what gets you out of bed in the morning?

I don’t really remember how I got the idea for this article. It’s been sitting in a word document full of ideas for many months now and when I was planning out articles for this summer I knew this was one I wanted to finally bring to life. Because wouldn’t it be kinda cool to see what people have to say? Wouldn’t it be cool to have a list of what gets people up in the morning – a list of inspiration and motivation and passion and drive? I think it would be. And I think this is it.

I don’t want to talk too much in this little introduction because this isn’t an article about me. It’s an article about you, about us. Working on this article has left me more motivated and more inspired than I have been in a very long time. I am blown away by the honesty and the courage that is shared in each one of these entries and I feel humbled that people shared with me and with this blog and this community. I want to thank everyone who participated in this blog post and helped to make it a reality. This quite obviously could not have been done without you and I am so grateful that you all choose to be part of this.

“In general what gets me out of bed [are] my responsibilities as a student. I don’t always wake up and think it’s going to be a wonderful day but I always try to do things like wear clothes I like a lot and go on social media … when I wake up to try to combat my morning blues. I think the idea of working towards a goal [like] getting into … college … helps motivate me because it only feels recent that I’ve changed my study habits and have really improved in school so having this large end goal in front of me helps get me out [of bed] so I can keep working hard. I personally try to have little things to look forward to each week or each day, whether it’s plans to see a movie or the idea of being able to go home and take a nap … things like that help get me through my day no matter how bad of a morning I’ve had.” – rising high school senior

“The idea of getting to spend the day ahead with friends and family and knowing I can run that day. All three things are priorities to me and help me get through the day.” – rising high school senior

“My family and succeeding in school so I can get out of this toxic town and never come back.” – rising college freshman

“Based on where I’m currently at, I’m most motivated to get up and live a healthy life. The word “healthy” is often associated with low-carb diets and ample exercise, but I interpret a “healthy life” as one in which the person living it is happy. This isn’t to say that eating less carbs and going to the gym aren’t contributing to my healthy life, but I care more about feeling comfortable in my own skin and being content the way I feel. When I wake up, I always start my morning being productive – during the school year, I would get a head start on work; over the summer, I try to complete an errand or exercise – even something as simple as making my own breakfast. This is so my brain is stimulated early on and I can feel like I’ve started my day on a high note.” – rising college sophomore

“What gets me out of bed every morning is reminding myself of the feeling when I couldn’t and [choosing to] deal with life rather than avoid it.” – rising college sophomore

“So at school it’s really just like classes and going to see friends and not missing out on events … [It’s] almost like I need to … but when I’m home I would honestly say like food or just me not wanting to waste my day … but [on vacation] I would say wanting to explore and try new foods and meet new people and wanting to see like what the day brings me as a whole – it’s kind of like seeing how much I change as time progresses.” – rising college junior

“I am goal oriented and don’t like leaving things unfinished. That’s what gets me up in the morning – finishing what I’ve started. I’m never satisfied until I know I’ve finished things to the best of my ability.” – rising college junior

“My future self is waiting for me to achieve something great because she knows I can. So I will.” – rising college junior

“Coffee … And fresh air lol.” – rising college junior

“If it wasn’t for my alarm and signing up for morning workout classes, I wouldn’t get out of bed until well into the afternoon. After breaking a sweat and feeling good about not staying in bed to take Buzzfeed quizzes and scroll through Instagram, I come home to shower and get ready for the day ahead. Thanks to working out, I’m able to get out of bed knowing that I’m motivated to tackle the rest of the day with a positive attitude.” – rising college junior

“Knowing that I have a healthy, able body and that I am lucky enough to be surrounded by such a loving family and group of friends. Also the fact that I have an opportunity every day to improve my life and well-being, whether it be physically or mentally. And if I don’t take that opportunity, I will have to go about my day knowing that I simply will not be living my life to the fullest and will not be reaching my fullest potential … I get excited about the little things in life, like getting a new PR in the gym or finishing that book I’ve been reading for as long as I can remember, or even just BEING … Knowing that I am lucky enough to be surrounded by people who WANT and ENCOURAGE me to be the best I can be day in and day out. So that fact motivates me to be my best self in order to achieve personal greatness and to not let down the people who mean the most to me. Also, I often like to think that I should “do it for those who can’t”. So in the gym – push harder for the people who physically can’t. In school – appreciate the opportunity to be there for those who can’t afford an education. At home – love unconditionally for those who do not feel loved or for those who do not have a home at all.” – rising college junior

