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  • Writer's pictureRev. Carlene Appel-M.Div.

6 Ways to Combat the Winter Blues Kelly O'Dell

Updated: Dec 21, 2021

[Today I welcome guest writer Kelly O'Dell Stanley, a contributing writer from

Though this is written for January, the recent cold snap can also be discouraging during the Holiday Season. For many, holidays are a very difficult time, and not the Norman Rockwell picture perfect scenes that we see promoted on television. I pray that this article will be a help to those struggling to get through. Remember, God loves you unconditionally, and came to earth and became one of us while still retaining all of His divinity. His purpose was to take on all our sins keeping us from eternal life. (John 3:16-17). He came that we might have life and have it more abundantly.(John 10:10)may Kelly's words provide you with the tools you need to find joy and meaningful living. If you are in the Greater Chicagoland area and need some help organizing the right "tools" you need for daily life send a request via the Contact page and request an appointment with me.Don't worry about driving to my office. All visits are done in your home. New Day services the following counties: Cook, DuPage, Kane, Kendall, Lake, McHenry, and Will. Farther away? Counseling can be done by Skype and Text. ]

Blessings! Rev. Carlene

...The whole sparkling new year is waiting, full of potential and promise… and yet, deep in my soul, I feel let down. What ever happened to that sense of anything is possible? What ever happened to goals and hope and motivation?

I think those disappeared along with the tinsel and poinsettias.

I also think the winter blues are completely normal. We spend so much time and effort anticipating Christmas—both the practical logistics (shopping, wrapping, cooking, and cleaning) and the spiritual meanings (God’s promises made flesh, new beginnings, celebration of God’s plans for us birthed from His great love for us). Once all of that is over, it’s only natural that we would feel a lull. We’re tired. Our pocketbooks are still feeling the strain of the holidays. And let’s not forget the fact that winter brings colder weather, less daylight, and a long stretch in which the only holidays (Groundhog Day, President’s Day, etc.) aren’t usually cause for the same kind of celebration.

So how do we move past this? How do we effect real change in our attitudes and our spirits?

1. Ask God for help. 

Turning to God first is always the best approach. It’s okay to pray for ourselves. Just like we’re supposed to fix our own oxygen masks in an airplane emergency before we help the person beside us, we cannot ignore our own needs now. Every morning, ask God to revive your spirit and soften your heart.

2. Surround yourself with people who make you feel good. 

After the election and all the turmoil it stirred up in my own heart and the people around me, I felt vulnerable and ouchy. My instinct was to withdraw from people, but what I discovered is that the best healing took place when I spent time with people who got me… friends who admire my quirkiness, family that accepts me unconditionally, and spiritual mentors who are able to see past current events and set their sights on eternal things. Yes, there were some healing discussions—but the most beneficial moments were the ones that weren’t “about” anything, but were simply time spent laughing and talking about the minutia of our lives. 

3. Pay attention to what you feed your mind.