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Making Sense of My Post Christmas Depression

If you normally read my posts, you know that I try to include a few things like video or extra pictures, but today it’s just me. No fancy pictures, just writing from my heart—because my heart has been heavy but it’s all been meaningful. I pray that my words may be of encouragement to you because that’s all I have at the moment.
One of the things my husband and I have been talking about in what we want for our family is consistency. One of our mentors had shared with us that when they were preparing to talk with us about building a strong family they asked their six kids for their input. Having six kids, they were kind of surprised that the response was unanimous. The number one answer was consistency. The answer itself wasn’t a surprise, but rather that all of their kids had agreed independently of one another that it was consistency. Our mentors were very diligent when raising their kids to provide a culture of consistency. Their oldest said, “It just makes it easy for my wife and I to know when we can plug back in to the family. We know that on Saturday nights in the summer we can come over at dinner time and find that you’re in the backyard grilling.”

The Intention of Silence

I share this story from our mentors, because it has somewhat turned a “light bulb on” so to speak for us as we look at legacy in our family. For me, I planned to be especially intentional with my blog and business during the holiday. Maybe you noticed, I’ve been fairly quiet this past week—on the blog, on instagram, on pinterest, on Facebook. Why? I want to remain true to what I’ve been saying. Collect moments, not things. Live purposefully by focusing on what matters most. For me, the very most important thing in my life, second to my relationship with God, is my family. I want to be consistent with this message in every area of my life and that includes my blog and business. The past few days we celebrated Christmas and my birthday. So my absence lately was my way of being an example of me being present—with my family. I will admit that I have experienced during this time some post Christmas blues in the form of pressure, anxiety, and feelings of inadequacy—and I’ll share a little with you simply so you’ll know, that life is good, but it’s still hard. To be honest, I feel like I’ve done a pretty good job too of hiding from my family, just how I’ve really been feeling. My husband is aware, but there’s something else that I want to share. There’s are a few reasons why I’ve felt depressed after Christmas. I’ve really struggled these past few days and in hindsight, I not so sure I would have the Christmas blues if I had done a few things differently too.

Reviewing My Mind

While I was trying to focus primarily on my family, in the back of my mind voices and ideas were replaying over and over, “If you’re silent on your blog, if you’re silent on social media—you’re going to lose ground.” Another one, “If you’re not working, you’re losing money.” Or how about this one, “Everyone else has bought you a gift, you’re not generous because you didn’t buy them a gift.” The same theme that kept replaying in my mind was, “You’re not good enough. You don’t have what it takes.”
How about you, did you struggle with any of these thoughts over the past few days?
I think it’s good to review things in our minds, but reviewing only can actually lead to feelings of depression, anxiety, inadequacy, and failure. Specifically in my case—the post Christmas blues.

Comparison Is the Thief of Joy

Secondly, instead of being okay with setting a healthy goal of being present with my family. I let the other voices speak louder—telling me who I needed to be or what I needed to do. My practice of comparing myself to those around me and what they are doing—stole my joy of being present with my family. Instead of being joyful in being present, I was feeling depressed and overwhelmed. I was feeling anxious.

Failure to Plan—What Matters Most

The thing that I was most disappointed in myself for, was that after spending time to carefully devote myself to preparing my family for Jesus’ birthday, I failed to actually plan our family time together for celebrating. It completely slipped my mind. You might be thinking, how could she do a thing like that? Well, it happened and I did it. I was distracted so much by everyone else’s plans—family get togethers and parties—that I forgot about what matters most—my family’s Christmas time together. Oh my heart, how it ached when my husband said to me, “Well, when are we going to celebrate. What are we going to do?”
As you can see, although I’ve been sharing lately with you the importance of purposeful, intentional, healthy living—I still am learning myself. The best part about this learning—through it all—my husband continues to offer me grace. My failing actually gave us the opportunity to plan together, last minute, and we had a great time celebrating together. Is it what we would’ve wanted? No, but we learned something in the process. We realized that in the past, we had relied highly on our families to dictate for us exactly what our Christmas celebrations and legacies would look like. We let them be happiness for us. What about this year? Well, this year was different because of extenuating circumstances on both sides of our family.

Failure Could’ve Been Averted

So, in addition to failing to plan my family Christmas and feeling overwhelmed and unprepared, I abandoned some key things for the sake of  other’s plans. I’ve learned in this failure event that I absolutely need 7 things in my life to keep me unshakeable—keep me from feeling depressed, overwhelmed, and inadequate.
I need to:
1) Review my mind
2) Renew my mind
3) Transform my mind
4) Get & Stay Inspired
5) Dream
6) Intentionally & Purposefully Plan
7) Live a Legacy of Significance
In response to all of this, I am reminded that failure is an event, not a person. I’m grateful to have learned this awhile ago and how great a comfort it has been to me in renewing my mind. I’ve learned through this failure event that I choose my happiness and it’s my right to do so.  I’m still hashing out the practical take–away of what these mean, because although they have meaning for me right now, I realize they are just words on a page for you. I’ve been learning a lot about what each of these mean and how critical they are in my life and I can’t wait to share more details with you in the new year.

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