Check out Part I of this series for clues found in scripture on dealing with anxiety-related depression.
From Personal Experience
They call it a runner’s high. When you get your body moving and blood flowing, it triggers your body to release catecholamines into the bloodstream, which is the same thing that anti-depressants do. It’s an all-natural stimulant. And what better time to give running a try than now? More people are trying it right now than ever before using the couch to 5k running program or app. Let me know if you try it!
Set a bedtime for yourself that allows you to get 7-8 hours of sleep. If you have children who do not sleep through the night, just prioritize rest. Train yourself to go to bed shortly after they do and to nap when they do. This requires discipline but your mindset will improve so much.
Do the Next Thing
I don’t know where this originated, but it has been so helpful to me! Get into the habit of getting right to the next task that needs to be done, especially if you are discouraged and want to crawl in bed, and preferably a task for someone else. Pry your mind off of yourself and nurture a feeling of accomplishment despite the difficulty. Don’t allow circumstances and feelings to drive your day. What also helps with this, is making a doable list for the day, so that you know what comes next without having to think thru through every single task on the list and prioritize in the moment.
Focus Outside of Yourself
When we feel discouraged, we tend to focus too much on ourselves and our emotions. One of the easiest ways to overcome the habit of that downward spiral is to just turn outward. Train yourself to think of something that you could do for someone else, anyone else! Send a text, tidy something in your home that will make it feel nicer for your family, make something, and share it, anything to tangibly overcome the inward focus.
Progress in life is not an isolated event. Small progress in any area creates a snowball of encouragement in your own life as well as in those who live alongside you. Choose 1-2 tangible things that you have some control over and focus on improving in those areas. Choose something that you’re already doing and decide to do it a little better. Maybe it’s cooking, or maybe a sport or a hobby. Give it a little more effort and creativity.
A Poem by Jill Wolf
Don’t quit when the tide is lowest,
For it’s just about to turn;
Don’t quit over doubts and questions,
For there’s something you may learn.
Don’t quit when the night is darkest,
For its just a while ’til dawn;
Don’t quit when you’ve run the farthest,
For the race is almost won.
Don’t quit when the hill is steepest,
For your goal is almost nigh;
Don’t quit, for you’re not a failure
Until you fail to try.
I pray for those who are struggling under the weight of anxiety-related depression. Please deliver them from that burden and give them the strength, guidance, and courage to walk a different path, one of peace and joy. Help them to find their way through the heaviness.