Friday, November 11, 2011

40 Days to Better Living - Depression by Church Health Center

Dr. Morris arrived in Memphis in 1986. Wanting to provide health care for the poor, he opened the Church Health Center. Its mission is healing the whole person, body and spirit. Dr. Morris realized that many illnesses could be prevented or at least controlled. The Center has developed material to provide opportunities to improve health for optimal wellness.
This book is a forty day journey on the way to health, specifically, mental health. Each day we are given ways to make our life healthier. Each daily reading contains tips on the topics of Faith Life, Medical, Movement, Work, Emotional, Family and Friends, and Nutrition. Each day begins with a morning reflection. Then follows the topics listed above. There may be questions to answer, tips to think about or journal entries to make. A sample of one day includes questions about your faith community, your family history, treats at the workplace, someone willing to check in with you once a week, suggestions to balance TV watching with bicep curls, to cook a meal that has many colors, and to journal an inventory of your emotions.
The daily reading ends with an evening wrap-up, including a prayer. Inspiring illustrations and Bible verses grace the books pages.
The readings are encouraging yet realistic. The daily practices move the reader slowly but deliberately along the path to better mental health.
Each week a story from the Health Center is included, giving the read a real example of success on the road to optimum wellness.
Managing depression is about learning to accept the feelings that we have without those feelings getting the final word.” (51) “Managing depression and the overall journey toward wellness are lifelong journeys.” (156)

This material is not to be used instead of seeing a doctor. Readers are encouraged to speak to their physician about their physical condition and to a counselor to find help in managing mild or temporary depression.
Dr. Morris understands that wellness is a journey with many aspects to it. Working through this book will probably not instantly cure you of depression. However, it is a valuable tool to be used alongside other efforts to approach optimum wellness.

I did notice some repetition in the questions and suggestions in the book (such as suggesting twice that you ask for a “to go” box at the beginning of your meal at a restaurant). However, these repeats may become just good reminders over the course of the forty days.

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Barbour Publishing, Inc., 176 pages

I received an egalley of this book from Barbour Publishing for the purpose of this review.

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