All of us are pelted with depression at some point of our lives. It feels like the lens that we use to see our lives was suddenly changed. We can feel powerless and hurt. The pain can even threaten to disconnect us from our Lord, Allah(swt). You keep praying but the spirit and focus seem to be marred by low energy and sadness.
How do you move forward when you feel overwhelmed with depression, especially when you’re a mom and must go on?
This post is for moms who are burdened with depression and are looking for ways to manage it better. So, once the depressing episode it’s over (which it will insha Allah) your life is hardly affected by it.
Understand that it’s temporary-
The biggest trap of feeling depressed is that it makes you feel like it will never end. The thoughts, the pains and the numbness seem everlasting. Understand that all these negative things are from shaitan so you despair and fall apart. So believe that the pain you’re experience right now is temporary and Allah(swt) will find you a way out. Write it on a piece of paper or say it out loud and see the difference positive affirmation can make. Repeat it every time you feel depressed, even when you find it hard to believe. This positive affirmation will help you stay strong during those long, dark days insha Allah..
Treat it like weather-
If you’re standing outside and find out that a storm is heading your way soon, what would you do? Would you wish the rain and wind wouldn’t happen to you? Would you just stand there and allow the rain to affect your health and belongings? Would you think you’re being punished and wait for someone to rescue you? I believe you won’t do any of it. Instead, you will try to protect yourself, using whatever you have to minimize even prevent damage from rain.
Treat depression like weather. Changing your perspective about depression will give you a motivation break from it. You come to understand that like weather, this too shall pass. You will take effective steps to protect yourself from it just like you would if you were caught in the rain or snow. You don’t stop thriving when you experience unfavorable weather and you won’t for depression either.
Don’t identify with depressed feeling-
Don’t identify with depression by saying that I am depressed just like you wouldn’t think or say I am fever or I am headache. Yes, it can be overwhelming and rather painful but stand your ground by knowing that you’re not defined by your feelings nor your diagnosis. You are an ashraful makhluat, a beautiful, intelligent amazing human being, the best of all creations masha Allah.
“Indeed Allah has created the human in the best of forms.”
Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
Focus on what you have-
The pain from depression and shaitan’s spin on it can delude you into thinking that you don’t have much going on in your life. But in truth, you are a blessed person with amazing gifts. Focus on what you have. Just look around you and start writing all that you’re blessed with- starting with the ability to read this sentence alhamdulillah. I challenge you to find 11 things right now. And then act in amazement even it seems you’re faking it. No, you’re not lying, you’re simply persevering and acting in congruence with your belief even when you’re struggling to believe it.
As muslims we understand that tests are inevitable.
“And We will surely test you with something of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth and lives and fruits, but give good tidings to the patient.”
Since Allah(swt) already warned us then we must prepare for the tests so we come out stronger insha Allah. Find out why you feel depressed. Take effective steps to manage, dissipate and eliminate depression to the best of your ability. Seek remedy as there is a remedy for everything except death. Be undaunted in your pursuit of living optimally as a muslim.
Don’t let depression catch you off guard. Have a plan for the days when you anticipate depression. It’s like keeping a first aid box so you can use it as needed. Have a few frozen meals in the fridge, keep a dhikr plan, listening to Quran can be part of your plan.
Refuse to suffer
“Pain is inevitable suffering is optional”. Refuse to be enslaved by pain, take actions to heal from depression. Eat whole foods, take breaks, sleep well and let go of negative people who bring you down. Don’t let the pain paralyze you. Remind yourself that you’re not be bogged down by your pain and do your very best to live the life you want to insha Allah. And then take positive actions to keep your word. Keep a positive attitude and don’t forget to smile.
Don’t let depression dictate your life. Live an organized, disciplined life so you can maintain calm during depression. You may want to adjust your pace while recuperating but don’t give in to your negative feelings. You don’t run at the same speed when it rains on you and the road is slippery as opposed to when the roads are dry and the weather is nice.
encourage yourself to keep being your very best even when the circumstances are undesirable. Follow your plans for the day as closely and as effectively as you can. If depression affects your focus and energy, then do the things that require little attention and energy, like doing laundry, cleaning your pantry or sprucing up your closet. It’s also a good time to play with your kids as they have a way to lift your spirit mashaAllah. Keep up with your prayer and ignore shaitan’s whispering when it says your prayer is not good enough. If you can’t read a few pages of Quran, consider reading 1 page, even 1 line. Allah(swt) knows your struggle and these crucial moments of obedience when it hurts so badly will only bring you closer to Him(swt).
Focus on efforts-
Have you ever hit the dumps and thought what’s the point of doing these anyways? That’s another blow from shaitan trying to delude you into thinking that you’re in charge of your destiny. As muslims we believe and do good trusting Allah(swt) with the result. So, have a goal and make efforts toward that goal. Good feelings are not a perquisite for excellent actions. Don’t do something just because you’re feeling like it because then you’ll put off something because you didn’t feel like it. And trust Al Wahhab with the results, He will always have a surprise for you that will blow your mind.
Act Positive to feel positive-
Act the way now the way you want to feel later. Develop a positive attitude about life. Consider yourself naturally optimistic. No matter what events occur in your life- consider them as blessings and immediately look for what’s good in them. This habit takes practice. What’s good when your kids are screaming at each other? Well, you have been blessed with at least 2 kids I’m assuming- how’s that for a blessing?
Refuse to complain about anything. Even if you’re thinking it, don’t say it and eventually you won’t even think it insha Allah. And if you said it, take it back right away and say something positive immediately. Break the vicious cycle of negative thinking and behaving.
You’e not alone sister and certainly not being punished. We all get our fair share of storms and drought and must move on with our lives. Depression, like other tests in life is like a package that you’ve been handed to carry omly for a certain period of time. The One who gave you this package is completely aware of your ability and won’t burden a soul more than what she can handle. So seek help, take steps, be strong. Remember,
“Indeed, Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is in themselves.”
And when you take steps to change your condition you get to see your amazing potentials and innumerable gifts that you have been blessed with, alhamdulillah.