Yes, of course I’ve written about this before. After writing hundreds of posts with Christiansread, some of us are bound to cover the same territory twice. I do, however, believe this subject bears repeating.
December has always been my most depressing month of the year. I used to think it was because there were fewer hours of daylight, but we recently moved to a place where the sun seems to shine three times more than it did where we once lived, and December has again hit with the blues. It isn’t just me. I have a lot of friends and readers who are attacked by the same enemy. You might be one of them. Maybe the time of year isn’t causing the blues, but something else in your life right now is getting you down. Whatever the cause, I’d like to offer a few reminders about how to ease the heaviness.
- The gold standard is the Bible. Don’t roll your eyes. I realize that’s an easy fix. I also realize there are so many different personalities reading this that no single verse or passage works for everyone. For instance, I’ll read through Lamentations for a lift. Obviously, that isn’t appealing to many, but for me it tends to put everything into perspective and takes a load of guilt off my back. Others would be more blessed reading the book of Ruth or Esther, which have endings that satisfy your need for justice. Proverbs and Psalms are also great choices, but you choose what helps you the most.
- Read a novel or a non-fiction book with humor. Again, that could be many different things to different people. Humor is so very subjective that I find it difficult to write a full novel of humor, but you know what you like. Maybe you have a favorite book that has a hilarious scene on page 169 that you could read over and over and get a chuckle every time. For me, just reading about someone with a happy disposition can lift my spirits.
- Forced laughter is a must for me. I’m simplistic enough that an old sitcom on TV can make me laugh and lift my spirits. Some of the more contemporary shows, though they can provide laughable moments, actually have caused me nightmares because of the subject matter, so I look for something clean, even if it is older.
- A cathartic book or movie can bring on the tears, but tears can serve as a release for those blues. It all depends on your personality. One of my friends posted recently that she knew she would be crying in a little over an hour because she was planning to watch an old Christmas movie.
- Pretend you’re someone else. No, that isn’t cheating. As a novelist who lives with fictional characters more than with flesh and blood people, I find it easy to place myself into the viewpoint of one of my characters who has a better disposition than my own–and right now they all do. Then I’ll get out amongst people and walk around with a smile on my face. I receive so many smiles in return that pretty soon I don’t have to pretend to be someone happy because somehow I’ve found that well of joy for myself once more.
- SAD lights help in the morning when I wake up depressed again. Twenty minutes of SAD light every morning, plus vitamin D3K2, plus a walk in the sunshine, and the day is looking up again. Forcing myself to do those things can be a challenge, but the first step forward is a step toward conquering the blues.
- Make someone else happy. This could be anything from fixing your spouse’s favorite meal to playing with your cat on HIS terms to sending a card of support to someone in need of a lift. Helping others out of the blues often helps us out, as well.
If the blues have hit you this season, do yourself and everyone else a favor and fight it every way you can. I’m sure you have some other fall-back measures you take to help you with the battle. Just take them. Fight the battle. Don’t let the enemy win. Even the writer of Lamentations urges us to enjoy our lives, such as they are. The joy you find can be contagious. Spread it around for those you love.