This Season of Darkness

It’s Christmas. It’s the season of happiness and cheer, right? Everyone is all “holly” and “jolly” and not bothered with “gloom” and “doom.” It’s hard to be in a bad place at Christmas time. People don’t want to be around those that are all dark and sad, but in reality – this season makes a LOT of people depressed.

This season of darkness – it’s hard. It’s overwhelming.

Whether your season of darkness is literal when it’s cold out and the rain dampens plans; or this season is from loss of a loved one, a miscarriage, or physical pain from an ailment, it’s all hard.

Put Yourself First

In this season of darkness, it’s even more important to take care of yourself, above all else. You may have children you take care of, a career that means a lot to you or parents you are caring for. No matter the circumstances, YOU COME FIRST.

Isn’t that being selfish? A little, but it’s okay to be selfish when it comes to your mental, physical, and emotional health.

How easy is that to say? Pretty easy. How easy is that to do? Not so easy. It’s easy to say you are taking care of yourself, but when you cry yourself to sleep, use the shower to hide your tears, or even pills to hide your pain – you are not putting yourself first. If you find yourself declining every invitation, hiding from texts or phone calls, literally hiding under the covers and calling in sick to work because it’s too hard to fake being okay, it’s time to prioritize your mental and emotional health. It’s time to give yourself the best Christmas gift you can – putting yourself FIRST!

It may not be possible to do it all the time, but you do need to put yourself first every once in a while. That way you don’t get to the point of the tears or pills or whatever one might use to drown out the darkness.

The Challenge

I want to provide you with a small challenge today. I won’t call it easy, but it’s a small step toward a more rewarding life. 

The challenge is to say “no” to a commitment this week and, instead, spend time on yourself. “I know… but it’s Christmas” might be your response. Guess what, Christmas comes again next year, so make sure you are doing everything in your power you are alive to see it! Once you’ve said “no” to a commitment, maybe spend that time sitting in a quiet room with a cup of coffee and hiding from your children for ten minutes. Maybe spend that time going on a hike and enjoying nature for an hour. Maybe spend it opening the Bible for the first time in ages and praying for God to speak to you. Maybe it’s a much-needed trip to a spa. Whatever it is, don’t fill up the time with busy and life-giving activities.

On the other hand, my challenge to those of you who find yourself saying “no” way too often is to say “yes” to one thing this week. Say “yes” to one thing that will get you out of the house and around people. If you don’t have any opportunities given to you, make one for yourself and go to a Christmas service or a Christmas event in your community. Whatever it is that you do, make sure it’s helping you to escape the darkness and letting a little more light in to your life. You deserve that. You need that. 

If you feel like you will never escape the darkness and have considered suicide, consider calling the Suicide Prevention Lifeline as your Christmas gift to yourself and to your loved ones. You can find out more information at https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/ or call 1-800-273-8255.

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