Do you ever struggle with post-holiday blues?
I have since I was a little girl, and still to do this day. Last week my husband had seven days off of work and my children had a week off of school. We spent the entire time together, and it was glorious. So today, as my husband is working and school routines have started back, I’m feeling a bit dissatisfied. I guess you could say I enjoy life on pause.
However, my post-holiday blues didn’t just set in today; it began on Thanksgiving night. We had a wonderful time with family, but after our company left and the children were in bed, I started snapping at my husband. Maybe it was the late hour or hormones, but I was irritable and cranky. As I spent time scrolling my phone, hoping Instagram would solve my loneliness, I felt even worse. I saw pictures of friends spending the night with other friends, and suddenly our family function didn’t seem good enough. I felt excluded and unwanted. Looking up from my device I snapped more critical comments at my husband. As I crossed my arms, I huffed,
“So much for my thankful attitude.”
I began thinking of these post-holiday blues I always struggle with and realize that I’m probably not alone. Maybe it isn’t always related to holidays, but significant events (they call “baby blues” and “wedding blues” for a reason) or other seasons in life when we live off adrenaline or are adjusting to change. However, I can’t blame my grumpy demeanor on the fact a holiday is over. My emotions don’t rule me, even though I’m often tempted to allow them to.
As a Christian, I want to live my life in a daily state of thankfulness.
Even post-holiday. Even when I feel left out. Even when life moves too fast. Even when I’m frustrated with my husband.
This means celebrating what I have rather than dwelling on what I don’t. And since the Lord does not change like shifting shadows, I can rest assured I always have Him (James 1:17). December is a crazy busy month for us (and many of you all too I’m sure), and on top of that, my husband is working on Christmas Day and Christmas Eve. However, if I can take reigns of my thoughts and emotions now, I can make the next several weeks filled with joyful moments rather than sharp tones.
And the way to accomplish this challenge is to praise God every step of the way.
I shouldn’t withhold praise when facing challenges nor should I profess God’s goodness only when I’m overflowing with blessings.
Our worship is dependent on who He is, not what situation we find ourselves.
Maybe giving thanks has less to do with what we have and everything to do with the One who gives and takes away. Perhaps this is why Job could praise God in the midst of tragic loss, and Paul learned how to be content in any and every situation (Job 1:21 & Philippians 4:12). I love how Harry Ironside puts it,
We would worry less if we praised more. Thanksgiving is the enemy of discontent and dissatisfaction.
Worship is a powerful tool that we can use to change our attitudes and release our frustrations. When the world feels like it is spinning out of control, we can latch onto the One that doesn’t move. When our hearts feel bombarded with lies, we can cling to the Truth of who God is.
But God made the earth by his power; he founded the world by his wisdom and stretched out the heavens by his understanding. ~ Jeremiah 10:12
No blues can rule in my heart while my mind fixates on the Lord.
How do you overcome Post-Holiday Blues?
Disclaimer: today’s post speaks about “feeling blue” which is not always the same as depression. I’m not trying to imply that other forms of help are not useful. I know that, in certain circumstances, clinical treatments can often help our hearts and minds accept the truth of God’s Word. Just wanted to share my heart before confusion could arise. Thank you!