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What Drives Us to Get Out of Bed?

As we brace for 2019 and stack up our resolutions, Broadly is focusing on finding motivation for the hard tasks that await us—like getting out of bed.

Read all the stories from our Getting Out of Bed series here.

The day after Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s Senate Judiciary hearing, I struggled to get myself out of bed. I kept my eyes closed tightly as I listened to the sound of my phone’s alarm, my mind replaying scenes from the unrelenting news cycle: a poised Christine Blasey Ford choking back tears as she testified that Kavanaugh held her down and attempted to rape her at a house party in the 1980s; Kavanaugh's defiant anger while rebuking the allegations against him. After over a year of countless news stories of sexual violence, the hearings not only brought another onslaught of abuse allegations, but also a tireless barrage of backlash accusing Blasey Ford, and by extension countless other survivors, of lying about abuse.


Coinciding with the one-year anniversary of #MeToo, the instability of the job market and the ever-changing immigration battle, the hearings felt like a test of how much more women could take. As I lied in bed, I no longer felt rage, just futility.

Of course, I wasn’t alone in my experience. Many others were experiencing such vicarious trauma after the week’s events, and many, in turn, reported feeling dejected and depressed. On Broadly, we decided to share how we motivate ourselves, and sometimes each other, to push through such emotionally trying times.

It’s this sentiment that inspired Getting Out of Bed, a new series from Broadly in which we focus on finding motivation for the hard tasks ahead. Throughout January, we’ll be rolling out stories related to rest and resilience, including self-care and wellness, nighttime curiosities and bedtime culture, and finding stimuli in unusual places. We asked a handful of writers to share a time when it was difficult for them to get out of bed, and how they managed to do it.

We kicked off this series with Robyn Kanner’s poignant essay on grief, running, and sobriety, which also ran in our This Is Fine. newsletter. We'll also be exploring themes of heartbreak, loss, and home, and where those intersect with our ability to rest and rise again.

black power naps

Models, clockwise from top: Mali Acosta, Charlyn Griffith, Ayah Happi Free, Ebony Donnley, Tourmaline. Photographed by Avi Avion. Creative direction by niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa. Make up by Gogo Graham. Photo editing by Alyza Enriquez.

We can’t adequately talk about rest and leisure without discussing access and inequality. To explore these themes more fully, we partnered with Afro-Latinx artists niv Acosta and Fannie Sosa for their installation of Black Power Naps, which is currently exhibiting at Performance Space New York. Black Power Naps examines the “racial sleep gap” and invites Black people to rest and restore themselves in the interactive installation.

Broadly created a zine along with Black Power Naps aimed at interrogating the equity of sleep and promoting rest and leisure for people of color. The zine is available for free at Performance Space New York throughout the run of their show, and all of the stories, photos, and artwork will also be published on Broadly online here.

We hope that in exploring these topics we can better understand some of the bigger questions we have for ourselves this year: Who is entitled to rest, and what does more equal access to sleep look like? What does it mean to restore ourselves, and can we ever do this fully? Who is capitalizing on our exhaustion, and what are the implications for all of us?

We invite you to come along with us—to explore moments of both rest and resilience as we brace for the new year, and every new challenge that awaits.

Read all the stories from our Getting Out of Bed series here.