When You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed

Do you ever have days when you just don’t want to get out of bed?

I’m not talking about the days you wake up and wish you could hit the snooze button a few more times. I’m not referring to days when you didn’t get enough sleep because you stayed up too late watching David Letterman. Those days are normal. For some they happen everyday.

I’m talking about the days when you don’t want to get out of bed, because you don’t think you can face the world outside the covers. I’m talking about days when it hurts to think about facing life.

Do you ever have days like that?

Perhaps you’re like me, and you’ve had seasons where facing the day seems unbearable. It can last a day, a week, or months at a time. I’ve spoken about this before, but I went through a mini-depression a few years ago. My boys were leaving home, my father and Cheryl’s father died, and the stress of ministry was greater than ever. Some days it was all I could do to put on my pastor smile and keep going.

At times, the stress of life can cause a person to wish they didn’t have to face another day. In a world of constant changes, uncertainty, fear, trials and steady burnout, keeping your chin up and continuing to smile can often be a challenge. Has that ever been your story?

I wish we were better as a church and a society of realizing those times are natural, allowing people to be honest about them, and helping people through them rather than looking down on them because of their inner struggles. Even godly, people of extreme faith have times when they fell all is hopeless. (Read about Elijah and Paul for a couple of good Biblical examples.)

What do you do on days like that?

After years of experience, both personal and walking with others, here are a few suggestions for those times:

Get up and do something – No, you may not feel like it, but doing nothing during times of depression, mild or otherwise, almost never solves the problem. You may not be able to do what you need to do, and you certainly may need rest, but continuing a vegetative state of existence is not the right answer. Discipline yourself to get out of bed, be around people, and stay active.

Do the best you know how today – You may not be at 100%. You may only be 20% today. Okay, perhaps you only have 1% to give today. That’s okay. Give that. Do the best you can do today and don’t feel guilty about not doing all you normally would do. My guess is there’s probably something you can still do that will bring value to the people around you…yet another reason to get out of bed.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help – This may mean professional help and don’t be ashamed of that. Most of us need professional counseling at some point in our life. But, also soak up energy from others for a season. It’s okay to need others. In fact, that’s one primary purpose of the body of Christ. We are to bear with one another during tougher times of life. Chances are you’ve been there for others when they needed help. Now let others be there for you. (Note: Relying on others should not be an excuse to ignore the other principles here. You still have personal responsibilities and ignoring them will not help you, but only enable you to continue in your current condition.)

Prepare and build – This is a time to practice healthy discipline, get consistent rest, exercise, eat healthfully, and prepare mentally and physically for a day when you feel better about your surroundings. Watch for the healing moments, the days when a smile comes easier and for the door of opportunities to open, which encourage you. Those are good days and you should be even more productive on those days. You’ll be able to celebrate your progress and, when repeated over time, it will help lift your spirits. God does heal when we submit our pain to Him. In these seasons, you’ll also learn to recognize the signs that a period like this is coming again. Store up that wisdom and experience to help others and yourself in other similar seasons of life.

Wait and listen – God will use these times of desperation to build you more into His heart and character. This should be a time of constant prayer, crying out to God for help. Many of the Psalms were written during times like this in the Psalmist’s life. Read a few of them. Don’t make drastic decisions during these days as you wait for God to speak clearly again.

Have you been there?

You may now want to read my post “God WILL Allow More Than You Can Bear“.

Have you ever wished you could stay in bed and not face another day? Are you there now?

What steps have you taken to heal from times like these? What or who helped you the most?

Share your story so it will help others.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Add video comment

Have you Subscribed via RSS yet? Don't miss a post!

