“Give thanks in all circumstances” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
After a delightful weekend featuring lots of quality time with great friends, I was starting to wind down on Sunday evening when WHAM! Out of nowhere I was hit with a bad case of the Sunday blues.
It felt like I was wearing a weighted jacket pushing my shoulders and chest, suppressing the lightness and joy from the weekend. “What’s going on?” I thought. I tried to talk myself out of my funk by reminding myself that it had been a great weekend and that I didn’t have anything to be anxious about in the coming week. I also reminded myself that unlike many of the surrounding parishes, New Orleans was not dealing with historic flooding. “There are thousands of people staying in shelters because their homes and possessions are destroyed,” I scolded. “What’s my problem? I have no right to be blue for no good reason!”
I was getting more and more frustrated with myself as I mentally leafed through, tried, and tossed different strategies. The thought of turning out the light and going to bed with feelings of despair closing in around my neck, and possibly lodging there permanently, made me feel even worse. “Why can’t I shake this?” My mind continued spinning. “Why am I being so ungrateful?” Ungrateful. “Wait a minute,” I thought with a glimmer of hope, “maybe taking a little time for some gratitude would help.” It certainly couldn’t hurt.
I grabbed my journal to jot down all the things I’m grateful for, all the blessings that God has shared with me. It took a minute to get going, but soon gratitude was pouring out of my pen and onto the page. Ten minutes later I was still writing. I wrote for a few more minutes before acknowledging that I could probably keep writing all night and not come close to covering all that I have to be grateful for. But I noticed that I was feeling better. I was no longer wearing the Sunday blues jacket-of-despair. “Thank you,” I wrote down one more time before turning out the light.
How do you beat the Sunday blues or deal with other times that make you feel melancholy? What’s one way you can practice gratitude this week? I would love it if you shared your thoughts below. And thanks for reading!