Let’s talk about Christians and depression. More specially, Christians and seasonal depression. We will go over several tips and bible verses to help Christians overcome seasonal depression.
If you think you are suffering from seasonal depression and wondering how to fight seasonal depression, then you’ve come to the right place with plenty of tips to get you through.
As always, do not hesitate to reach out to your Doctor, Counselor or Therapist (I am a Christian Mental health coach; not a Doctor, Counselor nor Therapist.) for a deeper look into what is happening with you and your mental health. Only your Dr or Therapist can diagnose/prescribe medication for you. Your mental health matters. You can love Jesus and have a therapist, too.
Christians and Depression
“It is okay to be sad sometimes—we all go through those times. We live in a painful and often depressing world (Genesis 3:14-19; Romans 8:20-22). We aren’t expected to always put on a happy face and pretend things are okay when they’re not. But at the same time, we can “take heart” because Jesus is our comforter and companion in times of sadness (John 16:33). “Taking heart” does NOT mean that we don’t acknowledge our sorrow for what it is, but it does mean that we acknowledge our ability to turn to God in the midst of depression—whether it is a seasonal depression or a lifelong struggle.” – 412Teens
What is Seasonal Depression?
Seasonal depression is a condition that occurs when people experience a change in season and it has an impact on their mood. The most common type occurs over the winter months when the days begin to shorten and darken. We stay indoors more. We get less natural sunlight and fresh air.
Seasonal Depression (also referred to as Seasonal Affective Disorder) is most common in the winter. Studies suggest that up to 20% of people are affected by Seasonal Affective Disorder to some capacity according to aafp.org and that the bulk of those people are affected during the winter months. This may be because during the winter there is less exposure to sunlight, which can influence mood.
Although Seasonal Affective Disorder is more common in the winter months, it can also happen during summertime with the increase in sunlight.
Seasonal depression is more common in women, however, it does affect both men and women. It’s also more common in the northern states than it is in the southern states.
Here are some of the most common signs of Seasonal Depression:
- Exhaustion even after sleeping for long hours
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Lack of motivation, focus and concentration
- Loss of interest in things that you normally enjoy
- Feeling hopeless and helpless
- Difficulty concentrating
- Sadness that is hard to shake
For more symptoms check out the Mayo Clinic list of SAD symptoms. If these symptoms sound like something you may be experiencing, there are many ways to fight seasonal depression (we’ll get into them in a second). Do you keep a mood tracker? The key is recognizing the signs early on and taking specific actions to combat it before it gets worse. Keeping a mood tracker will help you recognize any patterns that you and your Doctor need to be aware of.
Learn to recognize the difference between Christians and depression and Christians just being tired because your body needs extra rest. If you have not been getting enough sleep for a few weeks straight, then this could be why you feel exhausted all the time even after sleeping long hours. But if these feelings come about suddenly when they were never an issue before, then this could indicate that they are related to Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Again, do not hesitate or feel ashamed for reaching out to your counselor, Doctor or therapist for professional help with your mental health as a Christian.
Treatment for Christians and Seasonal Depression
There are many treatment options available that help with fighting seasonal depression including light therapy, healthy diet and exercise. Other treatments include medications like antidepressants or anxiety medication, however, everyone responds differently to the various treatments so you should speak with your doctor to get the correct treatment for you. It’s always a good idea to talk to your primary care physician or therapist when it comes to mental health troubles as they can recommend forms of treatment best suited for your overall well being.
Ultimately, your doctor/therapist is the only person who can diagnose you with seasonal depression but that doesn’t mean your symptoms aren’t real if you don’t go in for a formal evaluation. The tips included inside of this post could be helpful in offering you awareness of seasonal depression.
If you’d like more awareness on your seasonal depression symptoms, below is a list to get you started.
