Category 1

Category 2

Category 3

Category 4

Category 5

Category 6

Create a trusty battle plan.



I'm a writer, author, and online educator who loves helping others build intentional lives through the power of habit and meaningful routines.







Start Tracking Your Habits Today

Download my free Habit Tracker!


Start Tracking Your Habits Today

Download my free Habit Tracker!

I am no stranger to depression. None whatsoever.

I know when it arrives. I know when it leaves. I know what triggers it to become a heavier fog than usual. I know what helps it simmer down. I really believe in knowing yourself and myself when I am feeling depressed is not absent from that equation.

Now I know it sounds kind of depressing to know my depression so well but there’s a reason for it. I promise.

A few years ago, I was getting ready for a long trip that included multiple speaking engagements. There was this anxiety raging inside of me about the upcoming events. So much anxiety that I didn’t even want to go. I wanted to stay home curled beneath the bedsheets. I wanted to stick close to my comfort zone instead of packing a suitcase and boarding a plane.

My husband bought me a book during that same time called, “The Mindful Way Through Depression.” Really, he bought the book for himself to understand me even better but I ended up picking up his copy, curious to see what the author had to say about depression.

At this time in my life, I would have told you I was okay. I was functioning at a high level. I was making things happen. But if I took out my reading glasses to look closer then I would have noticed something was off. I wasn’t experiencing any joy. I didn’t look forward to anything. My favored time of day if when I could curl back beneath those covers and fall asleep once more.

I remember sitting in my bed beside Lane and beginning to go through the pages of the book. As I read more and more, a realization struck me that I wasn’t expecting:

“I’m depressed. Oh my goodness, I am depressed. Right now.”

I’d started associating being depressed with being severely depressed and I somehow figured out how to discount the periods in my life where I’m just off. Where I’m not feeling like myself. Where the joy is gone. Where I don’t feel much of anything at all. I’d started to write off these times in my life as “normal” or “just who I am” and that’s what scares me.

The list of symptoms for depression were me. All me. Surprisingly, I didn’t find myself scared off by this realization. I found myself oddly comforted by the information I was ingesting. I felt wrapped in close by the realization that maybe I was experiencing some form of depression. I felt empowered because I knew that when you figure out where you are on the map, you can then begin to proactively take steps out of that place.

Being diagnosed with depression or having a hunch that you are definitely depressed doesn’t have to be a scary thing. A diagnosis, a name for what you are feeling, does not have to be the breaking point. Actually, putting a name to a thing is usually the point where I discover breakthrough for myself. Glorious, glorious breakthrough.

I have a battle plan. It’s a strategy, really. It contains 5 things on the list and I know, when I am feeling depressed, to follow these 5 things very closely:

001: Eat foods that make you feel good. Avoid overly processed foods.

002: Get out and move. Get in a good sweat session or go outside for a walk.

003: At all costs, stay in the Word of God. Every day. Commit.

004: Be surrounded. Accept invitations. Do the things you don’t feel like doing.

005: Take your medication and your vitamins. Don’t miss a day.

These are the 5 things that make the biggest difference in my life. They determine whether I am dipping back into depression or I am just going through a rough patch and will emerge on the other side in due time.

My people know this list of mine. My mother, especially, knows this list and call me out when I seem off or not myself.

“Are you isolating?” she will ask me over the phone. “How about your foods? How about your workouts?”

These 5 things, worked into my daily life, are a reminder to me that I am engaging in the most important tasks. I am committed to the small things on repeat even when it feels very dark around me. I know that at any point I can call my doctor or therapist if I feel like I am in danger or if the depression is taking a turn for the worst, but I am usually brought back to myself and the realization that I will come out of this patch of woods when I look back on the battle plan and I check things off the list.

My friend Felicia reminds me to, “do in the dark what you know how to do in the light.” What she means is this: Just because it feels dark or grey right now does not mean your life is on pause. Give yourself grace, pull out your battle plan, and start making small steps towards a different reality.” Do all the things you would do if life was “good and fine” and you will find yourself moving through the dark with greater ease than you thought possible.

A sweat session can make a big difference.

A night with girlfriends can shift your spirit.

Time spent with your Bible can refresh you.

All of these things, done on repeat, will slowly but surely remind you: you know who you are. This depression does not get to come in and snatch your identity. Keep doing the things that make you you.

If you feel stuck in a patch of woods, or if you feel like life is pretty good today, I still want to encourage you: make a battle plan. Today. Or tomorrow. Do not delay.

Pull out a piece of paper or an old notebook. And then write down 3-5 things that help you feel like yourself when you are wading through some tough feelings. Is that a workout? A good book? Meditation? Prayer? What are the things that act as pillars for your health and wellbeing?

This is not the time to write down things you “wish” you did on a consistent basis. Write down the things you’re already in the habit of doing. Then take that paper, fold it up, and save it for your rainy day. Or pin it to your wall. Or take a picture and share it with your friend so they can know how to check in on you when the battle feels thick and real.

No soldier goes into battle without a plan. Without a strategy. Without a way of claiming the victory. What you’re experiencing when the depression comes on thick and haughty is a real battle. A battle for your life. For your joy. For your attention. For your soul.

Do in the dark what you know how to do in the light.

Create a battle plan.

Remember who you are. Remind yourself frequently through small things on repeat.


  1. Great reading your blog

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Hi, I'm Hannah

I love writing about all things faith, mental health, discipline + and motherhood. Let's be penpals!


READ          LATEST



In the Mood For...

Lifestyle Content

Writing Tips

A Faith Boost

Mental Health



The Unplugged Hours Challenge

What if you could make a small yet intentional shift away from the constant screens? What if you could learn to check back in with yourself and show up better to your daily life?

Get The Guide

For the One Who
Wants to Start Writing.

My favorite writing resources, tools I use in my own practice, and tips for creating a writing process— all rolled into one PDF.

I'd love to drop some consistent encouragement, favorite things, and the latest essays in your inbox.

Let's Be Friends.

follow @hannahbrencher

If you're into encouraging pep talks, hope-filled devotionals, tips for building better routines, the occasional JonBenet Ramsey deep-dive + some solid book recs-- you've arrived at your destination.

Follow along →

My weekly newsletter →

I love pinning things →