Today is considered the most depressing day of the year.
In recent years, this day has been dubbed Blue Monday.
Today is the third Monday of January.
It’s gloomy, cold, and dreary.
Christmas cheer has faded away in the rearview mirror, and unpaid credit card bills are the order of the day.
To make matters worse, January is known to be the longest month of the year.
Many people (maybe you?) struggle to make ends meet, and only spend the bare minimum in hopes of recovering from their recent holiday spending spree.
But you don’t have to cave into the blues of Blue Monday.
If depression is stalking you today, here are six ways you can fight back and punch it in the face.
#1. Don’t worry—seek Jesus
“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Matt. 6:27)
Now isn’t the time to hit the panic button.
Looking at your situation and worrying won’t make a difference. Doing this would be like looking at a mess in your kitchen and not cleaning it up—not helpful.
The first thing you need to do is seek Jesus.
Ask for God’s help.
Remember, Jesus is always with you (Matt. 28:20).
Here’s the deal:
Don’t have a stare-down with stress.
Instead, take these words from Jesus to heart:
“But seek first his Kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will give to you as well” (Matt. 6:33).
#2. Make a plan
Is your unpaid credit card bills from the holidays stressing you out?
Take an honest look at your bills, review your income, and set a goal to pay off your credit card bills.
To free up some extra cash to meet your goal, see if there’s something you can sell, expenses you can decrease, or a side hustle you can pursue to earn more money. Use this additional money to pay down your credit card bills quickly.
#3. Get active
Is depression giving you a cold, unwelcome hug today?
Shake it off by getting active.
Exercise is one proven way to fight off the feelings of depression.
I’m not saying you have to run a marathon or start flipping tires.
Any form of moderate exercise can be helpful.
Here are a few examples:
- Walking stairs
- Yard work
Know what else is helpful?
Instead of exercising alone, invite a friend to join you. Having a friendly chat is another way to boost your mood—even if you don’t talk about what you’re going through.
#4. Ask for help
Feel overwhelmed by your situation?
Share the load with someone else by asking for help.
Here’s the deal:
You’re not meant to carry your burdens alone.
Not only is God an ever-present help (Psa. 46:1). But you’ve been created by God to be in community.
Reach out to a friend, family member, or your pastor.
Talking to someone else can make a tremendous difference today. It can give you a boost of strength, a new perspective, or encouragement to keep fighting.
In the words of Ecclesiastes 4:9-10:
"Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work; If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up!”
#5. Turn on the lights
The winter months are darker months.
Fight the temptation to hibernate and sit in a dimly lit house. According to some studies, living in a dark house can dampen your mood and make you feel tired.
Instead, consider lighting up your house to lighten your mood. New lights and light bulbs will add to the light and warmth of your home.
#6. Treat yourself
It’s okay to treat yourself every once in a while.
I’m not saying you need to spend money and rack up more credit card debt.
Find something you like to do, and go and do that something.
Whether it’s reading a book, enjoying a home cooked meal, or spending time with your family and friends, set aside time to treat yourself.
A small treat can go a long way to helping you keep the winter blues at bay.
How do you fight Blue Monday?
Do you struggle with Blue Monday?
What have you found helpful in fighting the blues?
Share your ideas with us on Facebook. We’d love to learn from your experience.