Sunday, March 10, 2013
This is the second part of a two part series on depression. My first blog was written the end of January. So sorry for the delay in writing the second blog. Life happens.
In the first one I wrote about depression can affect us especially during the holidays and how I was able to deal with it. I shared how God is able to help us deal with disease and lead us to health. If you haven't read my first blog, be sure to read it first to get the whole picture.
In this second blog, I will share my "formula" for dealing with depression on a daily basis. It is one that I go to each time I see an episode of depression coming on, and the one I shared with my brother. In short, my formula is a simple one--Look Up and Look Out! These word give me a guide as to what I need to do to get back on an even keel.
"Look Up" means to look upward toward God. When we are depressed, we tend to look inward and downwards. Looking up to God gets our eyes and minds off of ourselves and onto Him.
When we focus on God and on Jesus, we can see that we are not alone, that They are with us.
We can look to God for guidance and direction as to what we can do to deal with our depression. Depression is often linked with darkness, and God is Light. With Him we can be moved from darkness unto light.
Through prayer and meditation on God's Word, the Bible, God can show us the ways to deal with our specific situations. All the questions we have will be answered. Questions such as why we are depressed. what we can do to deal with it, where we can turn for help and how to deal with depression... We can find answers for them.
Sometimes we will be led to seek counseling or other medical help to assist us to get through depression , anxiety or other related problems. God can and does help us find the right counselors, doctors and medications that we need.
Whatever direction our journey health takes us, God can help us. In Philippians 4:13, Paul writes "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me". Matthew 19:26 reminds us that "...with God all things are possible."
The second part of the formula is "Look Out". That is not looking out for what, but rather looking outward to who? When we look outward to others around us, we once again take our eyes off of ourselves onto others.
When looking outward, we can see that others have needs and problems too. One of the ways we can help ourselves deal with depression is by helping others. By focusing on others' needs we help ourselves. Seeking places that encourage us to do things with other people, such as community and church activities are also ways we can look to others. Find something you can do and have fun doing it!
Looking outward also involves the things we can do to help ourselves move from a life controlled by depression to one of health and freedom from illness and defeat. Among these
include diet and exercise, and getting 20 minutes of sunshine each day. Diet and exercise help our bodies get healthier and to fight off the effects of depression and anxiety. Add to that being outdoors, and you can have the benefits of the sunshine that helps to lift our moods.
Remember, daylight even when it is behind the clouds, can give some benefits in this way.
So to sum things up on how to deal with depression, remember to "Look Up and Look Out".
1) Look up to God-seek Him for the healing and answers you need.
2) Look outward to others for help and for where you can be of help to others.
3) Eat healthy foods that allow your body to heal.
4) Exercise- Get out, about and moving. Your body and mind will love you for it.
5) Get some sunshine each day. Move from darkness to light. This will lift your moods
and spirit, so you can lead a more productive life.
I hope this formula and the suggestions given will be of help to you. May you be blessed as you seek to live a healthier life.
Remember that with the help of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, we can find health and healing for ourselves and for others as well. It is just not possible to do this alone.
Thursday, January 31, 2013
Holidays can bring out the best in us...or the worst. For some, like me, it is a mixture of both. When you suffer from depression, whether once in a while or on a daily basis, it adds another dimension to the usual ups and downs of life.
This past year, depression made its appearance in two ways for me. The first came at the beginning of the holidays with the news that my younger brother was suffering from bouts of depression that resulted from his marital problems and separation. The second was at the end of the holidays when due to all the ups and downs of the season, I suffered a period of post holiday blues. My brother's news made it six members of my extended family to suffer from depression and/or anxiety. So I am quite familiar with the problems this disease can cause.
For me, the pain was very deep, but I had no known reason for the depression or for why I was feeling the way I was. So I needed to find out. I refused to let depression keep me down and get in the way of leading a normal life.
I chose to go to the Lord, the Great Physician to determine why I was in a depressive state of mind and to seek healing. The Lord showed me a couple of things- 1) that the depression was in fact a result of the ups and downs of the holidays, stress, and too much focus on myself. 2) I needed to get my mind focused back on Him , off myself, and onto other things.
I had in fact lost my focus.
So I prayed and sought the Lord for guidance and healing. The answer He gave me was a
surprising one...It was surprising because the Lord led me to do something I usually stay away from when I am having problems with depression. That is anything that will lead to a deeper depression such as negative ideas.
