Happy New Year!
So many of us shout this with excitement as the ball drops and the confetti falls. We make big plans, set all the goals, and look to a new calendar as a clean slate. This will be our year to make all of our dreams come true!
But something happens. . .
January hits us like a mack truck out of control! The weather is cold piercing our hearts like a jagged piece of ice. The sun hides behind dark clouds making our souls feel as bleak as the sky around us. Bills begin to come in reminding us of all the debt we racked up during the holiday season. Our lack of motivation is at an all-time high as our resolutions stare us in the face. An overwhelming feeling of stress and despair comes rushing in because we are not where we thought we would be by now.
You are depressed
Did you know January is considered the most depressive month of the year? The third Monday of January is actually called Blue Monday. It gets this name from research done showing that it is the most depressive day of the year. As all of the things above come at us, our body shuts down. Depression rears its ugly head. For some, it is only a season. For others, it is an on-going battle. Loneliness, fear, shame, social isolation, insomnia, excessive crying, anxiety, brain fog, and thoughts of suicide are just some of the symptoms you may experience.
How do we get out of this depressed state?
If we want to get our January back, we have to change the way we approach this month. Here are a few things you can put into action to help you combat this state of mind:
- Increase the amount of Vitamin D you have in your diet. The sun is hiding and the clouds are looming outside around you. Temperatures sit below freezing most days making it very hard for us to get outside to get the vitamin D we typically get from the sun during the spring and summer. Our bodies need us to give it a little help by giving it a boost of this important vitamin. You can head to your local health food store to find a good supplement to add into your daily intake. Increase the amount of green veggies in your diet to help give you a boost!
- Develop a plan when it comes to spending during the holiday season. Don’t let gift buying catch you off guard any longer. Decide now how much you want to spend on gifts. You can divide that amount by twelve, and put money back every month. If you put this plan into action now, you won’t have credit card bills waiting on you after the holiday season is over.
- Be on purpose about spending time with your tribe. Make plans to go grab coffee or a dinner one night. It is so important for us to make time to talk face to face because we need that interaction with one another. As a result of spending time together, we can share what we are dealing with and allow our friends to do the same. By talking through our struggles, it takes a way the need to hide and isolate ourselves.
- Read your Bible. I feel encouraged when I start my day reading scripture that speaks life over me and not scrolling mindlessly through social media. Don’t hesitate doing a search for Bible Verses on depression, anxiety, fear, and shame. I will write them out and ask God to speak to my heart what it is I need to learn. Another thing that is helpful, is to find a good Bible Study. This can help you get into the Word more and grow your understanding of the Bible. When I wrote Anxiety Elephants, I wrote it in a way other devotional books helped me. I wanted people to have the space to write and the opportunity to learn how to take action.
- Talk to a doctor if you have been dealing with any symptoms six months or longer. If your body has been experiencing this dark place for an extended amount of time, there may be an imbalance going on in your body that needs some help getting back to where it needs to be. By talking to my doctor, it gave me the peace I needed to take the medication to help get my hormones back in check. By doing this, it lifted the fog and allowed me to think clearer. You are not the only one taking medication. If you had heart disease, you would not hesitate to take what a doctor prescribed. Treat depression the same way.
Time to take action
Which one of these steps will you put into action today to make your January move from a month of worry to a month of peace? I would love for you to share in the comments below! Praying for you guys as you move from a place of hurt to a place of hope!