In the last post Should Christians Get Depressed , I talked about some of the common causes of depression. In this post, I’m going to share some do’s and don’ts of depression.
Things You SHOULD Do If You’re Depressed:
*Do realize that God knows and understands.
I love to find comfort in God’s Word when I am feeling depressed. One of my favorite verses that I go to is Psalm 61:2. I also love Psalm 139 where it reminds me that God knows my thoughts; He knows all about me, and understands.
*Do pour out our heart to Him.
“Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8
*Do listen to uplifting songs.
For me, hymns are a great source of comfort and encouragement, especially when I am fighting feelings of depression. The right kind of music will renew your spirit, and help you put your focus on the Lord.
*Do make sure you get your rest.
As I mentioned in the previous post, fatigue is often a trigger for depression. When you find yourself struggling with gloomy feelings, put some things aside, and get extra rest.
*Do try to exercise.
Even if it’s simply going for a fifteen minute walk, exercise makes you feel better. Also, being out in the fresh air and sunshine helps to lift your spirits. If weather doesn’t permit outside exercise, find some indoor exercise that you enjoy. You probably will have NO desire at all to exercise, but afterwards you will feel better!
*Do encourage someone.
Maybe you’re thinking “I’m SO depressed! The last thing I want to do is try to go and encourage someone else!” You will be pleasantly surprised though at the joy you will feel when you have done something kind, helpful, or encouraging for someone else.
It doesn’t really even have to be a big deal. It could be a quick text, email, or note to let someone know you are thinking about them. It could mean spending time visiting with a lonely widow from your church.
There are people all around all who would love to hear kind words, or be touched by kind deeds, so ask God to show you who you can reach out to. You will be blessed in return.
*Do seek medical help.
My first choice when dealing with health issues is usually to try some natural things first. However, sometimes that’s not enough, and you need to get some medical help to get things jump started. Remember, that if it’s a hormone issue, you can use bio-identical hormones that are very much like what your body produces.
If nothing else, just having a Dr. tell you there’s a reason you are depressed is helpful, and keeps you from thinking it’s something you are just giving in to.
Things You SHOULDN’T Do If You’re Depressed:
*Don’t allow yourself to just sit and focus on it.
When you realize that depression is affecting you, be pro-active about battling it, rather than being defeated by it.
*Don’t beat yourself up over it.
If there is a medical cause for your depression, or you are just fatigued, remember that doesn’t make you a bad person or a bad Christian! Something is wrong and it needs to be fixed. If your car is out of gas, it won’t run till you give it fuel. So it is with our bodies! We need to give them what they need to help them run properly.
*Don’t listen to lies of the devil.
The devil knows our areas of weaknesses, and when we are struggling with depression he is going to feed us lies in those areas we feel weakest in.
For example, you may find yourself thinking (and believing) that you are a bad wife, mother, or Christian. Realize those are lies that the enemy wants you to believe so you will be further discouraged and defeated.
*Don’t think you’re the only who struggles with depression.
You are NOT alone when it comes to depression!! Many more people than you realize struggle with it, but hide it behind their smile.
*Don’t neglect spending time with God.
Perhaps you are so overwhelmed with depression that you can’t hardly pray. Simply sit and cry out to God. He sees your tears, and knows your need.
Listen to the Bible on CD or a phone app, and let His Word comfort you.
*Don’t go on a guilt trip for taking time to rest.
Realize that it is not a selfish thing to take time to do what you need to in order to feel better. Decide what you need to do that will help you, and then put those things at the top of your priority list, even if it means you temporarily have to say no to other things.
Put rest, exercise, and good nutrition at the top of the list. I would also suggest good fellowship with a friend who encourages you!
How are you doing with these do’s and don’t of depression? Determine that you will do what ever it takes to pull yourself out of the valley of depression, while remembering that Jesus is there to hold you and give you His comfort when you are hurting!