Friday, January 9, 2015

New Year: Post-Holiday Depression

Chuckle: "Laughing is good exercise; It's like jogging on the inside."
Quote: "Prayer can make your week days strong, your trying days triumphant, your Sabbath days sacred, and your holidays wholesome." --William Ward
    "Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don't turn away from me, or I will die" (Psalm 143:7 NLT).
Note: If you suffer from severe depression which affects your ability to carry out normal activities and interact with others, please seek professional medical help.
Many people experience post-holiday blues, anxiety and depression after the Christmas and New Year holidays have come and gone.  I think it's natural to feel some sort of an emotional let-down after days and weeks of frenzied activities and precious times with family and friends.  But others suffer lingering sadness and despondency.  Some causes may include:
Family Disappointments: The holidays bring precious times of love, joy and exhilaration in healthy family units.  However, not everyone is part of a healthy family.  Emotional, verbal, and even physical abuse can spoil the otherwise joyous time and lead to broken family relationships which bring sadness and even depression.
Financial Problems: Some are saddened because they just couldn't afford to buy gifts for those they love.  Others got caught up in the Christmas shopping frenzy and spent more than they could afford.  They may have maxed out credit cards as if a day of reckoning would never come.  When the bills start coming in, they are jerked back into reality, and begin to worry and fret about how to pay for their spending binge.
Severe Loneliness: When our loved ones have left for home and we are left alone, we can experience loneliness, sadness and depression.  The elderly may feel depressed both during and after the holidays because they feeling neglected, alone and unloved.  This can be especially true for those in nursing homes or whose children live far away.  It can be a terribly difficult time for those who are spending their first Christmas without spouses and friends who have passed away.  They treasure life as they once knew it, and struggle to come to grips with how it is now.
There may be other reasons you may feel blue and depressed once the excitement of the holidays has passed.  If so, what should you do?  For us Christians, the solution to such conditions can be found in our relationship with our Lord and loving Christian friends.  Then Jesus said, "Come to me all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest" (Matthew 11:28 NLT).  Our Lord is willing and eager to grant you His peace and comfort when you turn to Him.
Also, Jesus has told us to be sensitive to the needs of others and reach out to those who may be sick, lonely, dejected and depressed.  Jesus said, "I assure you, when you did it to one of the least of these my brothers and sisters, you were doing it to me!" (Matthew 25:40 NLT).  I pray that God will grant you His peace and joy as we minister to one another in times of need.  There's no better medicine for our own depression than to bring joy to others by ministering to their needs.

Love, Jerry & Dotse 


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