I absolutely LOVE this time of year that has been affectionately dubbed “The Holidays”. Spending time with family and friends, the cooler weather, twinkling lights, etc all warm my heart. But I know there are many who suffer with things like heighten social anxiety and seasonal depression during this time. And like many others best friend you may be wondering how to deal with depression and anxiety as a Christian.
PAUSE: Please note that this post contains my personal experience and opinions and is not to be substituted for professional advice.
I’ve had my own battles with anxiety and depression and sometimes still do. So believe me, I understand how hard things can get but it can definitely get better.
Examples of Anxiety
Anxiety ranges in levels from mild to severe. In my self-diagnosis (which I do not recommend), I believe the anxiety I’ve experienced in the past was more along the lines of being mild.
I’m the one that rehearses what I’m going to say in my head over and over again right before I say it. Only to get up there and blurt out something that is ultimately “funny” to others but I beat myself up over it later.
Then I will have questions swirling through my head like “Are they actually laughing AT me, like making fun of me?”
Some examples are…
- Generalized Anxiety Disorder
- Obsessive Compulsive Disorder
- Panic Disorder
- Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
Examples of Depression
As far as depression, I’ve had bouts with what I call limited functional depression. Meaning there have been days when I felt low for no reason at all and those days turned into weeks.
You know that “monkey on my back” feeling. But from the outside looking in, no one other than the Mr knew. And he only knew because next to God he knows me better than I know myself. That’s typically how marriage works 😌
Some examples are…
- Persistent Depressive Disorder
So … Now What?
I get it best friend. We’ve dabbled into how this has effected me personally and a little into some types of depression and anxiety.
But let’s get to the real reason you are here. You want to know how to deal with depression and anxiety as a Christian. What does God say about it?
A lot actually!
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted; he rescues those whose spirits are crushed.-Psalms 34:18 NLT
Then Jesus said, “Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest.”-Matthew 11:28 NLT
Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.-Psalms 55:22 NLT
Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.-Philippians 4:6 NLT
Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about you.-1 Peter 5:7 NLT
This is my command—be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.-Joshua 1:9 NLT
This is just a short list of the scriptures but a search for “depression” or “anxiety” in the Bible YouVersion App will give you many, many more. As well as devotional plans that can help you walk through this season.
I call it a season because like our climatic seasons, they do not last always.
For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long.-2 Corinthians 4:17a
I see them as spiritual warfare; fiery darts from the enemy. And because I see them this way I no longer take it personal when depression and anxiety rear their ugly heads at me. Nope! I fight and I want you to fight too, the Godly way.
How To Deal With Depression & Anxiety As A Christian
Don’t Make Them Residents
One of the worse things you can do while in this season is fixate on it. Constantly thinking on your depression and anxiety is giving it free real estate in your mind.
Real estate that could otherwise be occupied by the Lord. So don’t make them residents! Another no-no is isolation.
Look best friend I get it. As someone who completely adores her “me time”, trust me I get it. But this season of depression and anxiety is not the time to be alone. It’s the time to accept the love and offer of the person checking on you.
It’s the time to get around the ones that will saturate you with love. Be it your related family, close friends, church family, etc. And it’s definitely the time to partner with God.
Partner With God
As believers, we should be partnering with God in all circumstances; good and bad. But especially in the bad times He wants to hear from you. Of course being God He knows everything but He still wants to hear from YOU.
Parents you know what I’m talking about. When you know your child has a problem or they are going through something and you so want to help them and walk them through it but you’re just patiently waiting for them to come to you.
That’s how God is with us. Patiently waiting for us to talk to Him and partner with Him. How do we do that? Through prayer and reading His word. Remember you are not alone.
For God has said, “I will never fail you. I will never abandon you.”-Hebrews 13:5b NLT
Do One Thing
Another doable action for you is to simply do one thing.
Everyday no matter what pick one thing that will make you feel more like yourself and do it! This will change depending on the severity of your season.
If all you can manage to do is just get out of the bed and get going try making the bed every day. Is brushing or styling your hair a task, like Nike says just do it. If socializing is a task, try taking a walk in a public park. You’re around people but not necessarily interacting with them.
Feel like you don’t have the words to pray? I’m so thankful that even when I just say “Jesus” that the Holy Spirit translate that one name into the entire prayer that is on my heart to God. Find that one thing whatever it may be and do it.
And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groaning that cannot be expressed in words. And the Father who knows all hearts knows what the Spirit is saying, for the Spirit pleads for us believers in harmony with God’s own will.-Romans 8:26-27 NLT
Depression and anxiety are just fiery darts from the enemy in an attempt to defeat us in spiritual warfare.
Like any warfare you cannot be passive in your fight. You cannot sit on the sidelines and wish and hope things get better. No! We must put on the whole armor of God and actively fight. Let’s take a look at some ways to do that.
- Get Physically Active: A simple walk around the neighbor works, if you can manage more do more
- Serve Others: one of the best ways to get your mind of what you’re going through
- Have a comedy move marathon: laughter is great medicine
- Puzzles: Sudoku got me through a really dark time in my life because I was mentally focused on solving the puzzle instead of what I was going through
- Hobbies: If doing your hobby is a task make it your one thing, don’t have a hobby then find one
- Organize Your Space: It’s hard to get your mind in order when your space is out of order
- Worship Music: Listening to worship music can get you into the presence of God
- Social Media Breaks: You’re already going through it, do you really want to compare that to everyone else’s highlight reel?
Seek Professional Help
Depending on several factors such as the severity of your situation, professional help may be needed. And that’s ok best friend!
I know some believers operate along the lines of “I don’t need a doctor, Jesus is my healer.” The latter of that is definitely true. However, I strongly believe that God did not equip medical professionals for no reason. Why would He give them these amazing gifts only for them to bury them and never use their gifts?
Have you read The Parable of The Talents in Matthew 25:14-30? If not, take some time and check it out if you do not believe in doctors. We will all have to give an account of our talents when we get to Heaven. Did you multiple your talents or did you bury them?
It’s ok to have Jesus and a therapist 🤷🏾♀️
Get A Team
We are not meant to do life alone. Above all else I want you to remember that you are not in this by yourself. And although it may feel like no one understands, you’re not the only one going through this.
The last thing you want to do is cover yourself in isolation so get a team. An accountability partner, a prayer partner, someone to talk to, someone to hang out with; we need a team.
I know that your team has their own lives and sometimes it can feel like you are constantly burdening them with your problems. Please fight that feeling and reach out anyway because you are no burden.
Here are some numbers where you can reach people that 1) genuinely care about your well being and 2) are honestly not burdened by you.
Suicide Prevention Hotline 1-800-273-8255
KSBJ Prayer & Care Line 281-652-5555
Best friend I want you to know that Jesus loves you and I love you too!
If you need prayer, please send all prayer requests to email@example.com