You will hate this tip because it's an actual workout that makes your muscles burn and it's not sex.
As an aside, sex can also be a great workout if you can get it without leaving bed and can find the energy to get into the mood and not just lie there with the blanket over your head.
Sex when you're just lying there with the blanket over your head and someone else (or a vibrator) is doing all the work can also have a beneficial effect on your mental health, which is why I fully intend to write a self-help guide titled "The Fucking Cure", but that is not the topic of this tip.
Do you ever have those days when you just can’t get out of bed? Do you struggle to exercise? Is your mind racing but your body won’t move? Can’t pull the covers off. Can’t put your feet on the ground.
This is a full body workout you can do in bed. Maybe at the end of it you’ll be able to get up, and maybe not. Either way, you will have worked out. Miracle!
I am not a personal trainer or a physical therapist or a doctor, I’m not a trained professional at all. I just made up these exercises. I do think there’s likely very little risk you will badly injure yourself while lying down in bed, but life is full of unexpected, stupid accidents. I once got a very bad sprain in my ankle that required 4 weeks in a cast and one of those fucking foot boots because I stepped weirdly on a pinecone in the driveway while walking down it to get the mail.
Start curled up in a fetal position, just like you already were. Leave the blanket over your head if you want. Now: curl harder. Pull your knees in as close to your chest as possible, tuck your arms in and your head in, crunch yourself up like you’re so sorry you were born that you’re going to make yourself small enough to climb back in to your mother’s womb. Or like you’re one of those octopi that is hell-bent on escaping its aquarium and making its way back to the ocean, even if it has to flush itself down the toilet to do so. This world is a vale of tears and if you make yourself small enough you can escape it, or at the very least make yourself inconspicuous.
This should hurt and you should be generating a lot of heat. That’s one of the benefits of this workout, it causes pain, and it also makes you warm. Breathe slowly and deeply. Your body should shake. If you’re not getting hot, feeling pain, or shaking — well, there is no way you’ve made yourself small enough to crawl back out of the world, so smush yourself more. Feel free to think about how much you’d rather not be alive, but keep curling yourself up smaller. Hold for 10 deep long breaths while silently cursing my name.
Rest for 10 deep long breaths. Swear at me, god, capitalism, existence, and fitted sheets if that feels good to you.
Flop on over to your other side and do the same thing on the other side. I know it’s almost exactly the same thing, but you need to exercise both your fetal positions.
The thigh master was a medieval torture device sold via infomercial in the early 90s. It was a spring-tension metal butterfly that you put between your thighs and squeeze. This exercise requires no equipment, however, and you still don’t have to get out of bed.
Start in your usual fetal position, knees comfortably pulled in. Using your butt and thigh muscles, lift your upper leg off your lower leg and hold it there for 10 long, curse-filled breaths. You will feel this in both the leg you are holding up and the one on the bed, and your butt will feel terrible. You can make this easier or harder by holding at different heights or at different levels of fetal curling. Again, you should feel pain, heat, and shaking.
Flop on over to the other side and do it again.
Okay, you’re probably a little bit warm now. Spread out on your back and resentfully consider the prospect of having to live another day. Bring your hands next to your face, palms facing inward, open your mouth wide (you can even stick out your tongue), stretch out all your fingers as hard as you can, and do the same with your toes, while breathing deeply and staring into the existential void.
You should look like Macaulay Culken in Home Alone, who himself was imitating that famous creepy painting known as The Scream. Contemplate the horror that is Donald Trump’s cameo in Home Alone 2 and take 10 deep breaths while allowing yourself to feel completely unhinged at the prospect of facing another day of this shitty reality.
Okay now rest.
I like to take some breaths at this point where I’m blowing the air out of my mouth like a horse, with my lips vibrating a little. This feels loose and silly and horsey, which is great after that angsty scream-face you were doing. ( It's also a cool sex tip and I think probably useful if you play the trombone.)
