Are you feeling down and struggling with winter depression? There is hope! Winter depression can be a difficult battle, but there are tips and strategies that can help you conquer the darkness. Whether you’re dealing with seasonal affective disorder, a case of the winter blues, or the post-holiday blues, these suggestions will provide encouragement and support. Let’s dive in and discover new hope for beating winter depression together!
Shedding Light on Winter Depression and the Blues
With the fall time change, the days are shorter and darkness looms longer, ready to invade our very being. If you or a loved one struggles with the despair of winter depression, or the winter blues, this time of year can intensify those emotions. The cold and the darkness can promote staying inside and isolating, and the darkness weighs us down like an anchor on the bottom of the ocean floor.
While many suffer from the cloak of depression throughout the year, others suffer only during the winter months with what was called Seasonal Affective Disorder in reaction to the decreased sunlight affecting our nervous system.
The colder, darker months make for a ready excuse for decreased exercise, leading to a decrease in the neurotransmitters produced and used by our brain to help us feel good. Reduced physical activity also contributes to weight gain and a resulting decrease in our self-esteem, a common aspect of depression.
Confronting the Despair of Winter Depression
Another contributor to the despair of winter depression is the pre- and post-holiday let-down. Our anticipation of what’s to come, followed by the let-down when our expectations go unmet, can deflate our peace and joy. Family dysfunction often peaks during the big holiday family gatherings when our expectations don’t align with those of our family members, whether spoken or not.
One of the hardest parts of winter depression is the feeling that nothing will ever get better, things will always be the same, and depression will never go away. But Friend, take heart, God gives us hope that this is not true.
Finding Hope for Beating Winter Depression
Popularized by the song “Turn, Turn, Turn” sung by The Birds, Ecclesiastes 3 gives us hope that the depression you may be feeling now is just for this season:
There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
a time to be born and a time to die,
a time to plant and a time to uproot,
a time to kill and a time to heal,
a time to tear down and a time to build,
a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,
a time to scatter stones and a time to gather them,
a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing,
a time to search and a time to give up,
a time to keep and a time to throw away,
a time to tear and a time to mend,
a time to be silent and a time to speak,
a time to love and a time to hate,
a time for war and a time for peace.
So while today may be a time of weeping or mourning, hang on because the time for laughing and dancing is coming.
Join us for the next few weeks for a 6-part series on how to proactively beat the winter blues!
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For a Free eBook: How to Help a Depressed Loved One
For more helpful information about what you need to know when you have a depressed loved one, read here: 10 things to know if you have a depressed loved one.
Tips: what not to say to a depressed loved one and suggestions about supportive things you can say to a depressed loved one.