A Step Toward Overcoming Depression

 

 

Mother never actually admitted it, but I knew. I could see it in her eyes, hear it in her voice, and sensed it in my soul. Then, I saw the magazine. She had earmarked articles on depression in her Good House Keeping magazines. You’d never know. She was beautiful, sweet, kind, friendly, and always neat as a pin but she battled times of soul darkness. No one told her how to get through those despondent times. But, God made her, knew what could help, and led her to a place of discovering one of the most beneficial things she could do to elevate her mood.

The discovery my mother made was exercise. Her favorite mode: walking. I truly believe she loved it! Mother didn’t have fancy in home equipment nor a nice gym to frequent. She certainly had no knowledge of the natural endorphins that, when balanced and elevated, could lift her spirits. But, she did have the outdoors, some walking shoes, and a house. She had all she needed. At that time in her life her goal was two-fold: to look good in her cute clothes and keep enjoying sweets.  So she was killing two birds with one stone. She was successful. There came a time in her life, however, when she couldn’t walk outside or ride her indoor bicycle because of physical limitations. What did she do? She walked an hour inside her house. Through watching her, I became a believer in the power of exercise. God uses it over and over in my own life to bring me out of pits of despair.

Our bodies really do need physical activity every day in order for us to function in healthier ways physically, emotionally, and mentally.

If ever there was a time that some kind of daily physical activity is necessary it is now. Most of us would have to admit we are threatened with pangs of sadness, depression, gloom, fear, loneliness and anxiety. It is normal to experience these feelings during something as severe as this worldwide pandemic. However, we don’t want these emotions to overwhelm us. God wants each of us who today are healthy to care for our bodies and souls.

Our bodies and souls are in the need of special care. Since we have extra time on our hands, we can show love and respect to ourselves by taking time to do whatever kind of exercise that daily will get us moving. My husband and I have increased our walking time each day to an hour. It has been a stress buster and a mood lifter.

For those who don’t already have an exercise routine in place, it’s never too late to begin. Just as an experiment, I walked 6 minutes in the house last week and was amazed at the number of steps I was able to get in in that amount of time as I weaved in and out of rooms. It was early in the morning. I was surprised at how much more awake and refreshed I felt at the beginning of the day. I also used that time to speak the names of the people in prayer who I personally know who are fighting for their lives because of COVID-19.

Many people say that their best times of prayer and worship are done on walks. I agree. Somehow a muddled mind can find clarity. Our whole self can find calm. Toxins can be released. Pain can be dulled. Anger can subside. Tears can flow. Thanksgiving starts to spill out. The benefits are endless!

How about you, my friend? Are you taking care of the amazing body God gave you through creating times each day for physical exercise? I hope so. It’s a good daily practice that will help us all better manage the place we’re in where we have no control. It’s never too late to get moving. What will you do today to renew your soul through exercise?

6 thoughts on “A Step Toward Overcoming Depression

  1. Well Said Kristi! Your mother was a wise woman and left you a beautiful soul care legacy! May we be so diligent to leave a good soul care legacy for our families.

  2. I saw this email and realized that for me this was God’s perfect timing. I’m really struggling with fear, anxiety and depression right now. Longing for life to be as it was a few weeks ago, I miss being with family and loved ones, our church family, and I’m truly overwhelmed by emotion at times. Walking is something I can do. Thank you!

    • I certainly understand those overwhelming feelings. I’m so glad my blog arrived for you at a good time. I’m glad you’re going to put walking into your self care plan. It helps. Will be praying for you. Blessings to you.

  3. I can give credence to this good advice. How wonderful that your mother found this solution during a time when it wasn’t so well understood. My mother was an advocate of exercise as well. Even knowing it will boost my mental attitude, I find it difficult to follow through many times. It takes determination to put forth that effort when feeling down. So I would underscore that even as little as 6 minutes in your house (no need to get dressed to go out) can make a difference!

  4. So true that it’s hard to push through when feeling down. I’m so glad research shows that just a little movement can make a difference. We can all pull for each other as we work at practicing some needed self-care during this crisis. Be blessed my friend!!

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