Oct 22, 2015
Wait, what? Dread the weekend? That's the best part of the week!
Some of you, however, might know what I'm talking about.
For anyone that's dealing with depression, anxiety, or emotional eating, the weekend can actually be a really hard time. With the weekdays we all have structure: we're busy, we see people for most of the day, we feel useful, and all of this distracts us from what's going on underneath. On the weekends though, unless you've got a busy schedule, those feelings rise up to stare you in the face.
This can result in so many emotions: fear of missing out, feeling unloved and unworthy, feeling overwhelmed by everything we should be doing, on and on. For a lot of women, this can result in emotional eating: buying your favorite foods (junk OR healthy), eating mindlessly, and often letting the food and the activity of eating suppress your emotions until you feel sick. And then hits the guilt: "what did I just do?" "I'm worthless." "I'll never succeed."
And then you end up secluding yourself even more. You don't want to talk to anyone, you don't want to see anyone, and even if you don't live alone, you do whatever you can to cover up your tracks, feeling ashamed of yourself.
This sounds like a vicious cycle, right?
Personally, I dealt with anxiety and depression for years. I felt so lost and unworthy, like I had no purpose. I didn't even realize what was happening until one day I was on the phone with my brother and I broke down in tears. He said to me, "of course you're crying, you're depressed." It was like a light went on and I realized that I wasn't broken, I was just going through a hard time. It was like there was suddenly a light at the end of the tunnel.
Weekends can be hard. Life can be hard. But you'll make it through.
When you're dealing with emotional eating, whether from simply being anxious over things in your life, or from more serious depression, there are things you can do to help. This isn't forever. Things can change, but only if you set your mind to it.
First and foremost, ask for help. Whether you want to start by telling nearby friends or family that you're having a rough time and would love if you could just come by and hang out one day, or chat on the phone, or by seeking more professional help, even a counselor or deacon at your church, it will make a huge difference. You are the driving force behind the change in your life, but we were made to be social creatures and life is so much easier when you ask people to join you, to help you.
Second, try to understand your feelings. Sometimes I'm feeling so many things at once that I just get overwhelmed and want to suppress them all. Instead, take out a piece of paper and write down EVERYTHING that is bothering you. Every last thing you can think of; just get it all out there. This will give you so much perspective. And then list the good things. Not just "I am grateful for my friends and family... blah blah blah." List the little things that make you smile. The things about yourself that you're proud of, that you like.
Third, join a community that will lift you up and give you something to do that makes you feel good. Whether it's a church small group, a club sport team, the board of a charity, or an organization within your profession, pick something with people that will lift you up, and an activity that will make you smile.
Lastly, give yourself time and forgiveness. I set out on my journey to change my life back in 2013. I finally started to feel like I was in a really good place at the beginning of this past year, probably because I finally found my purpose. You will fail. You will stumble.And you will get back up and keep going. There is only one you on this earth, so love yourself, embrace who you are, and then share it, because you're a gift to the rest of us.