Tips on dealing with life’s struggles
December 2, 2018
December 2, 2018
I have received a lot of messages from folks regarding depression and this time of year. I know that for many it is a joyous time, but for some of you it is very hard. Maybe you’re dealing with the recent loss of a loved one, a relationship has ended, etc.
No matter the case, I want you to know that I get it. You are not alone and you don’t need to feel guilty or ashamed for FEELING depressed.
If you have followed me for any amount of time you know that I will not say, “I AM” depressed, but I will say that I feel depressed. When we say, “I am” we are owning that thing or feeling, and I don’t want to own depression, but I will allow myself to feel it and process it in a healthy way.
It has been my experience working with clients that far too many Christians suffer in silence when it comes to depression. They feel as if they aren’t ‘spiritual’ enough, so that’s why they feel depressed. You’ll even hear other Christians tell them to just “pray it away!”, as if it was that easy. Now, I do know, and believe in the power of prayer, but comments like that are incredibly insensitive to the person suffering before you.
I’m going to share my testimony of sorts and how I handle dealing with depression. This isn’t advice for you to take, but what I choose to do.
Many people are shocked when I tell them that I have dealt with depression, and anxiety for the better part of my existence on this big ball of mud.
There is no shame in ‘FEELING’ depressed or anxious. I say “feel” because I am very careful in how I choose my words surrounding anything. I won’t own depression or anxiety. I won’t say “I am depressed” but I will say “I feel depressed.” By doing this I have not personalized it or made it about me, it is just a feeling I’m experiencing at that moment.
I think the important thing to keep in mind is that everyone has dealt with this at some point and time, it’s just to what severity. I have found that those who deal with, myself included, often felt like they are the only one or that they are somehow defective.
There are a myriad of reasons as to why someone may deal with depression or anxiety. If you have a history of emotional, sexual, or physical abuse and didn’t have some level of depression or anxiety I would be shocked.
These types of childhood trauma, at a young age, literally change the brain. As a child you were constantly on guard, waiting for the next thing to happen. Being in this constant state of ‘fight or flight’ keeps cortisol [stress] levels high, even when the danger is gone. This usually will carry on into adulthood. This is just a snippet of the research I’ve come across, and it helped me as a survivor, to understand what I was dealing with.
I will share how I have managed this in my own life. I am not against antidepressants, but no longer use them. I chose to come off of them as they just made me ‘flat’ emotionally. I never had any really good days or bad days, I just felt ‘meh’ most of the time.
This has worked for me and it has been proven in studies to work for many who deal with depression and anxiety.
- I pay very close attention to my diet. I ensure that I get all the necessary vitamins and minerals my body needs to function. Many people who eat a diet high in processed foods, sugar, fat; tend to be more depressed than others.
- I strength train, and move my body however I can. This release of endorphins helps tremendously with depression and anxiety. It also give me an outlet for all those feelings I’ve stored up.
- When I feel my mood shift I gently remind myself that I have been here before and that it will be okay. I just make myself do those things that help me maintain, such as being mindful of diet, and continuing to exercise. Most who become depressed just say “f**k it” and crawl into a hole. I have found that I have to act against those impulses. I know that if I let myself go there that it will only get worse. I have to force myself to act in spite of how I feel.
- I have a support system. It’s very easy to feel like you’re the only one who feels this way, and that can lead to isolation. This is where the ‘enemy’ can really beat you up. You need to surround yourself with people you can safely share with.
- I don’t self medicate with food, alcohol, etc. I allow myself to feel EVERYTHING. If you run from this you’ll only compound your problems.
- I watch my intake of caffeine. If you have issues with anxiety this can exacerbate the problem.
- I don’t allow others to minimize my experience. There are many who say “just get over it.” If it were that easy I believe many would. No one who has truly suffered from deep depression wants to feel that way.
- I give myself permission to be human. No one is ‘depression’ or ‘anxiety’ it is just something you’re dealing with at the moment. Remember that no one has it all together, and this doesn’t define me, it’s just a part of my story that I can use to help others know that they are not alone.
I hope this helps someone out there to know they aren’t alone. If this message resonates with you hit reply and let me know about.
If you would like to discuss how my COACHING PROGRAM can help you process and work through issues such as depression, emotional eating [binge eating], self-sabotage, shame, or any other thing getting in the way of your true happiness, please fill this FORM out. We can schedule a phone consultation and see if we are a good fit for one another.
Have a blessed day my friends. Just know that God loves you and so do I.
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