cathy terranova blog


Making the bed seems like a chore reserved for children and old people. But it’s turning into a very important part of my day.

As someone who struggles with frequent bouts of anxiety and depression that often overlap into dismal battles to remain human, getting out of bed is the worst part of my day. My medicine gives me a terrible crash in the morning, I’m hopelessly tired if I’ve had nightmares, and having to put on pants is the absolute worst. Usually I opt out of pants and put on a dress for that very reason but nightmares and medicine are harder to opt out of.

Once I’m finally out of bed it takes everything in me not to go back. I have to rest periodically throughout the day, so it’s easy to tell myself that I need to lie down, “just for a few minutes”. Napping can have terrible consequences and ruin valuable sleeping patterns that are easily disrupted for anyone, but especially those of us with PTSD. The key is to wear ourselves (and our minds) out for the day, but not be so exhausted that we can’t make up for it in a single night’s sleep, which we may not get.

Routine is super important for someone with my list of issues. As a personality that hates routine, you can see how this is a struggle.

But having things that help me jump start my day are helpful. Making the bed is one of them. It’s a way to make it less tempting to crawl back in because I’ve gone through the trouble to do the work to make it. With a husband who some how takes the fitted sheet off his side of the bed every night, it’s a bit of work. Plus, I have already checked off something productive without even having to think about pants.

Seeing the bed made gives me an immediate sense that the day has started. It’s time to go make coffee, take my day time medicine, and get dressed. From there, I can work out or walk the dog. I can check emails or even just Facebook notifications. Whatever I choose to do, except, go back to bed.

I’m not great at doing this everyday. But days when I start off by making the bed tend to go better than those that don’t. Not to say that a made bed cures all ails, because it doesn’t. But it is a little thing that I can do to set the tone for the day.

It’s difficult to feel like you’re in charge and not your illness. So what can you do in your own world to make a stand? Is it make your bed to show that you won’t go back? Is it drink a cup of coffee with your eyes open? What about wash your face?

Think of a little victory that you can claim each morning and aim for it. Taking charge is the first step to not letting your illness boss you around.

Don’t beat yourself up when you can’t do it, but cheer yourself on when you can.



photo credit: <ahref=”″>Reykjavík</a> via <a href=””>photopin</a> <a href=””>(license)</a>

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