Encouragement to live in God's sweet and empowering grace every day.

Encouragement to live in God's sweet and empowering grace every day.

I’ve Got The … January Blues

I’ve Got The … January Blues

Every year after Christmas, I get the blues. Some years are harder than others, but every January for almost twenty years I have felt that way. Some years the feeling goes away quickly and in other years it will take a couple of months. (This is one of the better years, by the way.)

In my desperate need to control the emotional low, my brain will run in circles searching for the “cause” (depression doesn’t always have a cause). Being single when I wanted to be married. Heavy when I wanted to be thin. Broke when I wanted financial security. Lonely when I wanted to have friends. If it’s within my power to fix, I do. But every year, the blues come back.

Many times I’m sad because another year has gone by and things didn’t happen the way I wanted them to, like getting married (that happened at age 38). I wish I could say that those are the years when it motivated me to do better, make different choices, and discipline myself into making lasting changes.

Then there are the years where life in all of its unexpected twists and turns got the better of me. Unplanned job changes, new opportunities, or family drama got in the way of truly getting done what I set out to do. Even though those things are outside of my control, I can get caught up in feeling like someone else would’ve handled it better than me.

When I was a kid, life added up. If you do well in Kindergarten, you will move up to 1st grade. If you do your chores, you get an allowance (or privileges). A + B = C. The sum always equaled the whole.

In my 40’s I can watch what I eat and still not lose a pound (gotta love Peri-menopause). I can work like crazy on a project a work and it will still get turned-down. I can sow love and patience into my daughter’s day and yet when I respond “no” to a request for The World’s Largest Candy Bar five minutes before bed, I am classified as Public Enemy #1.

Bottom line: even if I make the progress I want to, it is never enough to beat the blues.

I’m tired of starting each year already feeling defeated.

My search for answers to this year’s Horrible Case of the Nasty Mega-watt Blues is simple. Instead of lists and goals and starting big programs that evaporate like smoke in the wind, I’m reading The Bible. For some people, those two words are very special. For others, those two words are a turn-off. Here’s some thoughts on how this might also work for you.

  1. Look for words that are uplifting. If you are unsure, an online search of “promises in the Bible” will provide several good verses.
  2. Search for what you feel you lack. Look up words such as peace, love, joy, and healing. Even searching for the word “fear” will give you verses about how to not be afraid.
  3. If the Bible still feels like it’s too much, ask a friend or family member if they have a favorite verse.

I want to flourish this year. It may not look like my original plan, but I want to go into this year with the intent to live my best life the way God intends it. That may not look like anyone else’s, and I want to be okay with that. I’m working on being okay with that.

If you struggle with depression, please know that we are here to encourage, support, pray, and love you wholeheartedly.

(Opening photo credit: Laira Stewart Photography)

18 thoughts on “I’ve Got The … January Blues”

  • I love this post and your heart!! Thank you, Nikole. I felt the exact same way about resolutions this year. At the end of December, people were sharing their resolutions, and I said, “God, I don’t have any desire to make any resolutions.” I struggled a little with whether it was alright to feel this way. But God, in the gentle way he always uses with me, reassured me it was good. I too just desire to grow deeper in my walk with Jesus. I started a ‘Read the bible in a year’ plan. 💗💗

    • I felt the same way. I wanted to say “is living in my pj’s a resolution because I’m pretty sure I could keep that one.” 🙂 Yes, I feel like Jesus is saying to me to keep it basic and focus on his word. <3

  • May God’s deep and rich love encompass you each time you began to feel these thoughts. I understand having the blues and its the enemy’s way of trying to set us back, but God loves us and wants us to embrace each day He gives us with His reassuring love in our minds and hearts!
    Thanks for sharing my Sister.

    • Thanks Tee! He does love us and I love that he is always more interested in us being with him over meeting any goal. Thank you for reminding me and for your kind words. <3

  • I totally relate to the post Christmas blues. I love that you decided to simplify your goals to one: reading the Bible. What a great goal! One of the best ideas for the new year.

    • Thank you Tammie. It is hard to put it out there. I pray God uses it to reach others who also struggle. Sometimes it just helps to know we aren’t the only one. <3

  • I always find myself a bit lethargic in January. It’s like a holiday hangover. Upping my b vitamins helps a little, I think. I have started choosing words for the day and that gives me something to think about.

    • I noticed that since we moved to a house with more windows that it has really helped a lot with my sense of well being. I really like your thought about choosing words for the day! Something I can do all year! <3

  • I love this as I have been struggling as well but mine started before Christmas. I live in Wisconsin so its been dreary and cold which makes everything worse. When it comes to the winter blues, you know that you aren’t alone but you still feel that you are.

  • I’m so sorry you feel this way every January. I don’t think the weather helps either. For some reason, cold and dreariness tends to compound the blahs. Thank you for sharing some ways that have helped you beat the January blues! 💙

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