Depression is something that many people struggle with, but not alot of people talk about it. This seems especially true for Christians. Personally I have struggled with the realization that I struggled with depression, more so out of pride and thinking that “christians shouldn’t suffer from depression”. Most times though, this reluctance to admit that there’s a problem often hinders your ability to overcome. In my previous post, I mentioned one of the 8 Tips to Help You Overcome Depression, one of these include gathering a list of scriptures that help to uplift you.Continue reading “20 Bible Verses to Help You Through Depression”
It would be easy if I could say I’ve never experienced sadness; that I’ve never stayed up half the night crying; that I’ve never wished that I wasn’t born; that I have no insecurities and I’ve never felt unworthy or less than.
It would be easy, but it would also be a lie.
It took me a long time to admit to myself that everything wasn’t sunshine and roses like I was trying to portray to everyone. That the bigger the smile didn’t mean the lesser the pain. That it was okay to admit to not being okay – its actually best.
Some people think that as a christian you shouldn’t experience depression and that if you do, then maybe you aren’t “christian enough”. Or saved enough. Or love Jesus enough.
I remember the first time I experienced a bought of depression. I was 13 years old. At the time I just thought I was feeling extra moody. Maybe it was my period or maybe it was because the boy I liked didn’t like me back. It wasn’t until a few years later that I actually realized that those periods of darkness in my life was depression. And let me tell you, the realization sucked. I was so ashamed of myself. Like, how was it that a youth leader and member of the worship ministry team was experiencing depression.
“There are wounds that never show on the body that are deeper and more hurtful than anything that bleeds.”
― Laurell K. Hamilton, Mistral’s Kiss
That self deprecation only made things worse. There was a point in time when I felt like a vampire in my house. I refused to go outside until it was time for me to put on my “face” and perform (at school and church). Most times I refused to eat. Breakfast was usually at 12 o’clock during the summers and I had everyone convinced that I was only eating that late because I’d just woken up. When in many cases I hadn’t ever gone to sleep. Then I started cutting. This was the best and worst. Best because it helped numb the pain that I couldn’t physically treat, and worse because it was the hardest to hide and I was physically battering my body.
You know that scripture that talks about our bodies being temples? I know that in the context it was talking about sex but everytime I heard it I felt sick to my stomach for the things I was doing to my body – God’s temple. And yet still, that just made things worse.
A depressed christian. It almost sounds taboo. And with the lack of conversation about this issue in church, you’d think it is. But its not. What it is though is heartbreaking and isolating. And its really hard to see your way out of it. It feels impossible to fight or overcome.
Over the years and through much prayer and study, I’ve come up with 8 steps that I use to help keep me in a happy space.
1. Write down one thing you’re grateful for everyday. Try not to repeat anything. Keep these points all in the same place like a gratitude journal/diary. You can make your own with a regular composition book or you can pick up one on amazon today that.
2. Journal! One of the things that usually causes us to spiral is internalizing everything – thinking and overthinking. It sends us in a rabbit hole of destructive thoughts. Writing down these feelings – unfiltered – is a great way to get them out of your head and heart.
3. Do devotionals geared toward overcoming depression. Here are a few of my favourite devotionals on the YouVersion app.
4. Listen to spiritually uplifting music. This doesn’t only have to be gospel, as long as its speaking a positive message into your life you’re on the write track. (Let me know if you would like a post where I share my Feel Good youtube playlist with you guys)
5. Pray daily that God would deliver you and help you to see the beauty of life and the wonder that he made in you. It might also be a good idea to enter into a period of fasting so that you can be completely devoted to prayer for this issue. It truly helped me.
6. Get a list of scriptures that uplift your heart and remind you of God’s goodness and display them somewhere you will see them often (everyday if possible). Stay tuned for next week’s post where I share a list of scriptures I find encouraging
7. Seek counsel. As christians I think its always a great idea to get counselling from the shepherd that God has appointed over you as his sheep – your pastor. In these sessions be completely honest. I know it’s going to be hard and emotional but it’s worth it. A great trick I use to help me get through the details without combusting into tears is to write down exactly what I want to say and then read it to my pastor. This method helps me to distance myself a little when the emotions feel too overwhelming.
8. Never stop. It’s easy to stop doing these positive tips once you start feeling better but that’s almost the equivalent of deciding to never eat again because you feel full in the moment. You have to continue this never positive behaviour in order to maintain it.
My prayer for each of you is that have struggled with depression and the restraints it outs on you life, family, relationships and even your sense of self worth is that God will restore you and make you new again. That he will heal your heart and open your eyes so that you may see yourself the way he sees you.
I love you all Chroniclers! Stay Positive
Productivity. It sounds like such a daunting word, especially if you’re a busy mom/dad, housewife, on the go entrepreneur, or if you’re like me – a “fly by the seam of my pants” kinda gal.
