A Note from Kelly King: We may be into February, but winter is still around. Along with cold weather comes “blah” feelings. Read this week’s article from Deb Douglas as she describes the difference between depression and just feeling down. She offers practical tips for ways you can fight these emotions and get back on track.
Baby, it’s cold outside! Time for a bubbling hot cup of soup, fuzzy socks, and a warm blanket for snuggling—the perfect wintertime companions. They’re comfortable and alluring, but maybe too much so.
After the excitement and busyness of the Christmas season, the desire to stay home and not go out can easily turn into the wintertime blahs. Replacing our normal routine with a craving to cave into isolation from routine and others, we may find ourselves turning blue.
You can pick out the women with the wintertime blahs easily. They are the ones with vague excuses for not showing up to anything. The ones who disappear suddenly when the weather turns cold and rainy might be fighting the blahs. They are the ones with the exhausted looks and a touch of sadness on their faces.
Here are some reasons we are often hit with the winter blahs:
- We’re faced by financial realities after the Christmas celebrations.
- There’s an overwhelming loneliness after returning home from holiday trips.
- We don’t participate in outside activities, and there’s a lack of sunshine.
- We often stay indoors and isolated from others.
- We have unresolved New Year’s resolutions. Unrealistic resolutions overwhelm us.
- Sickness. Sick kids, sick husband, everyone is sick. Caring for and cleaning up after sick ones can push anyone into the blahs. The fear of getting sick can drive women to further isolate themselves and their families. Cabin fever quickly sets in!
The winter blahs are not the same as depression. The blahs are feeling down and discouraged and feeling overwhelmed with the need to stay home to hibernate rather than being around others. The blahs can hit any of us. Depression is different. Depression is a recurring struggle requiring professional intervention and help. Be bold enough to refer women struggling with depression to professional help.
How do we help women struggling with the wintertime blahs?
- Connect. Email, text, call, and message her. Invite her for a cup of coffee and a chat or share a bundled-up walk and chat.
- Pray. Pray for women to stay free of the blahs. Pray with women who are experiencing the blahs.
- Encourage. A note, a smile, and a text can give a woman a helping hand out of the blahs. Sending a weekly devotional or a Scripture touches the hearts of women.
- Provide opportunities of service. When we are helping others, we are thinking of others. When we are thinking of others, our own problems, issues, and struggles begin to diminish. Helping others lifts our spirits and brings us joy.
- Start a book club or a Bible study specifically for women who have the blahs.
- Try holding an online hangout when the weather is threatening and sickness is raging.
- Encourage women to join an online Bible study. Need some help finding one? Check out these great options!
- Make some lunch time or day time connections.
- Plan a mission trip to a warm climate! Or try a cruise mission trip—my fave!
The winter blahs may be lurking around the next snow day. Being realistic about the struggles women face prepares us to help before things get messy. Being realistic includes addressing our own blue moments—our messy moments that overwhelm us. With prayer, we can iron out the messiness of the winter blahs.
For more help and resources on ministering in the messy, check out Women Reaching Women in Crisis and Steps: Gospel-Centered Recovery or refer to the other articles in the Hurting Women or Ministering in the Messy categories.
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.