I don’t want to leave my room

Kelly Davis, Mental Health America

Sometimes the outside world seems too overwhelming.  It can feel like something is physically preventing you from moving, like there’s nothing worth getting out of bed for, like there is too much to do, or as if the world is too loud or you don’t belong. Shame, obligations, work, school, or relationships can make you want to sit out of everything. When you’re feeling and thinking these things, it makes sense that you would want to stay in your room or that you’d feel unable to get out of bed.

Isolation, exhaustion, and lack of motivation or interest in life are common experiences of individuals struggling with stress, depression, anxiety, and other mental health conditions. Almost everyone experiences these to some degree. Hearing this doesn’t always help or make things feel easier, however.

Even if the negative thoughts and sensations feel like the only thing in the world right now, know that eventually they do pass. You don’t have to feel guilty for having a very human experience or struggling. Sometimes the very best we can do is get through one minute at a time under the blankets in our rooms.

Tips for coping with not wanting to leave your room:

  • Reach out to a friend. If you need support, text or call a friend or someone you care about to make plans. Even if you don’t want to share what you’re struggling with, sometimes that helps to get a foot out the door. You could also invite friends or family to come visit you, too. 

  • Text or call for support. Connecting with other people is important, especially when we’re struggling. You can reach out to share what’s going on with you. Lots of people do not reach out because they feel like a burden, but many people say they would love to support someone who reached out to them. If you’d rather not talk about what’s happening, that’s ok, too! Even sharing videos and memes unrelated to what we’re experiencing can help.

  • Run errands or complete small tasks. When it’s hard to leave your room, small tasks tend to pile up leading us to want to stay in our rooms even longer. Think about some of the things you could take care of - like doing laundry, cleaning your room, going food shopping, sending emails, ordering things online, etc. You can set a specific timeframe (5 minutes, 30 minutes, an hour) to do something that might feel hard but is realistic. Once you start, it usually gets a lot easier to keep going.

  • Reach out to your support team or a professional. If you find you are unable to get out of bed for an extended period of time, think about reaching out to people in your network or a professional to talk about what’s going on.

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