How to Make a Home When You're Feeling Depressed - Sarah Mae
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How to Make a Home When You’re Feeling Depressed

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My husband sent me these beautiful flowers when I was sad. It was a first. He’s learning to love me (and understand me) more with each year we are married.

Back in November I was really struggling with a downcast soul (as David calls it).

I couldn’t wash my dishes without crying. I couldn’t seem to do the laundry or make meals or even get out of my chair. I just felt so…defeated. Weary. Sad. And there was no specific reason for it; I just seem to be a bit predisposed to discouragement from time to time. And when it hits, it hits. I have no control over it. In fact, this last time it hit, I just rested in it. I didn’t fight it.

Today I wrote an article on doing the work even if you feel lazy. A sweet woman commented and said that it’s hard to do the work when you feel depressed. I told her that post wasn’t for her, and to rest and be gentle with herself. Here are few more things I want to say to those of you who are just feeling discouraged, or sad or weary, but you are still trying to make a home.

*If you are severely depressed or the dark days never end, please talk to a doctor.

The Only Way Through is Through

If you are struggling with depression or discouragement, I have found that you can’t rush it. You can’t just climb out of the dark place, you have to walk through it, one step at a time. But you are not alone. You have the Holy Spirit with you as a guide. Which brings me to my next thing…

Ask the Holy Spirit

Sometimes I forget that I have the power of the Holy Spirit inside of me and that I can ask Him what is going on. The Scriptures say the the Holy Spirit is my counselor, comforter, guide, and advocate. I have access to His wisdom. “What is going on here? Help me? Comfort me, guide me, show me the way I should go with this.” I do not have to go through the dark times alone.

Don’t Isolate Yourself

I have a tendency to crawl away and hide when I’m feeling depressed. I don’t want to see anyone or talk to anyone, and I really don’t want to inconvenience anyone. What a lie from the enemy! God gives us friends and relationships and puts people around us because life is hard and we need each other. When I try and hide away, my friends hunt me down. Sometimes I lie to them and say I’m fine, but they know. It’s so good to be honest and vulnerable, because they offer lifegiving words to my weary bones. They speak truth over the lies I tell myself. They bring me flowers or coffee, or just listen to me. If you are feeling discouraged and you want to hide away, call someone. Talk to your husband. Reach out to someone.

Ask for Help

If the laundry is piling up along with the dishes, ask for help. Can your husband or a friend or your kids help out? Even something, some help, is better than nothing.

Do One Thing

My friend Joanna reminded me recently that when she is feeling down, she tries to do just one thing. She said to me, “I operated under the false assumption that I had to feel like cleaning my house.” When she doesn’t feel like cleaning, she purposes to do just one thing. Sometimes that’s all we can accomplish. That’s okay. One thing.

Be Gentle With Yourself

It is so easy to beat up on yourself during the dark times. I always feel like a failure when I’m in the dark, and I speak words of failure over myself. No good. The enemy will whisper lies to you and you will believe them so easily when you are harsh with yourself. God is kind and gentle, He is our gentle Father, and gentleness is all throughout the Scriptures. How can we be gentle with others if we can’t first be gentle with ourselves? Friend, in the dark times, speak kind words to yourself, listen to the truth, and cut yourself some slack. Be gentle with who you are and where you are. You are loved and looked upon with compassion. Try and see yourself through those kind of eyes, the compassionate kind.

Slow & Steady

There are no rules with how you have to clean your home. We are all different, and we all go through different seasons, and during the dark ones, take it extra slow and steady. No rush. I’ve said this before, and I’ll say it again: Slow, seek Him in the still place. Steady, lean on the firm One. 

Ask God if There is Something You Need to Repent Of

During my time of depression last fall, I kept telling one friend of mine that even though I felt so sad, I could still feel God’s kindness all around me, it was so odd. I kept repeating to her how kind God was, and she said, “I hear you keep using that word, kind. Look at this.” And she opened up the Scriptures to Romans 2:4, “…the kindness of God leads you to repentance…” I was familiar with the verse, but hadn’t thought about it. Could there be something I maybe needed to repent of? I asked the Lord, and I was very encouraged to be reminded that He is not mean or punishing to me, but gentle and kind, especially when leading me to something I need to repent of. And here’s the thing about repentance, it isn’t always something a thing, like spending less time online, or quitting yelling at your kids, or whatever. It might be an attitude. You might need to repent of trying to fix yourself. Or maybe you need to repent of believing lies. I don’t know, but I do know that if you’re discouraged yet you feel God’s kindness all around you, perhaps you can just ask Him, “Is there anything I need to repent of?” There might not be anything at all, but there might be.

Buy Flowers

If you can swing it, buy some cheery flowers to put on your dining room table. There is something about flowers that brighten the soul.

Worship

When the dark times come, and likely they will continue from time to time, and I know I have to just walk through them, I listen to worship music. I let the words of truth and praise wash over me, and I sing them back to God because even in the dark times, He is with me and He is light. I encourage you not to listen to music that holds you down in the dark, but praise God instead; let your soul be lifted.

