All the sons of Israel grumbled against Moses and Aaron; and the whole congregation said to them, "Would that we had died in the land of Egypt! Or would that we had died in this wilderness! Num. 14:2
By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain
When it comes to conquering depression, many of my friends will laugh and say, "She's hardly the expert on conquering sorrow."
My life often resemble the lives of those recalcitrant Israelites newly freed from Egypt. "Oh that we could've eaten the leeks and melons of Egypt." "God, have you brought us here to die?"
I may not crave an onion, but I'll often look at what's gone wrong and throw my life into despair. However, I do NOT wish to be like the Israelite nation who, as a result of their attitude, were forced to wander around for forty years.
I think a week of melancholy is too much.
If depression is more than temporary. If you can't point to a situation that catapults you into despair, see a doctor. Medical issues like thyroid or cholesterol levels can be at the foundations. Good medications exist that help brain dysfunction.
For the normal episodes, try the following.
6 Ways to conquer depression:
- Get exercise. Running for me always boosts my mood. If that level of aerobic activity is not possible, try something else. I joke and say I'm the good Antaeus. He got his strength from the ground, so Hercules had to strangle him by holding him off the earth. Put my fingers in the soil, and the dirt on my psyche is cleansed.
- Get sociable. The last thing you want to do when depressed is to be with people. That's exactly what you should do. Find a friend; go for lunch. Head to the beach. Hit the meeting you're supposed to go to and linger afterwards for conversation.
- Eat properly. In my despondency, give me ice cream and coffee. Or rather, coffee ice cream with a cup of coffee. Bad move. Eating (or for me when depression totally slobber-knocks me, not eating) is one of the worst things you can do. Get lots of fruit and veggies and low fat protein. Change out the banana split for banana and low fat yogurt.
- Count your blessings. Situations truly can hurt. We lose jobs. Our spouses leave us. Disease or death hits. The Israelites had just been freed from slavery. They saw the hand of God drown the Egyptians, still they despaired. Sometimes, knowing how ungrateful we are temporarily exacerbates our sorrow. In the end, where we focus is where we go. Keep a journal, count the good in your life.
- Get involved mentally. Work for me always eliminated sorrow. How could I dwell in blackness when 100 adolescents awaited my brilliant teaching? If you don't have a good work situation, find a good book or a hobby or a ministry or solve Sudoku or crossword puzzles.
- Seek God. First and last (He is, after all, the Alpha and Omega), seek God. Memorize scripture that speaks to your situation. Pray. Find a prayer partner (see #2 above). God promises, "I know the thoughts I have for you, thoughts of good and not evil, to bring you hope and an expected end." (This is a Carol variation of Jeremiah 29: 11--see #5 and 6. Even I can memorize).