Friday, January 6, 2017

January Blues

January blues seem to be a yearly thing for me. It's amazing how I can go from feeling energized with all of the exciting things I'm going to do in the new year, to depressed - completely depressed - within the first week.  This January hasn't even been bad, weather-wise; well, today is.

Typical Ohio winter day: grey, wet, dark, cold, sucks the energy right out of me. I tend to overthink things, too, which doesn't help. It lends itself to getting overwhelmed easily, which leads to a type of psycho-paralysis (my term, not literally paralyzed) and so I just sit, and think, and worry, and stress. It becomes a vicious cycle that is difficult to break away from.

Luckily, when I decide that enough is enough, I can work out of my funk, in one of several ways:

  • Count my blessings. I am so grateful for everything in my life, and for my life, but sometimes, I lose sight of that, so I literally make a numbered list of everything that's going right in my life, and praise God for His grace and mercy.
  • Find something in my everyday life that makes me laugh. There's a man who stands out on a corner in downtown Dayton and dances for the traffic. He was even out in the rain dancing and smiling. The squirrels outside my window make me one was running up the side of a house across the street. He ran up to the window sill, sat (and actually looked like he was peering in the window) and then climbed back down, ran over to a tree, ran up and then down, and then repeated the whole thing. Yes, I realize this makes me look terribly pathetic, sitting around watching a squirrel, but, it helped, so :-P
  • Call someone - on the phone - not a text, or an email, an actual, person to person interaction.
  • Meditate. Sometimes I just need to clear my mind of all that clutter. So, I sit quietly, close my eyes, and just focus on my breathing. More often than not, God will use that time to show me or tell me what to do.
  • Pray. I am sure to praise God, and thank Him for everything, first; then, I speak to Him about whatever is troubling me.
  • Read the Bible. All the answers are in there.
  • Write. I have an ongoing journal that I keep and just let it all out. I can say whatever I want; no one is going to judge me, and it really relieves a lot of anxiety. If it doesn't work, I write in my paper journal, with a pen; I think it works better than typing, but that's just me.
If you have any ways that you work through depression, feel free to share them in the comments.

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