Although I’ve been in recovery since 1986 and a Christian since 1988, I really struggle with depression at times. Life gets overwhelming.
Even though I’ve made many positive lifestyle changes beginning with my decision to stop drinking in 1986, things have not been easy. Despite my best hopes and intentions, some relationships have never been able to heal. I’ve gone through most of my life reeling from the wounds of toxic narcissism, emotional abuse and virtually no extended family.
My hope was that in having my own family wounds would be healed. And while we have much to be thankful for, it has come with a cost. Among four kids we have diagnoses of two heart conditions, scoliosis, Neurofibromatosis, Down Syndrome and various learning disabilities.
And then in 2010 I suddenly developed cervical dystonia, a movement disorder that disabled me. It’s all been overwhelming, to say the least. Now I’m a mom with chronic illness as well as being a special needs mom. I definitely didn’t plan this.
People have often commented that I gave them hope and while I thank them outwardly, inwardly I smile ruefully. I don’t feel very inspiring most days. I’m a person in recovery with a history of depression and anxiety trying to find hope and purpose in living one day at a time.
Depression has many causes. For some people it can be physical. Don’t be afraid to admit what you’re feeling. Find an understanding friend to talk to. If you feel you need medication for a season to get through it, talk to your doctor.
The pain of life is that it’s messy for everyone, no matter how perfect things might appear on the outside. Here’s 5 ways to find hope when life hurts.
5 Natural Ways to Overcome Depression and Find Hope
- Overcome negative thinking by taking your thoughts captive. This means putting God first in every daily activity, as mundane as it might be. Spend your first moments with Him in prayer and meditation on His Word to develop greater intimacy with your Abba Father. As much as you can, reduce digital, mental and physical clutter to avoid decision fatigue.
- Healthy movement is a great way to get your mind off whatever’s troubling you. It gives you something else to focus on and you’ll feel so much better afterward. It can be a walk on your street, gardening, dancing or a hardcore workout.
- Find a creative activity that works for you. It might be gardening, crocheting, coloring or cooking. Do note that now might not be the best time to start something completely new and potentially overwhelming which might lead to feelings of failure! For me, just playing with a Happy Planner and washi tape is simple, fun and helps me to do daily brain dumps to get the noise out of my head.
- Stay off (or reduce) time on social media. While social media can be great for feeling connected, when you’re struggling with depression it can have the opposite effect if it’s causing you to compare yourself with others or just feel left out of things. If this is the case, take some time away from scrolling your feed and just check notifications if you have to.
- Spending time in nature is a wonderful way to clear the noise out of your head and find connection. Whether it’s the beach, a park, the mountains or even your backyard…whatever’s available to you in your area, get outside. It will do wonders for your mood!
5 Helpful Scriptures for Depression
- I have said these things to you; that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33)
- Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10)
- When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. (Psalm 56:3)
- The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life; of whom shall I be afraid?
- And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? (Matthew 6:27)
Do you have any helpful tips for living with depression?