Anxiety vs Motivation: Getting out of... - Anxiety and Depre...

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Anxiety vs Motivation: Getting out of bed for work

Burnt_Orange profile image

Hi all

I’m wondering if anyone has any tips or tricks - I’m really struggling getting out of bed in the morning to go to work. From the second I open my eyes I’m immediately going over and over in my mind how I can get out of going to work, and will do this for a few hours until I’ve got myself in such a state I then feel sick and can’t go into work. But I have to go into work! I don’t get this so much at the weekends when I don’t have to go to work. Any ideas how I can haul up and get to work?

16 Replies
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I’ve heard that once an idea pops up you have 5 seconds to act or your brain will talk you out of it. So, when you wake up you have 5 seconds to get up or you will just lay there.

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to Hidden

Hi lynnalice. I've been doing something called the 5 Second Rule on YouTube. An interesting concept. Thanks for sharing. xx

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Hidden in reply to Agora1


I second the 5 second rule. It has helped me so much - not just with sleeping. Search for 'Mel Robbins 5 second rule' on Youtube. She explains it quite nicely. It might take a few days getting into the habit of implementing but that's okay. I struggled with going to sleep on time and waking up too for similar reasons. My days as much as a month ago were from 6pm-6am! What worked for me the most is the app called 'alarmy'. It lets you set alarms that need you to take a picture so you can shut it off. If you set it to something in your bathroom or living room, it will help you get out of bed and get moving. It doesn't give you time to think. You can change the sensitivity depending how hard you want it the turning off to be. There are also quite a few sleep tracking apps that claim to wake up when you are in lightest sleep that could be used in tandem. I would highly recommend getting everything you need in the morning as ready as possible the night before e.g. breakfast preparations, work clothes set out e.t.c. This will make the wake up seem less daunting and a mountain to climb. Being strict with yourself and making sure you get to bed at the same time each day and waking up at same time each day inc. weekends makes such a difference. This might be hard if you have a varying work schedule but get it as a close as you can. Some of these things are likely to take you doing them consistently for few weeks to see a difference but stick with it. Keeping a diary nearby and doing a 'brain dump' each morning could help - words have less power when they aren't in your head. Its great that you asked this question - you are on the right track. Try different things/combination and see what works for you. Good luck!

Agora1 profile image
Agora1 in reply to bluepanda

bluepanda, I am so happy to hear that it has helped you. Continued success :) xx

Thanks - some good tips here! I like the idea of the app, the diary, getting your morning tasks sorted the night before, having a routine.

I just watched the video I didn’t really take to the woman- it seemed to be saying just act on every thought you ever have without thinking it through and do it fast (less than 5 seconds). Surely we’d all be running around like maniacs if we did this! Or is that just over analytical anxious me talking 😉

So I have to get up within 5 seconds of waking/my alarm going off?? No snooze or anything. Wow. I am not a morning person. That is going to be HARD! But I need to change something up. I’ll try 🤞🙂

There's an app called "I can't wake up" has a loud alarm, won't allow you to mute it or turn off your device, and you can program up to 10 tasks (math problems, puzzles, etc) that you have to complete before the alarm will turn off. I used 4 and found that my coffee was done and brain was functioning by the time I turned it off. I've read something similar to the 5 second rule, that says you can condition yourself to automatically get out of bed when the alarm goes off by practicing during the day. Getting out of bed is my least favorite thing to do lol.

Sounds like torture!! 😂

Haha I assume you mean both the alarm AND practicing waking up. Both torture. Especially when it's cold outside...ugh!

