go too far. This is the first goal you need to give yourself on one of these kinds of days. It’s also the first achievement you’ll make when it comes to getting out of this state.

Give yourself some steps to do afterward. Get up, take a shower, and get dressed. These are all goals you can accomplish. If you want yourself, and your life to be better, this is a good place to start. Try to find a way for it not to affect your work or your school.

That’s really important. If your break adds any problems, it might make getting up in the morning even harder. But if you do need to put it off, then mark down a date on the calendar so you can see an end in sight.

Once you’ve gotten through these practical problems, don’t shut yourself up at home. If you feel like reading, it’s better to do it in a park full of contagiously happy kids. The point is to be in an environment that doesn’t remind you that you still need to clean the house.

woman showering to help her get up

Take control

If you’ve gotten to the point that you’re outside the house in a calm, green space, and you’ve identified the main source of your apathy, then we have good news: you’ve started to take control of the situation. But don’t stop there. You still have a little bit farther to go.

Look at all the alternatives you have when it comes to whatever it is making you uncomfortable and bringing you down. Think about whether it’s the first time, or if it has happened before. Does it happen often? Is it intense?

Do you feel like there’s something else there that you just aren’t seeing? Depending on the answers to these questions, you’ll know if you can solve things on your own or if you need some help.

If you can’t find any answers, or feel confused about them, don’t worry, that’s completely normal. This is when you need to realize that it’s time to end the break. Life has to go on.

If you feel like that’s not possible, it’s because you need some help. If you feel like it is possible, then keep on moving forward. Go back to your questions the next day, for as many days as it takes you to find an answer.

Meanwhile, don’t forget that even if you have another one of these days, you still have to give your self daily objectives and accomplish them. Don’t give into the temptation to wallow in dissatisfaction. It won’t get you anywhere. 

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.