Okay now roll onto your belly. if you have ever done yoga or even just bookmarked that Yoga with Adrienne youtube page, you might know this next exercise as Reverse Boat. But you’re in bed, and you’d rather not get out. You’re kind of stuck there, like that boat. It’s awkward.
You feel like maybe you should get out of bed and face the world but oof, that is a lot. There’s still a pandemic, and probably your child is out of the one kind of breakfast food they will eat this week and they are about to start fucking wailing about it.
Also the dishwasher is giving you a mysterious error code that isn’t listed in the product manual, and actually it’s the second new dishwasher you’ve had installed in the last month, because your 8 year old dishwasher broke and the first new dishwasher you bought and had installed was obviously made out of parts that did not pass QC but were used anyway because the supply chain is so fucked up now from that big stuck boat and people want their fucking dishwashers right now, because seriously how does this family produce 13 used drinking glasses per day and no one knows how to hand wash??!
Yep, that big stuck boat has made your life demonstrably more difficult and you feel like an overprivileged piece of shit for whining about it, but here you are in bed and you yourself feel like a big stuck boat, because who wants to get up and figure out the dishwasher error code or the child’s breakfast emergency. Fuck that, you’re going to lie here on your stomach while tiny diggers gather around you moving tiny little bits of sand away from your body until you finally float free through no effort of your own.
No, actually, you’re going to scootch your body down so you have more room, put your arms above your head (not actually up in the air, above but horizontal, don’t worry, you still do not have to get out of bed), and then push your arms and your legs toward the ceiling at the same time. if you were not lying down in a soft bed you’d be kind of balancing on your belly right now; the bed actually makes this more difficult, and it looks ridiculous, but do it anyway.
If you’re tall your legs might be sticking out the end of the bed, or you might be hampered because the blankets are tucked in and if you untuck the blankets it will be way harder to make the bed when and if you do get out of it, and fuck that, you are not untucking the blankets. Don’t worry about it. Just push up against the blankets as best you can.
You may feel this all along your body, like someone attached electrical wires to your hands and feet and is running current through you.
Take 10 deep long breaths. For the first five of them, contemplate the law of inertia. Bodies at rest tend to stay at rest, so it’s just a law of physics that you will stay in bed all day, right? Except you’ve got all this electricity running through you now.
For the next five breaths contemplate the nature of interconnectedness and the fragility of our entire existences, that a boat that was stuck in a canal sometime in what now feels like the distant past (before delta variant,certainly), is responsible for the fact that you have had to resort to piling dishes up in front of people’s bedroom doors so that they might hand wash them.
You may recognize this as not-reverse Boat Pose. Roll over onto your back again. Now, pull your knees up and in while pulling your head and shoulders toward your knees. Yes, this is basically a crunch. It will hurt.
Feel a puddle of burning gasoline in your belly, just like one of those big tankers carrying oil all over the world so we can invent new ways to burn it up, like NFTs. What about: cash money, only worse? Let’s invent a kind of money that to get it requires us to actually burn up the world. WTF is wrong with us? What was wrong with the other kind of money that didn’t require quite so much gasoline to make? Here is a video of a bulldozer destroying a bitcoin mining operation. Contemplate the fact that we humans invented a kind of money that is just as imaginary as paper but somehow still needs to be mined like gold.
Feel the burning gasoline in your belly as you rage at this fucking world we have to live in that we are burning up every day while a handful of insane billionaires continue to insist that Mars will be a perfectly lovely place to live once we’ve nuked the ice caps.
Take 10 more deep breaths.
Okay, now you might feel very awake and energized. If so, then roll over onto the side that’s closest to the edge of the bed, sit up, and put your feet down on the floor.
Take a deep breath, one more time, and remember that every day is an opportunity to make some part of this fucked up situation slightly less awful. You don’t have to fix yourself or the world. You just have to pick up a couple of broken things and grab some duct tape and tape them together as best you can, and maybe wash a couple of dishes.
You’ve got this.
And if you don’t, if you still can’t get out of bed, well, you just completed a full-body workout, so you can just check that off and go back to sleep.