It’s the most wonderful time of the year. . . unless it isn’t.
The other day I woke up feeling defeated and what didn’t help was that I was receiving messages from other people who also felt wronged or defeated. It felt like the Grinch was breathing down my neck. There were multiple messages all at once with drama and I was absolutely perplexed how it all landed on me at once.
As much as it weighed heavy on me, I figured there had to be a reason. There had to be a lesson. I messaged a friend telling her the scoop… okay, I was complaining. She gave me some amazing advice. She told me to step back from my phone and computer and be alone with my daily devotional. Sounded easy enough to me, so I dove in.
I shut down my computer; I silenced my phone and opened my book. There staring at me like a sign from God: “Problems are a part of life” – that was the devotionals opening line.
It went on, “Do not let fixing things be your top priority. You are ever so limited in your capacity to correct all that is wrong in the world around you.” “Make your relationship with me your primary concern… Ask me to show you what is truly important.”
Wow! Talk about knocking the wind out of my sails. Here we are in the season of Advent, a time of renewed Faith and I’m all ba-humbug, woe is me, life’s so hard. The reality is, I’m not the only one. Why does this time of the year bring such high highs and low lows? Why do we lose sight of what’s really important?
There are so many thing vying for our attention.
- Maybe it’s the end of the year deadlines.
- Maybe it’s the financial stress of Christmas shopping.
- Maybe it’s the dysfunctional family gatherings…just saying.
- Maybe it’s the poor eating and drinking habits that have finally caught up to us because of all the holiday gatherings!
- Maybe it’s seeing other peoples’ happiness that sends us to a sad place.
Whatever the reason, it happens more often during the Christmas season and I am determined to not let it happen anymore to me, without a fight. After my bad day, I decided I needed to re-examine how I deal with my negative feelings and the negativity being bought to my attention.
Here’s some advent advice:
- Get your house in order. Don’t go looking to solve the problems of the people around you and keep your eyes on your own paper. We all have enough to deal with without getting involved in other people’s business.
- Keep on a schedule. Try to go to bed and wake around the same time every day- even on the weekends. Your body’s internal clock likes regularity. Studies have shown that there is a link between sleep loss and depression. Why take that chance?
- Mind your alcohol intake. For obvious reasons. . . Try a one for one approach. One drink, then one glass of water.
- Parties are fun, but it’s okay to decline an invitation. You don’t have to feel obligated to attend every event you are invited to.
- Keep to you regular ‘diet’. I don’t like that word, but you know what I mean. Don’t binge when you go out… we all know that feeling of regret when we over indulge.
- EXERCISE! Yes, you knew this one was coming. It’s the truth- getting the blood pumping once a day. Even if it’s a power walk during lunch. It truly helps fight depression.
- Be Kind. You might be doing fine, but we never know the hidden struggles that others are going though.
- Talk to God. After all, He is the reason for the season. There is no better person to offer your struggles up to. Daily devotionals are an amazing meditation outlet. I, personally, love Jesus Calling. If you feel like you are dragging, try starting your morning off with one.