Monday, 25 April 2011

Overcoming Depression Part 4. Soul and Body

To overcome depression we also need to pay attention to our souls (emotions, will, intellect/thoughts) and our bodies. We have to take a holistic approach to winning over depression - don't let the New Age steal this concept from us. God created us body, soul and spirit. The New Age didn't think up holistic healing, God did.
Experts on emotional health recommend:
þ Get in touch with your emotions and talk to someone you trust about your emotions. Get them out in the open.
þ Work on your friendships. Put effort into them. Make your friendships 100% dependant on you. Don't wait for friends to contact you. Just keep on taking the initiative. It will bear fruit.
þ Learn the vital art of compensation. Rest after you have been particularly busy. Take a day (or extra day)off after a busy business/ministry trip. Make compensating part of your lifestyle. If you don't, you will regularly "hit the wall".
þ Learn when and how to rest.
þ Try and cultivate a pleasant, cheap hobby that is easy to turn to in order to escape and recreate.
þ 1 Hour of recreational activity per day is important. Those late afternoon, early evening supper times with the family. Get out to different places. Fight the urge to stay cooped up.
þ At least one 2 or 3 week uninterrupted vacation with the family per year, away from friends, relatives, in a place that charges your batteries.
þ Weekends away. Several times a year. Preferably in a different environment to the one associated with responsibility.
þ Live by priorities. This implies knowing what they are, planning in a diary, and the ability to say “NO” if something is not KEY & STRATEGIC.
þ Be particularly vigilant to do the above when going through high stress times e.g. changing jobs, moving house or nations, death of someone close, promotions, retrenchment, financial pressures, family stresses etc.

Our Body: Sleep, Eat, Exercise.

þ Get plenty of sleep and rest.
þ A healthy diet. Avoid junk food, processed foods and foods loaded with preservatives. These break down the body’s resistance. Sugar is a poison in your system. Eat as much uncooked, natural stuff as you can. Drink at least 2 litres of water/day.
þ Possibly a vitamin supplement, especially when under pressure. Vitamin B’s are important here.
þ Get out of the house and into the fresh air.
þ 20 minutes of exercise a day to maintain cardio-vascular health. Don’t make it overly ambitious otherwise you will do it in great pendulum swings of over-exertion to absolutely nothing. Do something that is easy to keep at and that doesn’t cause you discomfort. Swimming and walking are good options. You must fit your exercise into 6 days. On the 7th day thou shalt rest!

When you are emotionally/spiritually tired, you are probably also physically tired. Pushing yourself to recreate or exercise can overtax you. You need rest. Rest is not recreation. It is to stop doing the things that you normally do and not to fill your time with other things.
When you are already emotionally/spiritually exhausted, you burn more energy than normal doing the same things – even answering the phone can become an emotional crisis! You're like the lumberjack who had to work harder and harder and harder because he refused to stop and sharpen his axe. When you find yourself in this state, recognise where you are at and be gentle on yourself. We all have different capacities and levels of endurance. Don't try and compete with others or measure yourself by others. Be gentle on yourself, rest, compensate and recharge your battery.

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