25 thoughts on “When You Don’t Want to Get Out of Bed

  1. I'm there right now. Its been about 3 or 4 days since I really left my small studio apartment. Today I've stayed mostly in bed. I try to make an effort to be productive. I went out for a haircut but rushed back home to be in bed because being outside was too overwhelming. Im so overwhelmed and life is really beating me up. I resort often to the word of God but am so absent minded,I can't barely pick up its words. Im so afraid of whats happening because I have no fight left in me, and I can't bare the process of my life spinning downward. Even with the hope and word of God, I am having trouble really letting go because I try and try and I keep getting told by family, friends, social work, therapist that I need to fight. Maybe someone can tell me what I am fighting for if Gods will is for me to surrender it.

  2. I’m a mother of 4. I have everything to be happy about. Well, except I feel like a single mother until about 8pm, when my husband finally comes home from work. Every day, at least 5 days a week he’s out the door by 7am and rarely back before 8pm. If he comes home sooner it’s much needed help to get the kids to scouts or sports. I take them to church with me. He finally compromised his Sunday mornings and goes to an earlier service with us. But it’s all wearing on me emotionally. I’m growing numb and very tired. It’s harder to fight the temptations of the devil and it’s easier to have the older kids help with younger ones while I just go back to bed. I love my children and I can’t imagine life without them. I don’t wish them to be grown any time soon, but I feel trapped all at the same time. My husband mans the budget and there’s never enough fun $. It doesn’t make sense, because we don’t have a car note and we refinanced for a lower house note. Where does the $ go? I’m tired of trying to make life fun on a dime. I’m tired of the stress of wondering why my husband puts his job first. I’m tired of being the spiritual leader of our home. So I guess out the outside it looks like I have nothing to be unhappy about, but on the inside of our life… it’s all wearing me out. :'(

  3. Yes, plenty of days like that when situations are overwhelming and I'm not sure what to do. the biggest thing i'm learning is to acknowledge my feelings to the Lord and ask Him for the help I need, even if I cannot articulate what that is. I take comfort in His promises that He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. I resonated with your point about doing the next thing that you know to do. Many times, that's all i can do. I have also found it helpful to do something different. If my last few days have been in meetings, with lots of thought work, I try to do something physical, to tax a different system. Talking to good friends who are both empathetic and truthful helps put those days in perspective. Thanks for your post- I appreciate you raising the question.

  4. Thanks Ron for your thoughtful post and thanks to your reader's comments too. Great stuff. I wd add one more thing to this list: Tell someone about Jesus. There is just something amazingly uplifting about evangelism. I believe it's more than a feeling; Jesus said he would be with us when we go out in His name. We have the promise of His presence when we do this work. So, feeling down? Find someone and start a conversation about Jesus. Not saying it's a cure-all and not trying to take away from anything that has been said. But I will say, like Sam I Am, "Try it. Try it. You will see."

  5. Yeah, I've been there. Refusing to quit was often what got me through the roughest of times. No matter how badly I felt and how depressed I became, refusing to quit life and hoping for joy again kept me alive. Literally. No matter how bad things seem, simply refuse to quit.
    Twitter: KariScare

  6. Ron, thank you for a kind, compassionate word. I was just about to write "I confess that I am in one of those times now" when I realized that even the idea that this struggle is something to "confess to or "admit to" gives it a sense of shame, which I don't believe God wants for me.

    I have been separated from my husband for a year, safe from his violent temper but still carrying the wounds and a deep love for him that keeps my heart connected to him even as wisdom says I cannot be in his presence. My mother died in October, and I am chronically ill w/a painful bladder disease (interstitial cystitis) which flares often and ruthlessly. Financial problems, constant pain…and today, I am in bed w/another IC flare. I have a deep sense of God's love and care for me, my future is in His hands and most days, I can rest in that. I have hope. There are moments of joy. But sometimes…

    I have no choice but to stay in bed, because I have to get over this IC flare, but the emotional struggle is very real and hard to deal with. God is my refuge, and one of the graces in your post is the assumption that one can be in terrible pain, knocked down and wounded, and still know that God is there, working, caring, strengthening. I may feel defeated at times, but I only actually become defeated when I believe that I am.

