Please check out my new blog page, 20 & Beyond, prior to reading this post!
Today is my 20th birthday, but before the day ends I have a little something of my own to give to everyone and those in the Mental Health community. These are 20 tips for those who struggle with depression and/or anxiety, or for those who would like to learn more coping skills. I’ve come up with these tips from the past 20 days of SOAP devotionals, experiences, and therapy/psychiatry sessions. I really hope this blesses you, and thank you for even checking this out. Thank you, also, to those who wished me a Happy Birthday!
Day 1: BE STILL. Find your quiet place. (Psalm 23: 1-3)
Day 2: SEEK His face, and His voice. Let your hope be in Him “all day long.” (Psalm 25: 4-5)
Day 3: Declare yourself VICTORIOUS in His Name! Have confidence in God’s faithfulness. (Psalm 26: 2-3)
Day 4: You are a WINNER. As long as you claim Jesus as Lord, all things against You will “stumble and fall” at His feet. (Psalm 27: 2-3)
Day 5: PRAY & PRAISE. He hears You! (Psalm 28: 6-7)
Day 6: Try again. If for some reason you have an anxiety/depression attack one day, don’t give up.
Day 7: FORGIVE yourself. Do not dwell in guilt and shame (Psalm 30: 5)
Day 8: Feel yourself spiraling downward? Find a new angle. My psychiatrist told me to work on “finding a new angle” against my anxiety and depression. Find a new way to fight, rather than constantly giving in to it.
Day 9: Find something fun to do on this day, just for yourself! (I was told to actually try attending hip hop classes)
Day 10: CBT anyone? Back track from your overwhelming thoughts. (Check out my recent blog post on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy/Negative Thinking)
Day 11: Practice MINDFULNESS. Try setting aside 5 minutes of your morning to still your body and mind, and to focus on words of truth (“you are worthy,” “you are special,” “He has new mercies for me everyday,” etc.)
Day 12: Watch your words. Do not shout lies from your lips, but whisper loving words of truth (Psalm 34: 12-13)
Day 13: Be willing. “I can’t,” is a lie. “I will,” is truth.
Day 14: Buy an adult coloring book. This may sound silly, but settle and calm your mind by focusing on one of these per day. (My family loves these!)
Day 15: Get to know others who are “in the same boat.” Encourage one another. Keep each other accountable.
Day 16: Make the most of your therapy sessions. Try not to give “I don’t know” answers. Sometimes my sessions tend to be emotionally draining as my therapist weeds out my thinking, but I know I can’t give up.
Day 17: Be willing to learn. Keep an open mind during your sessions.
Day 18: You may feel like staying in bed for the whole day, but get up. (I once had a friend come over to literally drag me out of bed)
Day 19: Know you are loved. By friends, family, therapists, social workers – but above all by the Lord.
Day 20: Impart that love to someone else. You may be a very sensitive or emotional person, but use this to see what you are passionate about, and how you can creatively give back to someone else.
With these tips and by God’s grace, I hope that you, too, can celebrate the gift of life that God has given you. Cheers to 20 years of life & beyond!