A few weeks ago, it hit me. Frustration took over. Fatigue took over. Distraction ran every moment. Sadness took root. Hopelessness filled my heart. Confusion filled my mind.
I was depressed. For no apparent reason, I was here again. At least the third time this year. A season I am tired of revisiting, of reliving, of fighting repeatedly.
This episode lasted for a week or so, and with a prayer to God to lift my spirits, I was uplifted out of it last Wednesday. Over the past year or so, it’s the shortest period of depression I’ve experienced, and I am grateful that it is over.
Outside of praying (which isn’t enough in itself – we must pray and DO something), what can we do to get through depression? I never describe it as “getting over”, because getting over things doesn’t mean that they aren’t there. In “getting over” things, we often mask or cover them up, by putting our facades on. Getting through things means we have to confront them and do the work required to get to the other side of them. In doing this, we learn more about ourselves and others, and become stronger.
When I say “pray and do”, I mean that we should ALWAYS, talk to God first with our inner feelings, longings, thoughts, spiritual woes and needs for hope and direction. There are times when God’s Spirit will fill you and immediately take your suffering away. Then there are other times, when your healing and deliverance come from God working through what you do. Many times, God will fill you while you’re doing these things.
So if you’ve prayed, but still need help to get through your depression, what can you do?
After I’ve had a conversation with God, here are a few things that have helped me get through moments of suffering.
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO GET THROUGH DEPRESSION
- Think of the times God has been there for you in the past. When you’re going through hard times, it’s easy to focus on everything going wrong, how you feel alone, or unable to “fix” your situation. Remind yourself of all the ways God has used your setbacks and tough times for your good. Think of all of the times He showed up when you needed Him. What He did then, He will do again. Believe and trust in Him.
- Meditate. A couple of weeks ago, I shared How Mindfulness Meditation Changed My Life. In addition to helping me relax and become clear headed, it’s helped me to be less judgmental of my difficult times. It’s helped me to see things for what they are and not fight them, but let them pass. The more I meditate, the more I realize that I have the tools I need to get through anything in life, and part of that is accepting that life will throw many unpleasant things my way. It helps me to see that I can, and will, thrive through it all.
- Talk to a friend. I recently spoke to a couple of friends about my depression, and it helped me realize that I’m not alone – they, too, have been dealing with it. I was able to vent, they were able to vent, and we are now helping each other get through this season.
- Watch and/or read motivational material. Every morning, I read my devotional and the Bible scripture that is included in it. Without this, I’m sure that my depression would be much worse. I’ve also been watching videos and reading articles that not only explain what I’m experiencing, but those that offer inspiration and affirmations for the tough times.
- Make an appointment with a therapist. I have an appointment with my therapist this coming Monday. Therapy is for everyone, and is very beneficial. There’s something about talking through your troubles that is healing, and the ways of this world make it very necessary.
- Share your story. Like this blog post, or via text, Facebook or an IG post, let people know what you’re going through. You’ll be surprised at how many people are going through it, too. It’s also an open invitation for everyone to uplift each other with inspirational comments.
- Take care of yourself. Do something you love to do, without limits, expectations or explanation. Exercise, take a shower, and bathe. Get a massage, get your hair done. Read a book. Drink a cup of tea on your balcony. Listen to your favorite music. Connect with nature. Nurture your soul.
- Make a list of the positive things going on in your life, including what you’re grateful for. Write a list of the things that are bothering you. Then, all at once or one day at a time, create a list of the good things in life. Compare them to the first list. Reread the good list regularly.
- Take a break. Let social media live without you. Distance yourself from the fear of missing out by taking control of your life. If you need time away from family and friends, let them know, including why.
- Spend time with the people you love. Spending time with my family and friends helps me keep perspective on what’s most important in life. When my 4-month old niece and 3-month old nephew try to talk, smile and laugh, my heart fills with so much joy.
What are some things that have helped you get through seasons of depression?
Be loved. Love you. Be love.
*Photo Credit: Nappy