What Gets You Out of Bed in the Morning When You Have Psoriatic Arthritis?
The morning. Ugh. Seriously.
That’s the feeling I get when I open my eyes each day. Just, ugh. Am I right?
The sun might be shining. There might be birds chirping. Even, many mornings there might be rounds of giggles echoing down the hallway in my home. Despite all these wonderful ways to greet the day, all I can manage is ugh. Do I have to get out of bed?
Chances are, a good night’s sleep eluded me and the pain of aching joints greets me long before the reality of the day.
Getting out of bed
The most difficult part of my day is always the first thing I face. Getting out of bed. Why should I get out of bed today? When my body hurts the worst first thing in the morning, what is so compelling that it forces me to move, stretch, and strain my body? Each day, that answer is a little different.
I know, I know. It’s not like most of us have much of a choice most days. The demands of everyday life are always there. Whether it is work, family, or simply the need to go to the bathroom, swinging our aching legs over the edge of the bed is inevitable. We might as well do our best to make the most of it.
Tips for getting out of bed when it is difficult (which let’s face it, is pretty much all the time)
Make it it a game
Who doesn’t love a little competition, even if it is with ourselves. The more creative you can be here, the better. My favorite is what I like to call, The Grateful Alphabet Game. I start on day 1 with the letter A. I give myself the time it takes to list 3 things that I am grateful for that day that start with the letter A to get out of bed. Then the next day, I do the same thing, but with the next letter in the alphabet. And so on each day until I’ve completed all 26 letters. As you can imagine, some days take longer than others.
Whether you use this game, or make up one for yourself, the point is that you can distract your brain long enough to focus on something other than the pain and stiffness of the morning. Just like Mary Poppins says, “In every job that must be done, there is an element of fun. You find the fun- and SNAP- the job’s a game.”
Give yourself a reason
When you roll over, open your eyes, and think, “Dear Lord, why?” Perhaps you should look in the mirror. Why are you going to get out of bed today? If you can give yourself one reason (and it doesn’t even have to be a good one), just one reason, even if it’s simply that you have to pee, give yourself that reason and get your butt out of bed. Then instead of going straight back to bed, give yourself another reason. Put one foot in front of the other and congratulate yourself for doing so.
If it is the pain and stiffness of PsA that is keeping you in bed, then the more time that passes with you moving in the morning then the better (in theory) that you will feel. Because I tend to have a lot of pain in my back and hips as well, I try to do the Cat-Cow pose as well as Child’s pose. These help get my blood at least kind of flowing to some of the parts of my body. Because let’s be honest, I’m also trying to ignore the throbbing pain in my hands and feet. At least I can try and do something about my back and hips.
Enlist the help of your army
If you’ve followed my advice in the past, you’ve done your best to surround yourself with an army of people (even if it is only 1 or 2 and even if it happens to be a virtual army). Use them. Send up a flare; no, not the PsA kind, the emergency help kind. Don’t be afraid to ask for some help in getting your day started right. I even (rather sneakily) enlist the help of my children. Many mornings they come sneaking and creeping in search of some morning cuddles. I “pretend” that I’m doing it for them, when obviously, they are clearly for me. Who wouldn’t want cuddles from their kiddos to help them get going with their day?
When it really comes down to it, finding your reason, whatever that may be, to get out of the bed in the morning can help you get your day started on a hopefully less painful note.