However, the Lord had other ideas this time. He lead me to watch a video message by a pastor in Hawaii that I usually watch on a regular basis. My fear, from the title of the message
was that it might be a downer or full of the usual new year stuff I didn't want to hear at the time. But to my surprise, it was one of the most uplifting messages I had heard in a long time.
The Lord used the message, that was full of HOPE, to lift me completely out of the depression!
Since then, I have had my share of ups and downs over the course of the past month, but I am still depression-free! The Lord is teaching me to spend time with Him each day and to include Him in my plans for a healthier lifestyle.
We cannot go along this path to a healthy life on our own. We need others. We need the Lord to help us too. The verse the Lord has given me for this year is from Matthew 6:33:
"Seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be added unto you". The words, "all these things" include good health.
So I leave you with this verse to meditate on. Seek the Lord first. then others, like those
on Spark People, to help you with your journey to health. They will help you to succeed!
God bless you and may you find the path to better health this year!
Wednesday, March 07, 2012
Oh no! A snack attack!
Have you ever had one of those days? Everything is going well...Eating right, exercising,
drinking your water and then...it happens...SNACK ATTACK!!
It happened to me last night. I had an urging for a snack... not just any snack, but I wanted
some cheese and crackers. Well that may not be too bad, if you just have a few, but I ate
a whole wrapped section of a box of crackers...equal to 5 servings of crackers and that didn't include the cheese!
Well, I logged it in...feeling pretty guilty and knowing full well I would be over my calorie
limit for the day. But the crackers and cheese were sooo good! Yum. Yum!
Then I went looking for the ice cream sandwiches that were in the freezer. Oops...I stopped there...we were out. Good thing too or I may have eaten one!
And what did I get for all this? My weight did one of its jumps for joy...upwards!
But what do you do when you have a snack attack? Do you give in to it? Or take another
I was thinking of some things I could have done that usually work for me. Last night was just one of those days when I gave in to the cravings.
To help with snack attacks in the evenings, I try to have my snacks earlier in the day.
Then I know that when I have reached my calorie limits for the day that I should keep the late night snacks to a minimum or have none at all.
Another helpful thing for me to do is to drink water when I feel that hunger pain. Oftentimes we are just dehydrated and need some more liquids. Taking a drink of water usually tames the tummy a bit. Of course, try not to drink too much late at night or you will be up all night! LOL!
If you must snack in the evenings, keep them small and eat something that will fill you up.
Best thing to do though is not to snack in the evening at all. No eating late at night has become my new challenge. I try not to eat past 8pm. Otherwise I have trouble sleeping at night.
I also found out that late night snacks play havoc with the weight loss program. My weight just loves to jump up and down over it all!
I have been able to get by without eating after dinner, but sometimes it is just hard to get past those crazy snack attacks!
So the thing is not to let them get me down. Just accept the fact that they happen and then go on to another new day when you can do better.
So that is what I have done. I am on to another day with a great start with eating right and getting in my exercise. Let's just hope I can keep the snack attacks at bay for awhile.
Wednesday, January 25, 2012
This past two weeks our area saw a whole spectrum of weather. We started out with our first
light snow of the year, adding a blizzard of wet heavy snow, and an ice storm and ended with
We spent part of the time in the dark without power one day and then went without any
internet connections for almost a week. Our family was without power for 10 hours,
but many in the area went days without. We had the opportunity to help a friend of
my son by offering the warmth and shelter of our home. We survived with the aid of
our wood stove and oil lamps, as well as a good stock of canned goods for food.
The lack of internet connection posed some problems with not being able to log
on to Spark People or do any online exercise videos, but made up in time to do other things that we needed to do around here.
Many people in our area went without power for as long a 5-6 days. Many power lines were
down due to broken branches and trees that had fallen during the storms that passed
through. We saw branches all over the sides of the road and trees hanging precariously
over the roadways as we traveled by car to various places. What branches and trees
did not come down during the snow and ice, came down during the wind and rain that
Although I did not travel very far during the days of power outages and stormy weather,
I did manage to step out occasionally to take a few pictures of our immediate area.
I am enclosing a few photos so you can see how the weather progressed throughout the week.
Let me know what you think!
Flowers in first snow.
Our dog Caspian in his first snowfall.
Snow covered evergreen
Snowy apple trees.
Ice covered trees
Snow castle and throne in progress
Ice laden evergreen tree.
Ice covered trees
Night view of evergreen tree.
Hope you enjoyed these!
On to a warmer and light filled week!
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