How do you usually feel after Christmas? Joyful? Relieved? Lonely? Sad? Much of our feelings can depend on what we are doing after Christmas. Many are travelling and are excited for a well needed vacation. For me, I am home alone. My son and brother are working late. My husband just left today for a ministry trip. Just me and my dog. I should be excited for a week to catch up on everything after a very busy Christmas season. But I found myself feeling depressed and lonely. Yes, I am very much of an extrovert. And though I love Christmas, emotionally I tend to crash after it. Perhaps you are like me. So, what do we do?
First, we tell ourselves that this is normal. After an emotionally busy and exciting event or holiday, it is very natural to feel a low. Remember the story of Elijah in 1 Kings 18-19. After he experienced an incredibly victorious time of miraculously demonstrating God’s power by outshining and defeating 850 false prophets, he shortly afterwards fell into fear and a deep depression. He wished God would take his life. He isolated himself. He exaggerated his circumstances and had a pity-party. He was utterly exhausted. And he ran away in fear from his responsibilities, completely losing faith that God would continue to protect him.
The story has such a sweet ending. The Lord does not criticize or judge him for his depression, fear, and lack of faith. In fact, the Lord responds in the complete opposite. He sends an angel to minister to him by letting him sleep and cooking him nutritious foods. He speaks to him with a whisper of encouragement. He speaks truth to him and dispels the lies that he is all alone. And then he brings a companion, Elisha to walk side by side with him the rest of his days.
So, what did I do today? First, I took a walk and told God how I was honestly feeling. Then I focused on the ways that God has been good to me and my family over the holidays, even though there were some hard things. I asked Him to comfort and encourage me. I felt He was prompting me to call my daughter. Though she is recovering from Covid, she was very encouraging and cheered me up. My daughter and I made plans for a fun day once she fully recovers. I baked a nice meal for my brother and son. Throughout the day, I kept talking to God and asking Him to lead me through the day. All in all, it has been a pretty good day.
A few tips to pull yourself out of a post-holiday crash:
Be honest with your feelings and express them to God. Pray throughout the day and ask Him how you should use your time. Nap, read a good book, take a walk, or do something that brings rest and peace to your soul. Connect with someone you love, even if it needs to be over the phone rather than in person. Remember, God really is the champion of lifting us from the blues! He will always bring brighter days for us.
- Sue Corl