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Disclaimer: I am not a licensed psychiatrist, psychologist, or social worker. I do not have a degree in helping anyone professionally. All opinions in this post are just that, OPINIONS. I myself have suffered from depression and have found these tips to help.
Christian or non-Christian, there are a lot of people who suffer from depression. Depression is a worldwide mental illness that is hardly acknowledged and many people go without getting help. No matter what is said the truth is:
- Depression is no one’s fault. It is an imbalance in the chemicals in one’s brain and it is not caused by anything that you can do.
- Depression is not a disease, it can’t be spread. Being with someone with depression won’t cause you to catch it. If you think this, I am so sorry but you’ve already got a much worse diagnosis.
Here are some practical tips to help you or someone you know overcome depression. (And yes, I do believe with the help of the Lord, you can overcome anything!)
I can do all things through Christ[a] who strengthens me. -Philippians 4:13
1 | Get Into a Routine
It takes 21 days to establish a habit or routine. When starting a new routine or habit I keep 21 sticky notes on my door frame and take one down each day. I personally relish in routine and enjoy it very much. Getting up in the morning at a decent hour and filling your day with things you have to do (work, errands, etc) with things you want to do (hobbies, nights out, etc) is very important. Finding the right balance is so so so very important, if you have too much work or not enough structure in your day your depression can overcome you even more quickly.
A good tip for keeping a routine whether you end up doing the same thing all five weekdays or have a varying schedule the best way to keep up is keeping track with a good planner.
2 | Study Your Bible DAILY
Being close to God means being farther from Satan. The best way to keep your chin up is by starting your day off with investing your time in your relationship with God. For this time in your day I would suggest that you get your favorite drink (mine being hot chocolate) cuddle up on the couch or sit at the table with your bible, a highlighter and a journal (or a bible study pdf like the free one you can get with us when you sign up for our newsletter) and just sit and meditate in the beautiful presence of the Lord.
I find by studying in the morning you are able to start your day out with a fresh view on the world and might have a more positive view of the world throughout the day.
3 | Keep Your Space Clean
Whether you live with your parents, a dorm, or your own home keeping your space clean is so important when dealing with depression. Having a cluttered home makes you feel buried under all the things and you never feel like you can keep up with anything you have to do. Having a neat space keeps your mind clutter-free. When you’re clutter-free you feel like you have more time, more energy, and more possibilities to add to your day.
This may not be something you are always able to do on your own. If that’s the case, know that it is okay to ask for help. Ask a trusted friend or family member. And if you don’t have help, hop on YouTube and find someone inspiring to clean with. There are tons of clean with me videos! My favorite gal to watch who covers homemaking through depression and mental illness is KC Davis from Struggle Care.
4 | Take Care of Your Future Self
When I say “take care of your future self” it means don’t put off tasks until later. If you have the time and capability to do a task now; whether it’s putting a few pieces of laundry in the hamper, doing a dish or two, or bringing something upstairs. Sometimes the tasks that seem so easy that “we can do them later”, once done make such a difference.
So before you go to bed, do yo have a smidgen of energy to lay out your clothes, or brush through your hair? If so, do that for future you. I know it’s hard to take care of present you, but think of future you as someone who needs you to take care of them.
5 | Get an Accountability Partner
Usually, having an accountability partner means having someone who will keep you in line with your biblical beliefs. With my fiance and I it means keeping each other modest. In this case having an accountability partner for your depression means having someone who you love (and who doesn’t annoy the heck out of you) check up on you each day, maybe have a rough outline of your schedule and keep you going on your routine, encouraging you each day and just making sure you’re okay.
The biggest fault I find with having an accountability partner is people tend to fib or lie to their partner just to get them to stop. It’s not going to help anyone (especially you) if you lie and it will hurt the trust that you have built up with your partner. Keep it honest, it gets hard sometimes but it’s good to do.
Being depressed can be so difficult with people and their helpful suggestions of “Just be happy.” It is even more difficult as a Christian where we are expected to be joyful in the Lord.
If you are suffering alone right now, please know you are not alone. I, and many other Christians, homemakers, wives and mothers struggle and battle with depression everyday. Please reach out!