“When I saw that you were asking people to give input for your blog I immediately wanted to partake but hesitated when I saw the question. Mainly [be]cause it’s been hard to get out of bed recently. I just came back from being abroad and as cheesy as it sounds the last two months were absolutely incredible and coming home has been quite the come down. My days don’t excite me like they [used to] and I’ve been feeling lonely. And as cliché as it sounds, it’s other people that do get me out of bed. Seeing and being with the people I love. And knowing that if I didn’t, a part of their day too would be missing … Also knowing that I can jam out to music in the car (it’s the little things).” – rising college senior

“I’d like to be able to say that my friends, family and love for learning or experiences gets me out of bed in the morning. But if I was being honest with myself, it’s none of those things. For me, I get out of bed because of my anxiety. I become so fearful of what will happen if I don’t get out of bed in the morning that I’m often up for hours before I actually have to go someplace. I get so afraid that something catastrophic might happen to me if I’m not absurdly early or prepared for any given event. Those nagging thoughts stay with me throughout the entire day, often making it hard to even fall asleep. Some people can see this as a good thing, because there are so many people who experience the opposite, their mental illness makes it so they can’t leave their bed. I’m not lucky, waking up and experiencing thoughts that continue to downward spiral into the most detrimental things I can think of is not fun. No mental illness is ‘more convenient’ than someone else’s.” – rising college senior

“The sunshine.” – rising college senior

“As cheesy as it sounds, my main motivator in taking charge of my day is the role I play in being a [role] model to others – particularly my younger siblings. I know that no matter how bad a day I’m facing, to show my siblings or others who look up to my behavior that fighting every day for your goals CAN bring success is rewarding enough for me. Most days when I wake up I make a little mental note to myself about what my main goals are in life (very type A of me I know) and also reasons why I know I can accomplish them. This not only keeps me grounded but also is a form of positive affirmation that yes I AM a badass and yes I CAN do what I strive towards. While for me these goals are mostly career/world changing goals I also make sure to set small social goals for myself each day such as talking to someone new or showing random acts of kindness. As someone who has chronically struggled with anxiety and panic disorder there have been various times in my life course thus far where I’ve struggled to find the energy to get up, be active, and engage with others outside of my own mind. We think it’s safe – living within our own minds that we know and can control – however, sometimes this is the antithesis of safety and the only way to pull ourselves out of a consuming bubble of depression or anxiety is to engage with the world to realize what we were focusing on privately is truly inconsequential. I find ways that force me to engage whether that be through joining groups that revolve around socializing or just asking my friends about their lives – I love giving advice (it not only helps others but reminds me I CAN help others). Ultimately, on bad days I can recognize how tempting it is to just lay in bed and mindlessly watch Netflix or troll the internet (I’ve been there a lot and still am not immune to these days) but I try to remind myself when I am in these spaces that while self-isolation can be restful and sometimes what you need for self-care, it ultimately will not benefit your mental state to ruminate. Break up your day with different ways to energize yourself – take a walk, listen to a podcast, talk to others, check up on your friends – actively expand your mind past living within your own walls.” – recent college grad

“On a day to day basis, what gets me out of bed is general anxiety. My anxiety used to keep me so preoccupied that I always pushed things off, but as I got older, I channeled it into hyper-productivity. If I don’t get out of bed and focus on all my responsibilities, I’m worried that everything else in my life (the things I can’t control) will fall apart. On harder days, what gets me out of bed is the thought of what it would do to my loved ones if I spiraled. Anxiety and depression run in my family, and since I feel the effects of worrying so deeply for people I love so much, I don’t want to get to a point where I’m causing that same worry.” – recent college grad

“The hope that I can make my life and the lives around me better. It doesn’t always work every day and sometimes I go to bed without that hope, but everyday even when my body hurts, my head hurts, or my heart hurts … I know there’s a chance to make things better out there, for me, for others, for the future, and that’s what gets me out of bed.” – recent college grad