This is a continuation of Seeking Balance in Managing Depression.
Activate yourself. Resist the temptation to become more passive. Find those “baby steps” that can keep you doing activities you used to find meaningful. Believe that you have the power to do this, even when you do not feel like doing anything. Ideally, increasing exercise in your life and eating in a healthy manner can be part of this “activation”.
“I passed by the field of the sluggard And by the vineyard of the man lacking sense, And behold, it was completely overgrown with thistles; Its surface was covered with nettles, And its stone wall was broken down. When I saw, I reflected upon it; I looked and received instruction. ‘A little sleep, a little slumber, A little folding of the hands to rest,’ Then your poverty will come as a robber And your want like an armed man.” Proverbs 24:30-34
Hold on to hope. Develop a belief and confidence that your emotional state is temporary, not permanent. This hopeful attitude can be nurtured. This can be done through meditating on stories of hope, or perhaps movies that used to stimulate a good feeling in you. Or consider other people who have wrestled with depression and come out victorious. You can too.
“Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom also we have obtained our introduction by faith into this grace in which we stand; and we exult in hope of the glory of God. And not only this, but we also exult in our tribulations, knowing that tribulation brings about perseverance; and perseverance, proven character; and proven character, hope; and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us.” Romans 5:1-5
Avoid depressing stimuli. Put aside tragic movies or depressing stories. Stop replaying your own depressing stories in your mind, unless it is for the purpose of finding a healthier way of looking at the situation. Does alcohol (a depressant) or substance abuse pull you further into a depressive mindset? Find help to break free from these chains that keep you down in the valley.
“For wisdom will enter your heart
And knowledge will be pleasant to your soul;
Discretion will guard you,
Understanding will watch over you,
To deliver you from the way of evil,
From the man who speaks perverse things;” Proverbs 2:10-12
“Do not be with heavy drinkers of wine,
Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
For the heavy drinker and the glutton will come to poverty,
And drowsiness will clothe one with rags.” Proverbs 23:20-21
Next week we will finish with part 3 of Seeking Balance in Managing Depression.