I am taking Mission Prep this semester from Brother Bott, and he gave some great advice of how to overcome the downs that accompany mortal life.
Step 1: Early recognition. Yep, I recognize that I am feeling pretty crappy right now. It's kinda hard to miss.
Step 2: Have a preplan, something that you know will bring you out of your depression. For me, that usually includes some sort of physical activity. That will happen later tonight around 9:00 pm if I have time. I better have time.
Step 3: Get outside yourself and serve others. Hmm... Let me see. What can I do that will get me serving and yet still give me time to study? I need to ponder upon this one.
Step 4: Avoid all negative self-talk. Avoid all pity-parties. I am definitely struggling with this one. I know that I could have done much, much better on that test tonight. I should have rocked it! I should have been on top of my game. What went wrong? But, I know that I become what I say I am. I need to stay positive, keep telling myself that it can only go up from here, things can only get better. I know they can, I tell myself they can, I just need to believe they can.
Step 5: Go to your sacred grove, a place to get away and refocus. I haven't found my own sacred grove. Maybe I'll go explore tonight while I run. If not, I think I might just go on a drive and make that my sacred grove.
Step 6: Count your blessings. Name them one by one. Let's see... First off, my family. I was able to spend the entire weekend with my whole family, and it was glorious! We are all so close, we enjoy being together, and we have fun! I couldn't ask for a better set of parents or siblings. Second, I have the gospel. Uh, hello? Best blessing ever? I can't imagine my life without the gospel and the blessings that I receive from living its principles. Third, I got to go to Jerusalem. My life would be so different if I didn't have that experience. I am so much closer to my Savior, and I more fully understand my role in this world. Those are just a few.
Step 7: Get a priesthood blessing. That will be done this weekend when I go home. Check.
Step 8: Reread your patriarchal blessing. That will be done before I go to bed tonight. I love my patriarchal blessing, and to read it is on my list of goals for this week, so it will be a double check off. Score.
Step 9: Write a totally positive letter and then reread it a couple of days later. Hmm... I might not have time to do that, but in case I do, I will do it.
Step 10: Call the mission president if all else fails. Well, I don't have a mission president, but I do have a mother. And that is already accomplished.
So after I complete this list, I should be depression free. I'll try it and report on the results. Ready, go.