I am a huge fan of Jordan Lee Dooley and her company/ministry. Her tag line is: “Your Brokenness Is Welcome Here” and her mission is all about making sure that God’s daughters know that they don’t have to be perfect in order to enter into His mighty presence. This morning I threw on this sweatshirt because I needed the sweet reminder a little extra – my brokenness is welcome. It’s okay to not be okay. This sweatshirt came from her incredible company and can be found at this link:
Today I woke up feeling particularly broken, y’all. I felt funky, sad, down. This happens from time to time and I wanted to share with you all some of the steps I took to try to overcome these Sunday Blues. As this blog begins to develop, you will learn all about my personal struggles with mental health. For now, though, I want to share with you some practical ways to overcome depressed feelings and sad thoughts.
I woke up tired, poured some coffee, and spent quiet time with Jesus. I could feel the dark cloud of sadness lingering in the distance as the cold rain poured outside my window. It was, indeed, the dreaded day before Monday morning, my fiance was about to head back to school, and I was about to be alone for the majority of the day. Y’all, this is a recipe for a Caitlyn mental health downward spiral. It’s important to be completely and totally aware of what factors trigger sadness for you. For me, a dreary day, the first few hours after my fiance and I are apart, bad foods, and stress can all contribute to a depressive episode.
So today, I am sharing with you how the Lord helped me to help myself. With these tools, He scooped me out of a sad Sunday and placed me into His restful embrace.
1. Time With Jesus
Time in prayer is the best way for me to remember that God is close to my soul no matter how far away I feel from Him. Time meditating on His word – reading and re-reading scriptures that affirm who I am in Jesus – help to defend my mind from believing the lies of the devil (who, by the way, preys on me when I’m feeling blue). Remember these things about yourself, sweet friend:
1. You are chosen.
2. You are loved.
3. You are never alone.
4. You are filled with the Holy Spirit.
5. You are forgiven.
2. Move Your Body
Today was a rest day from my current exercise program which means that I took a good 20 minutes out of my Sunday to use a foam roller and stretch in order to help my body recover.
Recovery and rest are so important. God did not create this body of mine to go go go seven days a week. Restoration is admirable. A simple walk outdoors (which I didn’t quite feel like doing in the rain today), a short yoga session (Yoga With Adrienne on youtube is free and amazing), or a stretch are all some of my favorite rest-day Sunday moves. If you’re feeling up for a light jog or workout, then do it. Moving your body produces endorphins in the brain which trigger the “feel good” response in your body. Look it up – the research is pretty incredible.
3. Meal Prep and Fuel Your Body
In addition to drinking a smoothie for lunch, I went ahead and meal prepped three salads for this upcoming week. I know, I know – I didn’t meal prep the entire week, but I did meal prep my lunch for three days which means that Monday-Wednesday this week I will not have to worry about waking up a few minutes earlier to make my lunch. This didn’t take me long at all, and left me feeling like I had accomplished something.
Don’t let me fool you – I enjoyed a greasy biscuit from Bojangles with my fiance this morning before he went back up to school. I enjoyed the mess out of that meal, but now it’s time to fuel my body. I had a smoothie for lunch and reminded myself that the better I eat, the better I feel.
4. Accomplish Something
Even if it’s something crazy small. The feeling of accomplishment helps me to not sleep in bed all day when I am feeling blue. Today I cleaned the kitchen, did a load of laundry, and am working on this post. When it is finished, I will feel a small feeling of accomplishment. It can be something as simple as planning your workouts for the week, making your bed, or paying your bills.
If you are stuck in the middle of feeling like you never accomplish anything, I encourage you to take heart and really reflect. Sometimes getting out of bed is an incredible accomplishment in and of itself. We need to give ourselves more credit and celebrate the small stuff.
5. Essential Oils
For Christmas I received a diffuser and essential oil starter kit. I couldn’t be more pumped about how much I adore all of it. I’ve always heard about the benefits of aromatherapy and essential oils, but I have never tried them for myself.
I literally googled, “Best essential oils for depression” and was told that orange and lavender were amazing. LOL Y’ALL I DIDN’T REALIZE THAT I USED ROSEMARY AND ORANGE UNTIL I UPLOADED THIS PICTURE. I guess I got them confused since they are both purple *rolling eyes emoji* – ANYWAYS, the orange and rosemary both smell lovely and are definitely helping to brighten my mood as I write this paragraph. I will definitely be pumping some lavender (it’s my favorite) in the mix after I’m finished with this post. If you are interested in essential oils and their benefits, then I highly recommend doing a little research, then investing in a diffuser and oil sampler.
6. Get Around A Community
I think community looks different for everyone. Maybe community means going to church and being surrounded by other believers in worship. Maybe community looks like quality time with your family or friends while playing a game, watching football, or eating a meal. Maybe community means taking your dog for a walk and simply being around other people dwntown. Maybe checking into a virtual support group or giving that long-distance best friend a call is what community means to you. Whatever your community may be, invest in it today. When the Sunday Blues hit you like a train, it’s important to remember that you are not alone. The enemy will try to convince you otherwise – do NOT believe him. Surround yourself with those who love you today.
I’m super thankful for my brother who I get to spend some awesome time with this afternoon. My best friends are always just a simple text or call away and my fiance is always ready to Facetime call. Even if I feel alone, I can rest in the truth that the feeling of loneliness is a lie. God is with me and He has surrounded me with people who are also with me.
7. Do something you love.
As I write this I am watching the Patriots whoop up on the Chargers in the AFC divisional playoffs, while enjoying my essential oils and written words. I love writing and I love football. This combination is a sweet gift from God on this Sunday afternoon and I do not want to take it for granted.
Do something you love today, friend. What is something healthy that you adore? I love a good book, a great conversation, board games with family/friends, a good football game, fresh air, yoga, music, and dancing. I love serving others with my words and actions. I love blogging, taking pictures, and editing them with inexpensive Etsy presets. I love to cook simple meals that don’t take four hours. I love to spend time playing with my crazy dog.
Do something – anything – that you love. I encourage you to take that hot bath or cuddle up in your favorite sweatpants to watch a movie. I encourage you to dive into the word of God or read an inspiring book. Unplug from all the social media (which, by the way, often makes me feel more down when I am feeling blue), and focus on using your day to glorify God while also improving your own mental health. You won’t regret it.
Above all else, remember that your brokenness, your sadness, your exhaustion are all welcome in the presence of the Lord. You are going to be okay, friend. This week is going to be so stinking awesome.
What helps you when you are feeling blue? Feel free to leave a comment and let everyone know – I would absolutely love to hear from you.
Thank you for your patience with me as I continue to figure out how in the world to navigate this new blog site – I’m super pumped to see how the Lord uses it.
Until next time –