Self Care

Depression and the Holidays

Christmas is around the corner and even though for most it is a time of shopping and celebration…for others it is time of sadness, a reminder of what they don’t have or have lost.

And I for one experiences so many emotions during this time of the year – I have lost, I have experienced sadness and loss of hope and it can be a difficult time. Through my life, I have had not so great Christmases and so when the time comes around I begin to sink into a bit of sadness – remembering the times that were not so wonderful.

But starting this year I decided that this time was going to be a time of reflection. I will allow myself to experience the emotions but only for a moment; I will give myself a moment to reflect on what is going on inside of me but I won’t stay there; I will give myself a moment to cry – to feel; I will give myself a moment to be human…Because, you know what, it’s okay.

And this is what we all need to understand and know – it’s okay to take a moment and feel and cry and get angry (but sin not) and just be human. When we truly realized that it’s okay, we will stop holding and repressing what God has given us – and that is feelings – and instead allow ourselves to be in the moment. When we give ourselves permission to BE, there…that’s where we will learn to LIVE – live each moment, live each second, live each minute, live each hour, live each day. When you repress and hold onto the negative emotions; in the end it will surface and in a way that we don’t want to express it.

How do you live in that moment? Simply step away to a quiet space, close your eyes and breathe. Inhale all of the negative emotions and then exhale it out – allow the voice of God to comfort and console you through this moment and feel the weight of the world be lifted off your shoulders. When you exhale the negativity, you allow God to take it. See, what naturally happens is that when we are experiencing sadness or any negative emotion we don’t breathe – this is where hyperventilating takes place – we are holding and repressing all of that poison and it stops our breathing. DON’T!!

Inhale…take it in THEN Exhale…breathe it out

And continue to do this until you feel yourself calm down. And…do not breathe fast, but slow breaths, controlling them because the one thing I want you to remember is that YOU ARE IN CONTROL.

But one the most important things I do during this time of the year is give…give…give. When you allow yourself to be in the space of serving others, you will not think about what you are going through but focus on using what you have experienced to help them make it through their difficulties. You begin to look at your life differently and see that God is using you as His soldier to witness to others the love He has for them through you.

If you are going through tough times this Christmas, remember that it’s okay. Take time and allow yourself to be in the moment, breathe through it and remember that YOU ARE IN CONTROL. Talk to someone and express what you are feeling, don’t repress or hold back but be honest in yourself…give yourself a moment to feel and then give yourself permission to live.

If you know someone who is going through tough times, be a light during their time of need. Give them words of encouragement and most importantly a feeling of hope because even though weeping may endure for the night, joy comes in the morning (Psalm 30:5).

Have a blessed Christmas everyone!!!

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