Hi, I'm glad some my tips seem achievable. I hope they help you. In regards to the 5 second rule, its not the 'over analytical anxious' you talking! It perfectly acceptable reaction. 5 second rule (and Mel) is a tough pill to swallow at first. It was for me too and still is sometimes. I forget to use it a lot of time, especially when my anxiety comes out to play. Sorry, I probably should have led with this before recommending. It wasn't meant to come across as 'oh its so easy, just don't snooze and get up!' Because, it isn't and I know how hard it is. When you first hear about the rule, you feel like 'really? What is counting down from 5 going to change,' or 'if it was as simple as just getting up then am I just not trying hard enough?' This isn't true at all. It's a simple rule but it doesn't claim to be easy to use. The way I see it is it's not about doing things in 5 seconds without thinking it through or about 'putting your head down and just doing it'. That isn't such a good idea! It's about bridging the gap between making a decision to do something (e.g. waking up 5 minutes earlier, getting out the door e.t.c) and actually doing that thing or doing small things in service of this goal every day if its big jump, bypassing anxiety, self doubt, over thinking e.t.c. So, do you have to get up within 5 seconds of waking? The answer is no (to start with) because your goals and journey are different. The beauty of 5 second rule is that it can be adapted to your own goals and at your own pace. In fact, I might be bold in saying it only works when you do adapt it and start in small steps. Otherwise, it's not sustainable and counterproductive. As an extreme example, if you struggling with waking up, using the 5 second rule to force yourself to do 5km every morning isn't going to work. Its going to sound impossible and brain will try to stop you from doing it any way possible. If you are currently getting up 2 hours after the alarm goes off, waking up in 5 seconds is going to feel insurmountable. Start off smaller! Slowly decrease the time between getting up and time spent in bed. Start using the 5 second rule to get up at a time that 15 minutes earlier than you usually do. If that feels too much, go even smaller to 5 minutes or even 1 minute. Do this consistently and only increase it when that new time becomes a habit. My advice is take it slow. I know that this might be a frustrating and you might feel like 'is this even worth it?' But, it's the best way I found to actually getting it stick and not feel overwhelming. You don't want to wake up super early one day only to fall back into old patterns. Also, I recommend focusing on changing one thing at a time. So if you want to try the routine, diary, and being prepared the night before, try those first - get each one feeling like a habit before moving on to the the next thing. Routines like these can be quite anchoring when you start to change sleep habits and things feel out of control. On a side note, the reason why its suggested that you get up as soon as the alarm goes off is that snoozing may give you short term benefits (i.e. warmth of bed), it rarely makes it easier to get up! When you snooze, you are at risk of entering a new sleep cycle. Then, when you finally do get up you get pulled out of a deeper sleep feeling more worse than you did. But, don't worry if you can't do that yet. It requires some working towards.

I suggested Mel Robbins because she has done the research and approaches to from a science basis. She is not the type of motivational speakers that are just empty platitudes and has struggled with anxiety/difficult times herself.

This is the Mel video that got me into 5 second rule.

Its pretty long but the description lists the times of the most imp bits.

I recommend:

- Mel describes the science behind the 5-second rule. [21:56]

- Tom and Mel talk about overcoming the habits of worrying, anxiety, and self-doubt. [31:44]

From your post, it seems like you want to change and like I said it is really great you are seeking advice. That an important step! The desire to change is there and so keep trying. It does get easier once you get on a streak! Also, I know it feels like i'm selling the 5 second rule but if it turns out that isn't the thing that works for you and that's okay. I am just giving you options. Go into like a trial and error process. Good luck :)

All very helpful and thank you for the lengthy response and I’ve taken it in the way it’s intended. I’m glad you’ve found something that works for you. I’ll have another listen to the 5 second rule vid you’ve linked to

Missnoname profile image
Missnoname in reply to bluepanda

You know...I always found I was way more likely to go to the gym if I slept in my gym closed and just got up and went straight to the car when the alarm went off. I was already there before I remembered I didn't want to go lol.

Ha ha! That’s hilarious! 😂

Back to work tomorrow, I’ve been trying to get to sleep for the last 2 hours and nothing 😫 I’ve started looking at the app Headspace and one of the meditation basics it has is counting your breaths to 10 and then starting back at 1 and if your mind wanders off that’s ok just to bring it back to the counting. My mind won’t stay still!! I keep wandering off before I get to 10 OR I’m suddenly realising I’m thinking “37” in my head and I’ve been counting well past 10 AND thinking about other things without even being conscious of it. My alarm is set for 6am which is 6 hours away so now I’m fretting about feeling tired in the morning and swotting about how I need to get to sleep! 😫

I feel for you. That's the get anxious and then stay up even longer. I hope you're feeling a bit better!

Hi, you won't believe I was motivated by farmville to get to work so I can harvest my crops. Crazy i know but my crops kept me going.

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