making peace with depression

Depression is a huge issue today, with suicide now the leading cause of death for men under 45. It’s no secret that most people have considered suicide at least once in their lives, and it’s a timebomb ticking, especially when people often have no access to fresh air walks in nature, and those who get stressed by the outside world often have no respite from noisy shops and supermarkets, bullying cultures at work and beyond and not much free help.

Making Peace with Depression and Making Peace with Anxiety are two warm comforting books with super reviews, to help anyone who struggles with their mental health. The books have bite-sized tips ideal for overwhelm, and look at how our bodies respond to stress and worry, with tips to help calm you down or lift you up. Be kind to yourself and be your own best friend, in times of stress.

where to find help for depression

You can call or chat with Samaritans (or Papyrus for young people) and contrary to what some people think, you don’t have to be suicidal to call these trained volunteers. They will listen – sometimes that’s all somebody needs to stop someone from doing something stupid.

An interesting service is 7 Cups, founded by a psychologist who wanted to help more people.  Named after a Zen phrase, it offers paid online counsellers but also trains ‘caring listeners’ who can chat (just like a counsellor would for £40 an hour). The caveat is that they are not qualified counsellors but they do receive training and there are safety guards in place. If you’re feeling depressed and there’s no-one to listen, this may be worth a try.

notOK app was invented by a techy brother, for his sister who had depression. Just add your ‘panic contact details’. Then if someone feels unsafe (say at a train platform), they just press the button and contacts are alerted, to get immediate help. What a wonderful brother to have!

embrace joy in life’s simple pleasures

moments of comfort

Moments of Comfort is a lovely book to keep by your bedside, a beautifully illustrated devotional for warmth, reassurance, hope and optimism to get through another day. The perfect antidote to a difficult day or long week, find practical ideas on how to make use of life’s simple pleasures, and guidance on how to find peace and connection with the world around you.  Plus tips on how to find the strength to keep going during tough times in life. The perfect gift.

It’s up to you what you believe, but life flows better if you run or do some yoga first thing, rather than check your tweets or watch upsetting news, before you’ve even had breakfast. Most of our beliefs stem from age 7 or under. So if your life is a perpetual self-sabotaging car crash, it could be that your subconscious mind is running on auto-pilot. And just like if a car goes out of control to make you feel helpless, you will have to (instead of shouting at the sky ‘why does everything happen to me?) make the conscious effort to change.

If people have done bad things to you, that’s on them. But after a year or two you’re still blaming everyone else for things that have happened to you and the results – then that’s on you.

how walking healed one man’s depression

a walk from the wild edge

A Walk From the Wild Edge is the story of Jake, who had forgotten how to feel alive. So with just a pair of boots and a backpack, he walked 3000 miles across the country, along coastal paths, over mountains and through every national park. His journey led him to recover from depression, rediscover the local landscape and learn of the extraordinary kindness of strangers and his place in the world.

Jay’s wisdom from life’s ups and downs

life lessons Jay Blades

Life Lessons is a wonderful little book by Jay Blades, the presenter of BBC’s popular TV series The Repair Shop. This is a lovely hardback gift edition of wisdom and wit from a man who has been through it all (learning to read age 51 and a nervous breakdown in the last few years), and coming out the other side, sharing the lessons he’s learned. Things got so bad at one point, that he drove off and after being reported as a missing person, was found a week later living in his car in a retail park. At another point he was homeless, living in a hostel with his belongings in a supermarket carrier bag.

Forget about books written by psychologists in white coats. This is a really nice book written from the heart (and for someone who only learned to read age 51, he writes very well).

Leaving school age 15 with no qualifications, Jay managed to get back on track, and even studied for a degree in criminology and philosophy at Buckingham University, before finding his true vocation in restoration. An inspirational motivator, he loves working with disadvantaged young people as a mentor, and co-founded the award-winning social enterprises Out of the Dark and Street of Dreams.

It’s very easy to be passive in life, and just do what you know. But believe me, you’ll be a lot more excited every day, if you shape your own future’. Jay Blades

Biblical wisdom for mental wellbeing

holy care for the whole self

Holy Care for the Whole Self is a lovely book on how to look after yourself, without the narcissistic trash of most self-help books. With personal stories and practical tips, the author gently guides you through simple practices like prayer, gratitude, Scripture, exercise, sleep, counselling and more. All to help you find rest and peace in God’s unconditional love.

Whether you’re carrying emotional wounds from chilld trauma or suffering from anxiety, depression, panic attacks or intrusive thoughts – you know this isn’t what God wants for you. So why does joy and love feel so far away sometimes? The good news is that Jesus is in the business of restoring broken hearts and minds!

Laura L Smith has searched her whole life for beauty. Not in the world (there’s plenty of that) but in the crimson of a cardinal’s feather, in the sound of waves crashing along a shore, in the melody of a Beatle’s ballad or in a stained glass window. She tells stories in hopes of helping you discover what took her so long to see – your beautiful true reflection in Christ. She lives in Ohio, USA.

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