It can become very easy to become depressed during this time of year. With many people making holiday preparations, we tend to forget the elderly, those who have lost loved ones, their jobs, homes and other property, and countless other things that may induce depression for them. What’s worse is not seeing it creep up on us if any of the above applies to us. This doesn’t even begin to speak to how we feel if we are ones to look back over the year and wonder to ourselves, “What did I do this year? Did I even accomplish anything?”
When my wife and I moved our family to Atlanta we had two children and I had just been laid off from my job. Then, just days before giving birth to our third child she was let go of hers. This created a great deal of stress and pressure for us because we came here with great dreams of success, and had hopes and ambitions that we would be better off than the circumstances of that moment.
In time, something in my spirit leaped. I’ve since come to coin this phrase, “I may be without a job, but never without a work.” The truth of the matter is that despite whatever you may be facing at this time in your life; don’t allow it to bring you down to the point of an inability to do what you can to be productive. There is too much life to live and a destiny to fulfill for you to allow what’s brought you down to keep you there. To keep you on track, here are some things you may want to consider.
- Encourage yourself: David had to encourage himself at the most crucial point in his life. He and his army had been on the run from King Saul at a time when he had already been anointed as the next to be king. But being on the run left him and his men victim to having their camp invaded by Amelek. All they had was stolen and their wives and children taken captive. He had to encourage himself in order that he and his men could go and recover what they had lost. This wasn’t the only time he had to encourage himself either. When his beloved Bathsheba lost the baby she was carrying, David had to encourage himself. He had a kingdom to run. He couldn’t let that moment in time cripple him.
- David was a writer: As a writer, David could get out all of the emotions that filled him. Writing has a way of allowing you to relieve tensions and put things in perspective. It’s like self therapy.
- David was a musician: David of all people knew how music could soothe the savage beast. The one thing that he could be counted on was playing for King Saul
whenever he was vexed. It’s also what kept David occupied in the field when his father placed him out there as a young boy to tend the sheep. Music can truly be another means of therapy.
- Replace unwanted thoughts: Meditation, prayer, worship and praise are means by which we can replace the thoughts that so easily beset us. How you think plays a critical role in whether or not you get up and moving. The mind is a powerful instrument and how we think can affect every part of our physical being.
- Start small: Starting small gives us a chance to ease back into a groove. There’s no greater stress than the feeling of being overwhelmed by a monumental series of tasks. A bit at a time will help you to feel a sense of accomplishment. Even financial gurus like Dave Ramsey recommend baby steps when tackling things like debt.
- True friends make a difference: Having a true and authentic friend who will be there for you and pick you up when you’re down is a recipe for getting out of a slump. A good friend will not allow you to sulk but for a moment because they won’t want to see you stay down.
King Solomon is considered to be the wisest man to ever live. So he of all people understood the value of a good work ethic. In Proverbs 6:6-11, he warns against wasting time, being slothful and basically resting on your laurels. He points to the ant, revealing how the ant diligently works during the summer to store up food because there is a winter that is coming. Many people missed the signs of the shift in the economy, just as people did in the bible when God placed a dream in Pharaoh. Joseph interpreted that dream and set out a plan that not only preserved Egypt, it also preserved his own people.
Don’t allow whatever situation that has brought you down, keep you down. Take courage, remember the ant, hold fast to whatever vision and dream God gave you and know that with a bit of diligence and small steps you don’t have to end up out in the cold in the winter of your life. The New Year is fast approaching. Get inspired and move toward your destiny.
QUESTION: How do you keep yourself from being the slug?