As a famous Christan psychologist told me one time, "Depression is the common cold of mental illness. Everyone gets depressed."
Those words were music to my ears many years ago. I thought because I was depressed, that there was something wrong with me. As it turns out, I was normal.
To the person who is reading this blog, if you are having feelings of general sadness, loneliness, or grief it is part of being human. If those feelings linger on too long or begin to manifest in more harmful ways and thoughts, then get help - fast!
Conventional thinking led us to believe that the holidays saw to more suicides than any other time of the year. The suicide rate goes up during the spring and summer months. December is the fourth happiest month of the year (May being #1), and Christmas is the happiest day of the year.
So, why are you depressed during the holidays?
#1 - It's all about you. Read my previous blog. If you feel that you are entitled to something, you're probably setting yourself up for failure. That can depress you.
#2 - It's not turning out the way you planned. When you try to be in control of everything, you will always be disappointed.
#3 - You're struggling with meaning. You've always enjoyed the holidays. But as you get older you begin to question why you do it all? If you lose focus as to why you celebrate the holidays, it can lead you to depression.
#4 - You're going through some tough times. The holidays are supposed to be an excellent time of the year. But if your marriage is on the rocks, your job isn't very secure, your finances are in trouble, or your health is questionable it's difficult to put on a smile for everyone else.
What can you do?
Deuteronomy 31:8 It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
Christmas isn't about you. Choose to be happy even if you don't receive one gift from one person at all. Then relish every Christmas greeting, Christmas card and gift you receive.
Focus on people, not on the green bean casserole. Enjoy their conversation, their companionship, and their friendship. So what if you didn't put enough dried onions on the casserole. No one will remember.
Focus on Jesus, not on yourself. Christmas is a time to worship Jesus. Enjoy worshipping Him.
Give your problems to Him. It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.”
PRAY: Dear Jesus, my future depends on you, not my circumstances. Thank you for never leaving me or giving up on me. AMEN