Day 1: Depression often feels incredibly lonely. How can you reach out for help today? How can you help someone else, even in a very small way?
Day 2: How do you see and define yourself?
Day 3: What is your life speed? How does depression or sadness come upon you? How do you react when it does?
Day 4: Which Bible verses speak to you the most in your darkest times? Copy one in your journal.
Day 5: If you are a parent, are there discussions you need to have with your children today? If you are not a parent or your children are grown, who are the children or parents in your life that you can encourage? Your influence matters!
Day 6: If you deal with chronic pain, what is your biggest ongoing struggle? What lessons have you learned from your experience? Have you grown in faith or has it pushed you away from God?
Day 7: Are there ways you are not being honest with yourself about how you wallow in your depression, sadness, or anxiety? How can you turn to God’s light and goodness in a small, new way today? How can you take a step to turn away from darkness in your life?
Day 8: How has life punched you in the face recently? Are you still down for the count or are you getting back up? Are you learning from your experience?
Day 9: Grief is a normal, healthy response to loss. Grief honors the person or situation we lost. It is, however, possible to become stuck in a step of the grief process and unable to move forward. How is grief affecting your life today?
Day 10: What is a favorite quote or Bible verse that inspires you? Write it in your journal.
Day 11: Are there aspects of grief, depression, or anxiety that have been surprising to you? How so?
Day 12: Have you or someone you know been through a near miss situation with a teen? How has God helped provided grace and provision through that situation?
Day 13: How can you add more creativity into your life?
Day 14: Do you speak God’s word in your daily life? Do you speak up for your own needs? Do you speak up for the needs of others?
Day 15: Are you willing to reach out for help in times of trouble? Who do you go to for help when you need it?
Day 16: Do you like to watch movies when you are sad or depressed? Which ones?
Day 17: What small act will you do today to get motivated? Which area of the 4 (Do, Create, Give, Connect) appeals to you the most?
Day 18: When I’m having a tough day, what are some little ways I know for sure work for me to boost my mood? List them in your journal or use the My Hope Toolbox printable kit.
Day 19: Do you turn to other things (addictions, relationships, denial) to avoid pain? Do you feel productive, healing pain or do you wallow in self-pity?
Day 20:How do you reach out to serve others in Jesus’ name? What other ways do you want to serve in the future?
Day 21:How much does anger factor into your depression and grief? What do you do with your anger? How do you manage it?
Day 22:Do you have times when you feel hopeless? Write down 5 things to think about that give you hope. They can be big or small.
Day 23:Do you want to watch uplifting or sad movies when you are feeling down? Why?
If you are a new mom: How are you doing? What can you do to stand up and express your needs more clearly?
If you are not a new mom: If there a new mom in your life that needs some extra love and support?
Day 25:How would you rate your mental flexibility on a scale of 1-10 (1 being very rigid and 10 being very flexible)? Do you want to change that number? How will you go about it?
Day 26:How has sadness, grief, or depression changed your eating patterns? What healthy changes do you want to make?
Day 27:Is exercise a part of your life on a regular basis? What changes do you want to make? What’s a small step you can start today?
Day 28:Have you dealt with panic attacks or high anxiety moments? What is your take-away from the Potato Chip method? Check out the 5 Circles photo here: http://www.5circlesteachingmethod.com/.
Day 29:Do you have trouble with sleep? Where do your thoughts go in the middle of the night? What is something totally different from your worries that you can choose to pray about, starting tonight?
Day 30:Are you dealing with secondary trauma that needs to be addressed? Be compassionate with yourself.
Day 31:In what ways are you living free? In what ways are you still living in slavery? How can that change?
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.
I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God,who loved me and gave himself for me.
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.
But you are a shield around me, O LORD; you bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
Lead me in your truth and teach me, for you are the God of my salvation; for you I wait all the day long.
Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experienced by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace,who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.
1 Peter 5:9-10
Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.
Not only that, but we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance.
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.
1 Corinthians 1:3-4
The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.
You, Lord, keep my lamp burning; my God turns my darkness into light.
There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.
Then Moses said to the people of Israel, ‘See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and he has filled him with the Spirit of God, with skill, with intelligence, with knowledge, and with all craftsmanship, to devise artistic designs, to work in gold and silver and bronze,in cutting stones for setting, and in carving wood, for work in every skilled craft.’
Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves,
for the rights of all who are destitute.
Speak up and judge fairly;
defend the rights of the poor and needy.
Proverbs 31: 8-9
Help me, O Lord my God!
Save me according to your steadfast love!
A joyful heart is good medicine,
but a crushed spirit dries up the bones.
Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.
2 Corinthians 5:17
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.
As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace.
1 Peter 4:10
I waited patiently for the Lord;
he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the pit of destruction,
out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock,
making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth,
a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear,
and put their trust in the Lord.
For in this hope we were saved. Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees?
But you O Lord are a shield about me, my glory, and the lifter of my head.
As one whom his mother comforts,
so I will comfort you;
you shall be comforted in Jerusalem.
to grant to those who mourn in Zion—
to give them a beautiful headdress instead of ashes,
the oil of gladness instead of mourning,
the garment of praise instead of a faint spirit;
that they may be called oaks of righteousness,
the planting of the Lord, that he may be glorified.
So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31
The heart of man plans his way,
but the Lord establishes his steps.
Peace is what I leave with you; it is my own peace that I give you. I do not give it as the world does. Do not be worried and upset; do not be afraid.
In peace I will both lie down and sleep;
for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
“Tell everyone who is discouraged, ‘Be strong and don’t be afraid! God is coming to your rescue…”
For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery.
See a list of all 31 The Hope Toolbox posts here.
Sign up for The Holy Mess email list here. (Faith, Family, Fitness updates M/W/F mornings.)
The Feeling Good Handbook by Dr. David Burns
The Holy Mess: When Someone You Love Has Depression and YOU Are Going Crazy
The Holy Mess: How to Have Compassion for Sadness
Living Life Via my Laptop: 31 days of Embracing Blindness — Shelby is sharing her honest story, day by day of life as she is going blind. Very inspiring.
Psych Central: Resources: a list of some of the top websites about depression
University of Michigan Depression Center: DepressionToolKit.org: This website is an AMAZING resource! They have tons and tons of checklists, printable workouts, self-assessment tools and more. Check it out.
Probably in Purple: A Dash of Lemon and Some Salt — a neat 31 days blog about creating community in Dubai
This Isn’t What I Expected: Overcoming Postpartum Depression by Karen Kleiman and Valerie Raskin — recommended by reader Nancy Anderson (book)
Breaking the Patterns of Depression by Michael Yapko — recommended by reader Nancy Anderson (book)
Grace for the Now: The 5 Stages to Change. Which Change are You In? — highly recommend this article by Chris Drews
Zen Habits: What You Can Say Instead of “I Don’t Feel Like It” — fantastic ideas in this article!
Are you following The Holy Mess on Instagram? Check it out for new, original content.
Compassion Fatigue Awareness Project — VERY GOOD! Has several self-assessment quizzes online
ProQOL.org — Self-assessment tool, especially for those who work in service jobs, excellent resource!
First Light of Evening: Living the Wrong Dream — on brain injury, thought, and dreaming