A few weeks ago, I was invited to speak at a MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) conference in Salem, Oregon.  My topic: Depression and Self-Care.


As a man with no kids, I felt incredibly unqualified to speak to these courageous mothers.


To make matters worse, I have an intense love-hate relationship with public speaking.  I love it because I am good at it.  Sharing knowledge and experiences with others is always a good time, particularly when I know I am making a difference.  I hate it because of the anxiety / self-doubt crescendo as the event approaches.


I do know a lot about depression, however, and so I was glad to talk about one of my areas of expertise.  My presentation was loaded with psychoeducation and coping strategies, many of which can be found in Barlow’s step-by-step treatment manual.


About 45 minutes into my presentation, one of the moms asked “I barely have 5 minutes in my day to take a shower, how am I supposed to fit in a workout?”


This raises an important issue when it comes to behavioral activation in treating depression.  My response to this mother was two part.


The first came from Dr. Mark McMinn, one of my mentors at George Fox University, who taught me that depression often begins when people are no longer able to do what they love.


The second came from my own mother, who said “if you can take 10 minutes of your day to make yourself feel better for the other 1,000 minutes, then isn’t it worth it?”


Although exercise may not be what most people love to do, 10 minutes can make a huge difference.


So go for a walk with a friend or dance to Shake it Off by Taylor Swift three times in a row, because you have the power to make a difference.