Sunday, May 29, 2011

When you're in the valley...

Today was a really great day. I mean, really great.

But some days don't give me the same mountain-top euphoria as this one did. Some days are long, monotonous, routine, boring, inspiration-less, painful, and just plain yucky. I've learned a thing or two to get me through those kind of days and I thought I would share it with you all.

Don't focus on the million things that need to be accomplished in the near future (i.e. plan your best friend's party, prepare for a speech or test in a month, make sure your toddler learns her letters before kindergarten, etc...) It will often make you feel overwhelmed, helpless, and even more depressed.

Instead, make a list on paper or in your head of things that are most important for that day. Your list might look something like this:

* Wake up by 7:30 am
* Make the bed
* Read the Bible for at least 10 minutes
* Do 2 loads of laundry
* Do the dishes
* Make a healthy lunch/dinner for the children
* Brainstorm ideas for planning upcoming party
* Study at least 20 minutes for upcoming test
* Read to the children before bedtime

See how this list isn't too overwhelming? Sure we all could put on the list "reorganize the pantry"... but a task like that can sometimes be a bit daunting for a woman who is feeling particularly depressed and unmotivated.

Honestly, on some of my bad days, I wake up and look out my kitchen window (and for those of you who have seen that view, you understand how depressing it is) and say to myself, "I really feel down today. I have zero motivation to do anything. I just want to curl up in a ball and sleep all day until all my problems dissolve. Or at least until my next vacation..."

I've found that on these particular bad days, it helps motivate me when I just think of some simple yet necessary tasks. It can be too much for a depressed woman to reorganize the pantry or plan a huge upcoming party. Oftentimes routine can be quite therapeutic when you are down, but overwhelming tasks can just make you fall back onto the couch in tears.

Then at the end of the day, look at or think about your to-do list. Ask yourself, "What did I accomplish today?" It can be quite rewarding as a woman/mother to focus on what you did accomplish instead of pout over what is still looming over your head. Look at the sparkly kitchen you cleaned, smile at the fresh laundry you just folded, ask your husband to tell you how delicious the meal was you cooked, pride yourself on the fact that you read to your child every night no matter what, pat yourself on the back for planning that party or taking that extra course. There's nothing wrong with thanking yourself. In fact, I don't think us women do it enough.

I think oftentimes that's why women become depressed. We compare ourselves to others, try to do more than we really should, and we overlook our talents and strive for "better" ones.

I basically taught myself this little trick this past year. No one told me to do it. I've just figured out myself that it works. It really works.

But the most important "trick" of all? Reading the Bible. His Word is a rock. I know that when I sit down and read the Scriptures, they will always be the same, never changing and always faithful. When life throws you a curve ball, you can always count on the passages of the Bible to lead you back into the arms of your Heavenly Father.

If you don't feel like reading the Bible, listen to it. Check out the or get the app for your iphone. Or buy the Bible on CD.

Those of you who have never experienced depression may not quite understand this post. But for those of us who have, it makes complete sense. I want to be honest about what I've gone through, and I would be thrilled if my testimony helped just one person. Just one. That's all that matters to me!

May you trust that He will soon bring you joy when you're in the valley today.


  1. Casey, I want you to know that I am so thankful for you. I know nothing is certain concerning our time in Aze and that we might not always be there at the same time but for now I am looking forward to being friends and knowing there is someone there who has gone through what I'm preparing to go through. Your honesty in your posts has really helped me to be ready for what life will be like over there and I am so excited to get that started! I pray for you and your family everyday and look forward to getting to know you all better and working along side you in different avenues.

  2. Casey, I am so blessed by your post. Seriously what I needed to read, because I feel overwhelmed with the task at-hand that God has given me. But I shouldn't, because He will do it. Just one step at a time.

    God bless,

  3. Thanks for the practical encouragement. It is helpful :). I will try it today as I feel as you've described most days. Now to work up the desire/energy to write out the list :).

    Thanks for sharing your heart and what you've learned.
    Jessica Darling