Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist or social worker. I do not have a degree in helping anyone professionally. All opinions in this post are just that, OPINIONS. I myself have suffered from depression and have found these tips to help.
Christian or non-Christian, there are a lot of people who suffer from depression. Depression is a world-wide mental illness that is hardly acknowledged and many people go without getting help. No matter what is said the truth is:
- Depression is no one’s fault. It is an imbalance in the chemicals in one’s brain and it is not caused by anything that you can do.
- Depression is not a disease, it can’t be spread. Being with someone with depression won’t cause you to catch it. If you think this, I am so sorry but you’ve already got a much worse diagnosis.
Here are some practical tips to help you or someone you know overcome depression. (And yes, I do believe with the help of the Lord, you can overcome anything!)
I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13
1 | Get into a routine
It takes 21 days to establish a habit or routine. When starting a new routine or habit I keep 21 sticky notes on my door frame and take one down each day. I personally relish in routine and enjoy it very much. Getting up in the morning at a decent hour and filling your day with things you have to do (work, errands, etc) with things you want to do (hobbies, nights out, etc) is very important. Finding the right balance is so so so very important, if you have too much work or not enough structure in your day your depression can overcome you even more quickly.
A good tip for keeping a routine whether you end up doing the same thing all five weekdays or have a varying schedule the best way to keep up is keeping track with a good planner.
2 | Study your bible DAILY
Being close to God means being farther from Satan. The best way to keep your chin up is by starting your day off with investing your time in your relationship with God. For this time in your day I would suggest that you get your favorite drink (mine being hot chocolate) cuddle up on the couch or sit at the table with your bible, a highlighter and a journal (or a bible study pdf like the free one you can get with us when you sign up for our newsletter) and just sit and meditate in the beautiful presence of the Lord.
I find by studying in the morning you are able to start your day out with a fresh view on the world and might have a more positive view of the world throughout the day.
3 | Keep your space clean
Whether you live with your parents, a dorm, or your own home keeping your space clean is so important when dealing with depression. Having a cluttered home makes you feel buried under all the things and you never feel like you can keep up with anything you have to do. Having a neat space keeps your mind clutter-free. When you’re clutter free you feel like you have more time, more energy and more possibilities to add to your day.
4 | Give and serve others more than you do yourself
Sometimes having depression kind of puts you in a me me me stage of life and it brings you down even farther than you need to be. You start thinking things like “If only I had this…” If only I have that…” “I wish I was…” and instead of thinking of the things you have in your life (even if it’s one small thing, that thing is still yours) you think of all the things you want. Even then, even if you get all the things you want, you won’t be happy. I would know, I’ve been there. I’ve been struggling with depression for years and years and I’ve bought clothes, trinkets, plane tickets, moved many times, switched major and changed friends groups but none of it really helped because the entire time the only person I could think about was…me. It wasn’t until I started volunteering (unwillingly at first). Gradually I got more into it and realized how lucky I truly was.
Being able to serve others is a blessing from God; it encourages you to see the hardships that the enemy has put others through, how they have endured through the hardships, but also you get to meet new people, many of whom have a relationship with God as well. It’s through volunteering that I met many a good friend who have helped keep me encouraged throughout the years.
5 | Getting an accountability partner
Usually, having an accountability partner means having someone who will keep you in line with your biblical beliefs. With my fiance and I it means keeping each other modest. In this case having an accountability partner for your depression means having someone who you love (and who doesn’t annoy the heck out of you) check up on you each day, maybe have a rough outline of your schedule and keep you going on your routine, encouraging you each day and just making sure you’re okay.
**The biggest fault I find with having an accountability partner is people tend to fib or lie to their partner just to get them to stop. It’s not going to help anyone (especially you) if you lie and it will hurt the trust that you have built up with your partner. Keep it honest, it gets hard sometimes but it’s good to do.**
Having depression doesn’t mean you’re going to have it for the rest of your life. It doesn’t mean that you are faulty or broken, you’re a human, living in a sin filled world and can only be saved through Jesus Christ. Have strength and faith that He will lead you through your troubled times. He is on your side.
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