Someone somewhere has prognosticated that today will be the most depressing day of the year. Yes, due to sociological trends, today should be a Blue Monday, the bluest of blues. But I intend to do without a Blue Monday, choosing a healthy dose of joy and encouragement instead.
Here is an excerpt from the “Time” article:
“There’s a lot to feel down about this month: the subprime mortgage crisis, stormy, unpredictable weather, rising gas prices, presidential primary free-for-alls. So, it would be easy to believe the theory set forth by Dr. Cliff Arnall, a researcher from Cardiff University, that the third Monday of the month (Jan. 21, this year) — a day he calls Blue Monday — will be our most depressing day of the year.” Bill Tancer
Since I am living in Kiev, I am not immersed in the sociological trends of the US, but it is a gray, rainy day here in Ukraine and there are things that could potentially rob me of joy if I go there in my thoughts. Frankly, I choose not to and I believe it is a matter of choice both in the short-term and the long-term.
Here are two antidotes to depression that can lead to many joy-filled, jazzed out, technicolor Mondays, and just think of what Friday could bring?
1. Own it
I am referring to taking personal responsibility for your own life, thoughts and actions. You reap what you sow, so if you allow your thoughts to dwell on what you do not have, how you have been wronged and so on, you are setting yourself up for a Blue Monday. Human nature, apart from finding satisfaction in God, His goodness and provision, tends toward the disgruntled, discontent and disappointed. Think of Adam and Eve, they were in a perfect paradise with a match made in heaven, but they were lured and led astray by the temptation that they were being deprived of something. Leave the “dis” mentality behind and cultivate your own garden. This requires living with boundaries in your thought life and caring for the precious gifts that God has given you.
“Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” (Galatians 6:7-8)
2. Dream it
Rekindle that dream that may be lying dormant, fan that flame and keep passion alive. Joseph had a dream, but his brothers were jealous and threw him into a pit, thinking that his dreams would come to naught. But instead their actions played a part in fulfilling the plan of God for his life.
“Come now, let’s kill him and throw him into one of these cisterns and say that a ferocious animal devoured him. Then we’ll see what comes of his dreams.” (Genesis 37:20)
Do you feel like your dream has hit rock bottom and is incapable of being salvaged? Ask God if the dreams you have are consistent with His plans for your life and surrender every area of your life to Him with a willingness to move forward in faith in the God who created us for His purposes. Joseph’s dream led to the salvation of the known world from famine, so it was not just about him. Dream big enough to make a difference in the lives of others. And let your dream take flight in the nurturing relationships you are meant to have with God and others.
Still having a Blue Monday? It takes a while for new ways of thinking to become habits that change our lives, but there is no better day to start than now.