If you ask my husband, he’ll tell you that I prefer to live life more on the spontaneous side, which unfortunately isn’t always conducive to being productive and really getting things done. I guess I just don’t like the weight of feeling like I have a million things to do. Over the past few months however, I’ve been learning how to be more productive at home (especially during quarantine) without overburdening myself.
I had to figure out a way for me to get things done without it seeming like a chore. The first thing I did was change my mindset. Instead of thinking about doing a specific thing because “I have to”, I think of it more as a stepping stone to getting closer to where I want to be in life. It really works, trust me.
For example, if I know I need to tidy up the house, instead of thinking “oh ma gosh I have to clean”, I would think of it as “as soon as I can tidy up, I’ll be able to sit in peace and write my next blog post”. Trust me it’s that simple.
In the beginning though, I didn’t really know what to do to be productive. At first I figured because I was stuck at home it would be the most unproductive time of my life. Because, I mean, when we think productivity, we all think ‘work’. And how can I be productive if I’m stuck at home and can’t work.
But, then I prayed about it. Yes you read right, I went to God and asked him “Lord, how can I be productive in this season where productivity seems impossible?” It took me a while, but within the course of a few days the Lord started sharing ways with me that I could be productive in my own life, even though I was technically on house arrest and had limited resources.
Here are 5 ways you can be more productive at home.
1. Start the Project
You know that project you’ve been meaning to start but just haven’t had the time? You know the one, the dream of yours that’s been sitting idly in your head. Well, now you have a wealth of time and there is no time like the present.
It’s amazing sometimes how we always complain about not having the time to do something we really want to do. Whether its finally starting that business plan, writing that book, the home diy project, the youtube channel, etc. Then we finally have a wealth of time thrust upon us and we become “bored out of our minds” with “nothing to do”. Well I know what you should do, start the project!
2. Learn a New Skill
With all this free time that you have on your hands, one of the best things you can do is to learn a new skill. You never know, maybe the job you had before this pandemic might not be there when you get back, but with a new skill, you can get a new job, or create your own job/career.
A new skill can be anything. Learn to sew, learn to cook, learn to be a graphic designer, take up an instrument. Or you can do what my husband has been doing, learn a new language. The options are endless and the benefits even more so. This could open so many new avenues to you.
3. Declutter Your Life
Experts believe that in order to truly be productive in life and efficient when trying to complete tasks, our lives have to be free of clutter, confusion and chaos. My husband has been trying to teach me this forever and for a long time I just kept complaining that he was just being a neat freak (trust me, the man is unbelievably clean). But, I’ve tried it on my own and I have to agree that there are major benefits to my productivity.
When I’m writing, or planning my social media, my mind isn’t constantly going to the fact that I need to tidy up our bedroom or I don’t get distracted when I glance up for a moment and realize that I hadn’t put up the sweater I used the night before. The removal of these small distractions reduces the amount of time I have to refocus on the task at hand, which subsequently allows me to be as efficient with time as possible. This allows me to have more time in the day to do other things!
It is proven that exercise releases endorphins and other hormones which stimulate the brain and give the body a boost of energy and increases endurance. These factors can undoubtedly aid in your ability to be productive. I’ve always heard that when you get into the habit of exercising first thing in the day, you pump your body up to be able to tackle all your duties for the day. Make it a habit to get in at least 30 minutes of exercise everyday, trust me it will make you feel better.
5. Create a Routine/Schedule
On average, it takes approximately 66 days to form a new behavioural pattern. One of the biggest downfalls of “new years’ resolutions” is the fact that we are all always so busy all the time that trying to add something else to our lives is usually difficult. I used to feel this way until one day I decided to sit down and think about what I usually do in a day and the amount of time it takes me to accomplish each task. You know what I realized? The majority of my day is spent doing unimportant things or just wasted away. By creating a schedule you can easily map out a new routine for your life to include all the things you need to want and want to accomplish. Then if you stick to the schedule, over this period you will build a whole new behavioural routine that won’t easily be thrown out when life returns to normal.
6. Establish a Quiet Time
Quiet time is probably the most important time in the life of a christian. In my own life I know that I have struggled to maintain consistency in my quiet time, but one thing I’ve learned over the years is that I can’t live a fulfilled life without being filled up by God, and that happens mainly through my quiet time. During this time at home I’ve made it a point to set aside time to spend with God instead of scraping time at the end of the day. The more I do it the more it becomes a part of my life and it almost seems odd to go through the day without it.
Things are different now and times are really changing, but that doesn’t mean we can adapt and go with the flow. It is more than possible to be productive even if you are stuck at home.
I really hope this is helpful to all of you!