We hope you enjoyed last week’s episode about exercise, from our series on “101 Ways to Cope With Depression and Anxiety”. Over the next seven weeks we will continue discussing over one hundred ways to cope with anxiety and depression. As we mentioned in our episode on depression and anxiety, depression and anxiety can cause discouragement and a sense of overwhelm.
Our goal for the next few weeks is to provide you with a list of coping skills that are attainable. No one can say that they cannot do any of the over one hundred activities that will be discussing. That’s encouraging!
Each week there will be a theme for the particular activity that is featured. We have grouped the one hundred and one skills into ten different themes. We have already discussed God and exercise. We will continue with slowing down, fun, animals and nature, socializing, aesthetics, creating and learning, touch and smell, and helping.
Today’s episode marks the third week in our themes: slowing down. In Genesis 2: 8 we learn that God made the seventh day holy and rested. From our understanding of God, He was modeling a behavior that He wanted man to imitate.
We are made in His image, and He saw it fit for us to designate time to rest. The Sabbath was created for us to set aside work to focus on Him, but also to rest from the work that provides for our living.
Our list today does not specify anything Sabbath-specific, but it does encourage activities that will create a refuge from the rat-race life; little mini-breaks from the bombardment of work and life stressors.
If you have joined us in the past two episodes, you’ll remember that we have been using Philippians 4:8 as a guide. Think on things that are true, noble, just, pure, lovely and of good report. This verse is the underpinning for the series.
29. Write in your journal. Journaling has a “purging effect”. It can organize your thoughts. It helps you to look at issues and ways to overcome them. It also helps you to recognize how much you have overcome in the past.
5. Slow your breathing down. Four Square Breathing is a good way to slow your breathing down which will help everything else to slow down as well.
54. Tense up your muscles and then relax them in a progressive manner. Progressive Muscle Relaxation (PMR) can help alleviate disturbing and disruptive emotional symptoms. This relaxation technique can help your body get out to the fight/flight response.
78. Clean a specific area in your house. People who view their homes as more cluttered find that their depression increases through the day. Those who see their home as more orderly are less likely to be as depressed as those with messier homes.
81. Stretch. Studies reveal that stretching calms the mind, giving the mind a mental break.
97. Float on a raft or float in a pool. Floating calms the mind and reduces stress. It puts you in a state of sensory deprivation, creating a happier state of mind. It also decreases the sensation of pain.
6. Use relaxation imagery meditation. Guided imagery is great way to disconnect from life’s stresses and focus on something positive and up-lifting. With this technique, you find a quiet place to relax and then think about the most peaceful environment you can imagine.
9. Take a leisurely drive in your car. As a child, we would occasionally, usually on Sunday, take a car ride as a family. This was a time to ride around on rural roads looking at nature or new things we had not seen such as a new house.
68. Take a yoga class. Yoga is a good way to slow your body and mind down. When you are with a class, you are more focused on fitting in. This “peer pressure” helps you to stay focused and actually do the disciplined yoga that you might not do on your own.
Whatever is…Of Good Report
72. Tour a historical battlefield. Traveling and sight-seeing can help a depressed person look beyond themselves and boost their confidence. Visiting a historical battlefield is a way of experiencing an event with others and looking back in time.
Slowing down is an intentional act, not a lazy one. There’s a difference between proactively slowing down for the purpose of re-energizing for later work versus being aimlessly sedentary.
Today’s episode includes several different types of options for you. If you are home and need to slow down, journaling, stretching, guided imagery, breath-work, and cleaning can provide you opportunities to unwind.
If you’re looking to be more social, taking a yoga class or visiting a historical site with friends will offer great benefits. God is very creative and has provided His people with a variety of ways to cope with life’s stressors.