First, I prescribed my friend a big jar of Nutella, to be taken daily on whole wheat bread, bananas, or shortbread cookies during her daily devotional time.
I personally find Nutella to be very comforting ... and it's protein, right? But the real comfort comes from spending time in God's Word. I find the Psalms and Proverbs comforting and easy to read when I'm struggling with the blues, but Paul's epistles to the Galations, Ephesians, Philippians and Colossians so often speak to me about leaning on God as I try to please Him in my life.
Some other options to consider when dealing with seasonal (or even hormonal) depression include:
- Try to get one of those sun lamps. I haven't priced them, but you might be able to save money by finding one on freecycle, Craig's List or ebay. PRAY for one!! I'm continually blessed by what God provides that wasn't in our budget.
- Take vitamin D3. You can get it over the counter, and I've read that it can really help with seasonal depression, as well as overall immune health.
- Take a quality multi-vitamin, especially one created from whole foods. Supermom, NOW Foods Special Two, and Rainbow Light are good ones.
- B-complex and a good Omega 3 supplement are also good for dealing with depression or stress.
- Eat well! Limit your sugars and processed foods. Be sure you're getting enough protein and whole foods.
- As I said earlier, get in God's Word! Surround yourself with HIS Truth and seek HIS peace. The devil is using your feelings to LIE to you.
- Exercise! Get up and move! If you don't own any exercise movies of your own, and the weather makes walking outdoors difficult, then check your library.
- Make a plan. Sometimes beginning to make a plan for something in the future can help break the blahs. Plan your garden. Plan your next school year. Plan your summer vacation. Make a new schedule or chore chart for your family.
- Laugh. Watch a hilarious movie, play a silly board game with your family, tell jokes with your kids. Sometimes I just have to watch a stupid movie to get out of a mental funk.
- Cry. Other times I just need to let myself cry. If I can't simply cry over how I'm feeling, then I can watch a sad movie and cry over that.
- Sleep. Sleeping too much is a sign that you might need professional help and medication to overcome your depression. But if you aren't getting enough sleep, make it a priority. Without enough rest, you will not have the energy or mental focus that you need to accomplish your tasks.
- Pamper yourself a bit. Sometimes it's okay to take a mental break. Read a good book, soak in a tub, spend time on a neglected hobby. This can be just what we need to refresh ourselves and return to our work.
- Avoid making big decisions right now. This is not the time to decide to quit homeschooling, move to Africa, or to go back to work. Realize that your thoughts are currently clouded by your feelings, and wait awhile. Your opinion might be different when you start to feel better.
- Remember that you are not alone. Regardless of your family situation, you have a Heavenly Father who wants ONLY THE BEST for you and has all the STRENGTH and JOY and PEACE that you need. Just ask.
- Be open. Hopefully you also have a loving husband to help you, or family and friends you can ask for prayer support.
- Listen to your husband's wisdom. If he thinks it's time you see a Doctor, then go. If he thinks you need to rest, then do it. If he thinks you need to get out, then make the effort. Your family needs you.
- Don't give up! Your family is worth it, and they need YOU! They need you to spend the time and money you need to be healthy. Don't short-change yourself if it affects your health.
This list may seem too simplistic, but sometimes I forget what I already know and need someone else to remind me that vitamins, exercise, or rest will help. Hopefully it will help someone overcome the winter blues.