I want to tell you, first of all, that you are not alone. God knows our hearts and our thoughts even better than we know ourselves and He's aware of our pain and our sadness. Give it to Him.
I hope knowing that helps, but I wanted to share some things that we all can do this time of year when we're hit with sadness or even just the blues.
1. Get your praise on! You can literally war against those bad feelings by praising God. We praise Him not for what He's done, but for Who He is and He is a good, good Father. Open up your Bible and find a Psalm that expresses your heart and ends in praise. Turn on some praise music and sing at the top of your lungs. Yell. Stomp. Get it out in a positive way.
2. Be thankful. We all have something to be thankful for. Gratitude draws God and the heavenly host to us. When we begin to verbally express our thanks to God, the angels literally gather around us and begin to minister to us.
3. Spend time with the loved one you're missing. My dad died two years ago right before Thanksgiving. He loved to cook and I remember many huge meals that he prepared with joy at the holidays. When I'm missing him, I sit down and talk to him. I tell him how I'm feeling. I tell him the sweet things I remember about him. I celebrate his life. If I cry, that's okay too. It helps to look my grief right in the face and express it.
4. Watch what you're eating and drinking. What you eat affects your body and your moods greatly. Too much sugar, pastries and alcohol throw your body off balance, and cause you to feel bad physically and emotionally. Gluten causes inflammation and inflammation can cause depression. Take a few days and eat clean. Juice. Drink lots of water. Bless your body.
5. Get some exercise. It's 5 degrees here in Michigan today and we have a foot of snow. I'm not leaving the house - lol. But if you can, get outside, shovel some snow, sled down the hill with your kids, take a walk and breathe some fresh air. If you can't get outside, bounce on your mini-tramp, turn on an exercise video and dance - do something to get your heart rate up. You'll feel better.
6. Give yourself some grace. If you're exhausting yourself trying reproduce that perfect holiday you see in the media~News Flash! It doesn't exist. If you don't have a perfectly decorated house, tons of presents under the tree and a gourmet meal planned, you don't have to!
One year our family had had a bad year. hmmm - we'd had a couple of bad years. I had bought all the food to prepare a large meal and after the presents were opened, I just didn't have it in me. I fixed a large brunch of French toast and bacon. We all ate like it was amazing just because it was unexpected, and then we went to the movies. One of the LOTR's was out so it was a long movie and my kids were thrilled. It was such a fun day even though we broke all our traditions. There are no rules about what to do on Christmas. Spend your day in your pajamas if you want to. And remind yourself that others might be doing the same thing.
7. If you're so down that you can't make yourself do any of these things and nothing is helping, call a friend and ask them to help you and pray for you. If you don't have a friend, email me and I will pray for you. firstname.lastname@example.org
I hope these things help. We all have times that we need to really focus on what's bothering us and then stop thinking about it and focus on our blessings. You are greatly loved by Our Heavenly Father.
love and blessings for a Merry Christmas~
"The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit." Psalm 34:18