170. My Routine to Keep Depression Away

Though I have been free of depression for a few years now, its dark cloud still threatens me with a relapse, especially if I am not vigilant and prepared. It is the same for those I know who have been depressed.

I have a routine to keep depression away, not so rigid that I am instantly depressed if I don’t follow it, but consistent enough overall that it serves as a kind of medication I take on a regular basis.

The first hour of the morning belongs to God, and I spend it in prayer, Scripture reading, meditation, and spiritual journaling. When stress and loss of energy weigh heavily on my soul, I take a time out and rest in a lounge chair, listening to soothing music and meditating on the blessings God has bestowed. In the late afternoon, I take time to read a chapter from Psalms, a chapter from the gospels, or both.

In the evening, I don’t use the computer after 7 p.m. or watch TV after 9 p.m., both stimulants that can inhibit sleep. Then comes what I call the golden hour. For one-half hour I read a few chapters of a selected book, generally a novel by George MacDonald or other book that has a theme of heroism in the pursuit of God. For the other half-hour I listen to music on my MP3 – either Christian praise and worship or classical.

When I go to bed, for about one-half hour before turning out the lights, I read a chapter from the Old Testament and a chapter from one of the four Christian classics I have on my nightstand and then fall peacefully into sleep.

I did not follow this routine or any other routine before I experienced five years of depression. And this is not a routine of drudgery or being scrupulous. It is one that gives structure and meaning to my life, and I look forward to following it each day, not slavishly but as a guideline, sometimes missing days at a time when my schedule does not allow me time or space.

About Patrick Day

In 2010, I escaped from four long years of deep, dark depression. This blog shares lessons I learned from those years as depicted in my autobiography - How I Escaped from Depression - as well as other insights about depression and anxiety that only come from someone who has gone through it. When you have a heart attack, you become an expert in heart attacks. When you have diabetes, you become an expert in that condition. As such, I am an expert in depression, with a four-year experiential degree and graduate studies in how to live a life going forward that keeps the ever-lurking Depression at a healthy distance.
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2 Responses to 170. My Routine to Keep Depression Away

  1. bah says:

    but no matter how hard i try i cant believe in god… :/

    • Patrick Day says:

      I understand. It can be tough. But God believes in you, and if you open yourself up to His finding you, He will. You see, you’ll never find God by your efforts. You can only put yourself in a position for Him to make Himself known to you. For now, I’d suggest you identify a friend who is a believer and have coffee with him or her on a casual basis to find out what they know. Another suggestion, I am a Gideon, and if you want a New Testament, I will mail one to you at no cost to you. If you already have access to a Bible, read the Gospel of John (the fourth book in the New Testament) and listen for what God has to say to you.

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