    My prayer, for as long as I have walked with God, has been that I would be able to freely and extravagantly love others with God's love. In my weakness, He is strong. In this pain and turmoil, much of which I don't understand (I knew my husband for over 10 years before we married, he was a good friend, and not once had he ever even spoke an angry word to me, even when I told him counsel that I knew he didn't want to hear. How did he go from that to being so angry with me that he threatened my life and physically harmed me?), I feel compassion growing in my weakness. I am more patient, less sure of my own ability to handle situations, more dependent on God. More loving. Less fearful. More grateful. Less judgmental. I mean, seriously, who am I to judge?

    Thanks again for a word of kindness and encouragement. From God's heart to your keyboard to my laptop… :)

  7. Stay away from the super saints who would have you to believe that you should just make positive confession and move on. Times like these are very real and pat advice, even from the scriptures, can do more harm than good. Find people who are honest about the Christian walk and who don't default into false bravado. Yes, we can do all things who strengthens us, but just this morning I was thinking how the Lord never uses scriptural platitudes to minister to me. He's loving, gentle (knows just where and how to prod me) and long-suffering. Find people in your life that truly exhibit these characteristics. They will be a Godsend. They will not coddle you, but will empathize and push in the right ways and at the right time. They will be people who truly understand the human condition and will know that we are not above times such as these. They will not tell you to "buck up and get over it" but will instead apply the healing balm of Gilead and keep you pointed to the Savior in a loving and sympathetic way.

  8. These are all great "remedies" to this situation. But, as someone who, too, has gone through many years of depression since childhood, I would like to submit that the main thing that helped and is continuing to help me is to think on God. 2Cor 12:10b – …for when I am weak, then am I strong.
    When I take my mind off of me and focus on God, I find myself coming out of depression much faster than if/when I skip Him. I battled depression for over 30 years, but it wasn't until I understood that the battle is not mine, it's the Lord's the I finally got victory.
    Depression is a dark, lonely, miserable place to be and I wouldn't wish it on my worst enemy. There is someone who has tried all of these (as I had) and still do not have relief. Please, for your peace, go back to your first love.
    Be Blessed!

  9. Give myself permission to slow down to gain strength from the the Lord, but don't be idle. Take time to be still in His presence. Make rest and eating properly a priority. Celebrate the small victories. Be more selective about the company I choose. Positive and supportive people are essential. Be willing to admit life is rough right now. Oftentimes that brings unexpected blessings. We are the body of Christ, not a bunch of Lone Rangers. We need each other. More than anything else, keep believing that ALL God's promises are true no matter what I see or feel. Eyes on Jesus! Peter sank when he turned his focus from Jesus to the storm.

    Thank you for sharing this post. Good info and timely … I need the encouragement

  10. I truly believe in get up and do something even if you don’t feel like it. It usually gets you motivated rather than just thinking.
    Twitter: lisapatb

  11. Prayers continued for you Ron, as I'm certain the transitions of the next few months will be many. Your reflection about your own struggles make you so approachable as a minister (or listening ear to so many). You have truly 'been there, done that'…. the fact that you state that your boys moving made you both sad is very helpful to many. It is normal and ok to dread that day. The overwhelming situation of losing both your father and Cheryl's so close together….your real situations, and the way you made your way through them, is a testimony to your faith….

    In losing both my mom and dad to cancer 30-26 years ago, my grandma was my saving grace. She moved to the area (at age 85) and just filled a void in my life reminding me of God's word and showing me her own strength as she had lost one of her daughters, my mom.

    Have a nice 'rainy' Monday! It's a beautiful day out there…really. :)

      • Thank you Ron….I'm truly an eternal optimist, a dreamer, drink 1/2 full cups, absorb sunsets EACH day (don't always get up early enough for the sunrise:), have a loving, forgiving, healthy family and grandson that sleeps in my arms…I trust in our Lord for everything. HE does get me up and out of bed everyday…