My friends and I got together and talked about the short, dark days of winter. Three out of four of us tend to get a little down. And we’re not the only ones. Even celebrating holidays with people you love is not enough to ward off occasional melancholy. How can we combat these feelings and not sink in a mire of sadness?
Since I struggle with this every winter to some degree, I’ve learned a few things. Here’s what helps me:
Bring in the light: Open drapes, turn on lights, and light candles to lift your spirits. 
Resist the urge to overeat: Yes, I know I’m saying this one week before Thanksgiving. And I’m saying it to myself first! This is a huge temptation during the winter months—warm baked cookies sound better than ever this time of year. But overeating will make you sluggish and the drop from a sugar high can spiral into depression.
Get outside: Even on overcast days, crisp outside air can lift your spirits. Walks in the rain can be fun and adventurous, especially if the wind is blowing. Splashing in mud puddles, raking leaves, night walks to see the stars, and playing in the snow are great ways to get fresh oxygen and boost your mood.

Invite relationship: Even if you’re around people all day at work or home, you can still feel isolated. Purposefully connect with upbeat people you want to know better—meet for coffee, invite someone over to watch a Christmas movie, or plan a walk together.
Add color: Gray days can seep into our bones. Fight back by adding splashes of color to your work station, home décor, and what you wear. 

Choose music wisely: What might be soothing and energizing one day might be depressing or jarring another. Even upbeat Christmas music can wear after a while. Consider taking a break from the noise and breathe in silence, or limit music to times when you can savor it. 
Boost your system naturally: Instead of coffee, sugar, and pop, try essential oils (citrus, lavender, and spicy scents to calm and uplift) or mood enhancing nutritional supplements. 
Hibernate: This may sound contradictory, but studies show our bodies actually need more rest during the winter months. It’s God’s way of giving us a break from busy summer activities. So snuggle into bed early, or take a guilt-free nap on the weekend so you can begin the new day or week rested and refreshed.
Of course, the best way to combat the darkness is to open yourself up to God’s Light. Start every day reading His Word. You can even sign up to receive daily Bible verses via email or on your phone. 
Here are four ways to get more of His light in our lives:
1    1. Follow the light: When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the lightof life.” John 8:12
Each of us has a choice—follow the light or succumb to the darkness. Jesus, the light of the world, came to shine on us. If we choose to follow Him, He will light the way.
2   2.  Position yourself in the light: “I have come into the world as a light, so that no one who believes in me should stay in darkness.” John 12:46
Even as a follower of Jesus Christ, I can fall into gloomy moods and negative thoughts. But I don’t have to stay there.
3    3. Trust the light: We also have the prophetic message as something completely reliable, and you will do well to pay attention to it, as to a light shining ina dark place, until the day dawns and the morning star rises in your hearts. 2 Pet. 1:19
We know the sun will come up every morning (even if it’s hidden by clouds). Prophecies throughout scripture foretold Jesus’ coming, death, resurrection, and His second coming. Three of the four have happened just as God said they would. His Word, like the sun, is reliable. Knowing God is trustworthy gives us hope on the darkest days. And soon His day will dawn when there will be no more night.
4    4. Declare the light: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. 1 John 1:5
The best way to brighten any day is to talk about the joy and freedom Jesus gives us. He is light. He is life. And in Him we have hope for an eternity of sunshine.
#helpfordepression #lightindarkness #curesforwinterblues #letthelightshine