{Welcome to our week-long series of tips for facing life with hope and health. For your mind. And your heart. And well, your health.
When I first was diagnosed with early onset dysthymic disorder ( or chronic depression since the age of 11) three years ago, I had no one to tell me how to navigate life beyond a little self-care or therapy.
Turns out that there are all sorts of little things between the therapy and the medication and the curling up in bed for days that we can really use as daily tools, to train our brains and bodies to navigate the lows and the abundant triggers and symptoms of depression and mood disorders…. and so I’ve narrowed them down to 7 daily tips that have made such a huge difference for me over the last couple years.
And what kind of friend would I be without passing along all the goodness to you?
So here’s Tip #1 of #7DaysOfHopeAndHealth! Join me each day as I add a new tip for the next week! And feel free to download the graphics to have for your own, or share with social media peeps who may also need some good news for living with better mental health! When you do, use the #7DaysOfHopeAndHealth so others can find you!}

Tip #1 from 7 Days of Hope and Health

Tip #1: Don’t Dwell On How You Feel

I know it sounds simple and obvious. But when depressed or responding to stress and various triggers, your brain will often land on this default thought process. It will attempt, like a broken record, to keep you stuck on one thought alone… how you feel.

Low.

Desperate.

Hopeless.

Exhausted in the worst, deepest way.

Alone.

Anxious.

Agitated.

So here’s what I want you to do when you find yourself in this scenario…. Acknowledge it.

Acknowledge the way you are feeling, but don’t live there. Say it out loud to yourself so it’s not still rolling around inside, wreaking havoc with your head, your emotions, your mental state, and your spiritual state.

Acknowledge it to yourself. Acknowledge it to a loved one who will say nothing (but simple hold you for a second). And finally, and most importantly, acknowledge it to your Heavenly Father.

“Lord, I’m a thousand messes today, I really am. So I need you to take it, and swap it for something from You and only You. Be my Life Preserver so I can ride out all the waves.”

Sometimes, we’re brought so low we can only muster one word, one cry for help. That’s okay, you know? Just open your mouth and say His name, He becomes your acknowledging and prayer all in one.

And now the key… don’t live there.

Don’t stay there, dwelling in the awful and the mess and the lows.

Move from there to something good, find something different to be the environment for your brain and those feelings… even move physically if you must in order not to stay there but to shift and reset…

Throw a coat over those three day-old pajamas and step one step past your back door and breathe in fresh air. The God who loves you more than life created the air you breathe so while you’re at it, breathe Him in too.

Whisper something like, “You love me, Lord.”

Think only one thing, like, “Be my strength.”

Dwell in the thought, “He is enough for me.”

And now acknowledge something else. He is more than able to carry you through, and to be all the things you need.

That’s where you can dwell.

And then when you move back to the rest of what’s waiting for you, take only the good with you.

And cling to that Life Preserver.

And on those dark days where you can’t even do that?

Live in the knowledge that what you feel right now does not affect Him in the slightest. Click To Tweet

Live in the knowledge that what you feel right now does not affect Him in the slightest.

And when you can’t change how you feel, He will do the clinging for you.

He won’t let you live there always… let Him carry you on through.

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Feel free to share this graphic or this post! Do you have a tip you’d like to share with our other readers? I’d love to see it in the comments below!