The days are shorter, colder and many are forced to stay inside due to the extreme cold.
Depression often creeps in without the individual being aware of its sneaky attack. For me, however, the warning signs are huge red flags and I recognize it immediately.
Charles Spurgeon puts it this way:
Fits of depression come over the most of us. Usually cheerful as we may be, we must at intervals be cast down. The strong are not always vigorous, the wise not always ready, the brave not always courageous, and the joyous not always happy.
I’ve dealt with depression on and off like many people for years. It’s tough to get past and many simply never do.
For me, it comes in waves and usually at the most inopportune time. It sneaks up when I’m the busiest and I simply don’t have the time, or the energy to fight it.
Many people try to hide it, especially Christians. Such a stigma comes with it because we Christians are supposed to always be joyful…hmm? There is and can be joy through depression, but we are not always “happy.”
My depression includes lots of sleeping when 6 to 7 hours is usually more than enough, my “gumption” to do anything simply disappears and all that my heart dreams of doing usually comes to a screeching halt. To sum it up, when my depression hits – I simply don’t care. I know many others feel that way too.
So, what is a happy little joy spreader supposed to do when this happens? Just let it run its course?
NOPE…not at all.
Here is what I do to help push past this. But this is a process and the process is different for everyone. I don’t want anyone to think this will help everyone, I’m just sharing my heart and hoping others who struggle with this will do the same so that the many people who read this can be encouraged through this struggle.
- More Sleep – I do allow myself more sleep, as that is something that I can’t avoid. I’ll decide to stay up all night watching things I’ve DVR’d and then wake up, not even realizing I’ve fallen asleep.
- PUSH ON – Seriously. I force myself to do some of the things I need to do and allow the others to wait until the next day or when I can get to it. I’m a list maker and rely on them to at least be somewhat productive. Then, as I look at the things that I have crossed off, I can see that the day wasn’t a total waste.
- Ask for Prayer – You should have a handful of friends that won’t “discuss” your issues with others but will simply pray for you.
- Gratitude – Being thankful for what I do have, what IS going on and remembering just how blessed I am. DAILY!
- Start and End the day in Praise and Prayer – Seems simple, but when depression hits many of us, this is usually the first thing we stop doing. We just don’t “want” to and give in to it. Praise and Prayer are the best weapons against this, USE them. (yes…I KNOW it’s a struggle)
- Give Myself a Break – When the waves of depression hit, I don’t know how long it will tag along with me, but I also don’t let guilt make it worse. Cut yourself some slack. If you are doing a few things each day, pressing through, then you are doing well.
- Remember…This WILL pass – It will pass. No clue when, but I remind myself it will pass.
- FOCUS on Others – this is difficult during times of depression but again, it’s possible. I choose to make a difference for others daily anyway, but during these difficult times I will step it up.
- Do Things I LOVE – I love being outdoors, I love reading, I love joy riding, I love looking through scrapbooks. I make myself enjoy the things I love. YES…make myself.
This is not an all inclusive list by any means. I’m hoping those that struggle with it as well as those that don’t will leave some helpful, encouraging comments below.
Many ask about Medication – use it if necessary. When my Dad died in 2003, I was in the deepest depression ever. I took medication to help get through it. I literally don’t remember much of the 2 years that followed his death due to depression. I do know that when I started “pouring” myself into being a blessing to others, I started coming out of it.
Winter is coming; depression will worsen for many as the darkness engulfs their heart. I challenge you to do a few things here. This article will be emailed to over 300 people once it’s published and countless others will see it on Twitter and Facebook.
ENCOURAGE someone who is struggling by:
- Leave an encouraging comment to uplift, inspire and bring a smile to the discouraged heart
- Share some of your story here. You never know who will relate to it.
- Don’t argue, judge or assume the worst about others who are dealing with this daily.
- If you’ve written an article on this topic, leave the link below in the comments, so others can easily find it and be encouraged.
- Never underestimate the power of being nice!
Here are some articles that may encourage you in this matter:
Thank you for your efforts in Spreading JOY and making a difference!
If you are struggling with depression, get help. Talk to someone. People care. If you are considering suicide, please – WAIT for 24 hours and while waiting reach out to someone or call the Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 or check out National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org
People truly do care and YOU truly do Matter!
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