Tips for Fighting Seasonal Depression Realistically
Lifestyle changes, therapies, and medications are the three most common ways of fighting seasonal depression. You can also holistically approach your problem with some natural remedies like getting sunlight exposure during the winter months when it is possible (a sun lamp is an alternative). Sit by your favorite window and read a good book, do some bible journaling or watch a funny show. Also, make sure you get enough sleep and be mindful of what you are eating.
Some more tips for fighting seasonal depression as a Christian:
- Try to laugh more
- Keep yourself busy (maybe a new hobby!)
- Make time for yourself every day (self-care is always key!)
- Get involved in a winter activity like ice skating, skiing, or snowboarding
- Consider taking a Vitamin D supplement (ask your doctor first)
- Journaling (doing something creative)
- Scripture Writing
- Make plans with friends and family
- Stick to a realistic daily schedule that includes things that make you happy
- Make time with God a daily priority
- Consider adding in aromatherapy to your lifestyle/home (I love peppermint oil in the diffuser! Lemon oil also is nice and brightens up the room.)
- Let some light in! Open up those blinds and curtains! Sit by the window and soak up the sun.
- Take a vacation (or staycation)
- Do a Bible reading plan on mental health
- Bonus tip: If you are struggling, talk to someone about your feelings. Whether it be friends or family members, sometimes just getting things off of your chest can make a world of difference.
Ultimately, the best tips for fighting seasonal depression in the winter time depends on each person and their body. If you need help, don’t hesitate to call your Doctor. Keeping your relationship with God a priority and getting as much sunlight as you can into your life is definitely a good place to start. Some people might think this means artificial lights, such as tanning beds, but that could be false. Focus on true, natural sunlight!
Now, these tips for fighting seasonal depression (Seasonal Affective Disorder) won’t completely eliminate the depression itself, but they will may help with awareness as you work with your Doctor on a plan to help you with this.
Bible Verses For Seasonal Depression
Here are some of my favorite Bible verses when I’m feeling sad and needing to work through some negative throughs and feelings.
This verse offers such a great reminder to christians and depression! God promises to be near the brokenhearted and deliver them from their troubles. Life can be hard with different hardships and traumas we face. Lean into God as he offers comfort from the storms.
One way to help us be mindful of our mindset is thinking of things we are grateful for everyday. What are 3 things you are thankful for right now in this very moment? Write in your gratitude journal daily to help you be intentional about giving thanks in all things.
This verse reminds us to renew our minds daily. When we take time to read God’s word and pray we are keeping our focus on God and not our problems. Is it hard? You bet! Is it worth it? Absolutely! We build our faith and trust in God as we consistently read His word.
I have a huge list of Bible reading plans. Look through my list and pick a topic that you need in this season of your life. I have many mental health articles and devotional resources available as well. I pray they encourage you.
One final suggestion would be to find a good therapist or psychiatrist who knows how to handle these types of disorders. There are faith affirming and Christian therapists you can see. Listening closely to what your body tells you every day about its needs and feelings will help greatly too! Your counselor, Dr or therapist will appreciate you keeping track of you symptoms so they can more accurately understand what’s happening with you and your body. The important thing here is not so much learning all there is on this disorder but rather taking action and deciding yourself that you are worth taking care of.
What has worked to help you with seasonal depression? Let us know in the comments below.
More articles for christians and depression you will enjoy
Comfort In Suffering – Are you looking for Bible Verses for suffering? Life can be exhaustingly hard sometimes. Death, trauma, affairs, betrayals, abuse and major accidents are all a part of life. Christians are not exempt from suffering.
15 Ways To Reduce Stress – Stress is high right now, right? Are you looking for ways to reduce stress in a healthy way? Reducing stress can add years to your health and happiness! Check out these 15 Ways to relieve stress!
Managing Holiday Stress – The holidays can be so hard. With our lives already busy, we add on the hectic holiday schedules, holiday cooking, holiday spending, etc. What are your best tips for managing holiday stress? The holiday season often brings along with it unwanted stress. These “tips for a stress free holiday season” might just mean the difference between an enjoyable holiday and one where you’d rather hide away in the bed till it passes.