The tree is returned to its resting spot in the attic, the decorations are down, and we’ve put away all those Christmas cards from friends and family. Now what do moms do? Some will be panicking as they figure out ways to pay off those January credit card bills. Others will be strongly in the regret process.
Regret comes with doubts, feelings of guilt, and questions:
- Why did I buy so many gifts?
- Why did I spend so much money?
- Where are we going to put all this new stuff?
- Why didn’t I get around to enjoying the season?
- Why do I feel like I missed Jesus this Christmas?
It’s overwhelming. January usually finds women’s ministry leaders busy encouraging women who are depressed or feeling down.
How can we help moms struggling with the after Christmas blues?
1. Know the difference between depression and seasonal blues. Check out the Mayo Clinic’s website for symptoms and a definition of depression.
2. Know contact information for referrals to qualified counselors.
3. Take time to encourage moms who are struggling. Focus on Jesus. Offer small group opportunities providing Bible study and relationship building time.
4. With January comes weather that keep kids indoors. Offer play date times so moms can gather and chat while the kiddos play.
5. Plan a short getaway for women to have time to relax, refresh, and build relationships. January and February are perfect times for retreats. Here are a few tips for a winter retreat:
- Keep it affordable! Make it more about time together than a luxury resort. A night away at a camp with soups or chili for meals is perfect. (These are cheap to make and feed a crowd!)
- Schedule time for group and small group discussions.
- Instead of paying a speaker, arrange for women to share their stories of overcoming Christmas challenges.
- Have fun! Crazy games, hiking, or bonfires and s’mores are perfect for a winter retreat.
If a retreat isn’t possible, consider an evening event of fun—something warm and cozy. Or maybe try a DiscipleNow event for women. If this sounds too last minute, it’s not. Often last minute events are the best—less planning and more relaxing.
One event will not cure depression, but it will encourage women and give them hope. One event can help women refocus on Jesus and that can change everything!
Dr. Deb Douglas has served in women’s ministry for over 37 years. Now she spends her time working with Purchased Ministry, a ministry to women in the sex trade industry. Deb is also the Director of Biblical Counseling at First Baptist Church, Bossier City, LA. She was the first to graduate from New Orleans Baptist Theological seminary with a Masters degree focusing on women’s ministry and has earned a Doctor of Education in Ministry degree from NOBTS. She is “Pearl” to 3 sweet grand babies, “Mom” to Jared Douglas and Katie Chavis, and wife/sweetheart to Paul Douglas.