“Then I will go to the altar of God, To God my exceeding joy; And upon the lyre I shall praise You, O God, my God. Why are you in despair, O my soul? And why are you disturbed within me? Hope in God, for I shall again praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.” Psalm 43:4,5

With love and compassion, Sarah Mae

Satisfied-Soul-Journal-Sarah-Mae

You will find gentle encouragement from a friend in my new book, Having a Martha Home the Mary Way.

You can get it on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, My Givingtons Shop, or wherever books are sold.

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  • Shannon

    Thank you for putting that lost feeling into words and the encouragement to push through it. It is so hard for me to try to explain it to my husband. I do reach out, but it is hard to find someone who has time to listen. ❤️

    • beth mix

      I agree and such a wonderful article. This is common enough I am going to try to start a face book page for us to have a communication outlet . If you are interested look for Safe Haven One Family at a time. Beth Shoemaker Mix is my facebook name if you cant find Safe Haven One . I started the page awhile back unsure how to procede this may be the start. Sometimes family and friends may not understand but others in common can relate for sure . God is a wonderful source of comfort ,strength and all we need and yes he does give us friends we just have to find them and in some cases they find us .

  • http://gingerchronicle.blogspot.com Carissa Grossman

    This is beautiful. Thank you. With expectations flying around all over the place it can be so hard to take care of yourself when you are in a dark place. I think a lot of women need to hear this. I know how hard it is to ask for help when you are burdened with guilt or many other things, and I try to remember that feeling and look for people who are trying to seek comfort. This was such a good reminder that we aren’t all in the same place and some of us need more than just encouragement and ideas. We need to rest in God.

  • Beth Perry

    Oh Sarah, I needed this post today. A floodgate of depression hit me this afternoon. I will be keeping this post up so I can re read it over and over again.

  • Stephanie

    Such uplifting words…Thank you, Sarah for taking the time to share this message. What overwhelms me most is the loneliness part, which is worsened by the fear of reaching out to anyone. Don’t want to appear needy or inconvenience them, you know? Yet, we are not alone. God is in the midst of it all..a powerful reminder!

  • Shelley Lard

    I’ve been struggling with this for months. Years on and off, but the demons inside are fighting once again more recently. Thank you for the article, and I will look into your book. I’m having a hard time getting out of the house. I know it makes you feel better once you are out, but it’s actually getting to do it that is hardest. I like the idea of flowers and just focusing on one thing a day, then maybe later another, As opposed to a list of things to do. Again, many thanks!

    • beth mix

      What a wonderful article. Awhile back I started a facebook page Safe Haven One Family at a time. I thought I could open it up for a place for us to have others to communicate. Sometimes family and friends can’t understand but others going through it can relate and have a listening ear. This is something new to me And I know I have a lot learn to be the most helpful . If you are interested look up the page on face book.

  • Amy

    This hits home and is so appreciated. I have rapid cycling bipolar disorder and sometimes depression hits super hard right after a very high manic phase (even on meds) and the dichotomy between the two is astounding. Some days it’s hard for me to even get out of bed let alone do something productive. I guess I needed to hear from someone else that other people struggle with this too and that being gentle on myself isn’t a bad thing.

  • Janette Timmins

    Thank you so much Sarah for your transparent and encouraging words. God used you to bless me this morning. I’ve been feeling a bit discouraged and overwhelmed the last few weeks and as a result I’ve been trying more and more in my own strength to “get it together “. In doing that I’ve also pulled away from friends determined not to complain or “lean on their sympothy”. Well its time to crank up the worship music while I get ready for small group (which I had planned on skipping) and then buying some flowers on my way back home 🙂 Godwill continue to walk me through this season and use it for His glory and my good. Thank you for helping me remember that love!

  • Valorie MacDonald

    OH how I need these reminders!! I’m thinking print this out in multiples and WALLPAPER MY HOUSE!)

  • Cassie Kraus

    Loving reading all your amazing post and can’t wait to read your book

  • shay

    It had been a while since I had been . Your blog. I first came across the post about mothering yourself. Then I saw this one also. I just wanted to say thank you so much for being real and honest. With what your facing and have faced. It was like you were reading my mind in describing the different aspects of depression and such. It has been almost 2 1/2 years that I have been in a state of deep dark overwhelming depression. Just over the last 2 months I have decided to fight back .. Fight the enemy!!! Stop letting him control me so much. I still find myself in a struggle most days. I do try to continue to draw close to God. In the midst of all the darkness I felt I was failing God; BC I knew how he worked; how good he is; his power.. But yet I couldn’t come up out of it. It wasn’t until God placed a woman pastor in my life. The prayers that we have been praying. The encouragement she gives… I always try to remember that its not possible to fail God. I try to remember who’s behind this attack and who to attack and its not myself. God is always ever so faithful. I know that with God I can continue to get stronger and that it won’t seem so hard anymore. I see where he brought me from once again. So I do understand the down .. In a funk.. Sad… Anxiety feelings. Thank you again for sharing your story and these helpful tips. May God continue to bless you everyday!! He loves you; your in my prayers. Look forward to reading more of your journeys and tips.

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