Shining Light on the Most Depressing Day of the Year
As we move past the most wonderful time of the year for some, we are nearing the single most depressive date on the calendar for many. Experts in mental health have identified January 21 as the hardest day of the year for the largest number of people. Why?
Maybe it’s because many parts of the world experience less sunshine-to-skin exposure, known to provide Vitamin D, a natural anti-depressant. Fresh fruits and vegetable aren’t as available, with their anxiety protecting anti-oxidants. Post-Christmas bills impart overwhelming fear for some. January is not a good travel month, so loneliness could smother much happiness. Exercise isn’t as convenient when cold winds bite. Or maybe it’s those illusive resolutions we make, but struggle to keep, often collapsing within three weeks of making our fresh start plans.
Whatever the reason, understanding the season of depression can help us prepare and keep us from getting blindsided by unexpected emotions. With intent, we might even avoid the smothering sadness following the winter solstice.
In my latest book, Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over, I share simple, yet powerful ways to make it through the tough moments when a whole day feels overwhelming. Here are three things I use to beat the blues back.
- Visit my local Christian bookstore, and submerge myself in an uplifting message, infused with godly wisdom.
- Remember, God sees me and loves what He sees—no matter what lies my emotions might try to tell me.
- Meditate on Scripture. A particular favorite of mine is Philippians 4:13 (NKJV). To relieve stress and lift my spirits, I speak the verse out loud, focusing on each individual word at least three times. For instance, I start by saying, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” After the third repetition, I say it again, only I make can the focal point of the sentence. I follow this pattern of three times concentrating on each word, until the full context of the scripture reverberates in my mind. By the time I go through the entire verse, my mindset has shifted into a happier plain.
I live by the philosophy, “It’s never too late for a fresh start with fresh faith.” So instead of allowing January 21 to be the most depressive date on my calendar, I choose to see it as a catalyst for a clean slate. Knowing it’s coming allows me to put protective measures in place—and to open the door so the Son can shine, casting dark shadows into the corners where they belong.
Anita Agers-Brooks is an inspirational business/life coach, international speaker, host of Fresh Faith Inspirations podcast/On Demand Radio, author and Readers Favorite Award and Golden Scroll Award finalist: Getting Through What You Can’t Get Over. She’s also written First Hired, Last Fired—How to Become Irreplaceable in Any Job Market. www.anitabrooks.com