holidays are over we go back to our normal daily routines and for
some people it's depressing. We've said goodbye to family and friends.
The parties are over and the bills are coming in! The cookies have
been eaten and the scale has gone up! Once again our experiences
didn't live up to our magical memories from childhood. Now we have
to return to our same old jobs and same old life problems that we
set aside during the holidays.
the holiday scene is even more disappointing because there were
few if any family and friends to celebrate with, being with family
was hurtful and stressful, or memories of past holiday hurts came
flooding back. So to get through it all they hid or just went
through the motions - alone with their painful feelings.
It's no wonder
we're prone to suffer this time of year. We tend to get our expectations
set so high that we think there's something wrong with us if we're
not frenetically happy 24-hours a day from Thanksgiving through
the 12th day of Christmas! So to keep disappointment
and stress at bay and continually re-excite ourselves we're likely
to buy too many gifts, go to too many parties, drive too fast,
and eat too much food. And as we exhaust ourselves rushing from
thing to thing we may put on a smile that says, "Ho! Ho! Ho!"
when what we really feel is, "Oh, no! Oh, no!"
When we reach
the New Year most of us review how we've been living and face
up once again to our life struggles that we set aside for the
holidays. This is why at the beginning of the year more and more
calls ring into 714-NEW-HOPE and more and more private chats click
into NewHopeNow.org. They come in from around the world...
one of my four children called me this Christmas..."
husband is leaving me!"
company had to cut costs and they let me go..."
feel depressed and I don't know why..."
called 714-NEW-HOPE one January after her mother died. "I
was devastated," she recalls. "I couldn't function properly
to make the arrangements. The New Hope Counselors were so kind.
They were loving and helpful. And even though I wasn't a church
member at the time they put me in touch with a pastor."
you don't have to succumb to post-holiday depression. Here are
some ideas on how to overcome the deflation or despair that can
set in at the New Year:
feeling that let down or if facing the New Year has you feeling
where you're at. Admit to your challenges and see them as
an opportunity to grow personally and spiritually.
a step. Positive change starts by taking one step in the
right direction! Pick one thing to work on today!
about it. You're not alone - others do feel like you do
- so don't try to bear your struggles alone. Share your feelings
with a caring listener. 24-hours a day you can talk live with
a volunteer New Hope Counselor atl 714-NEW-HOPE, 714-NEW-TEEN,
about it. You can talk to God like David does in the Psalms
of the Bible: open your heart to share whatever you're feeling.
Then listen for his loving words to you in the Bible, nature,
your friends, or your own heart!
outside your self. Open your eyes and ears to other people
who need help. God can use you to encourage someone else and
doing so will energize you for dealing with your challenges
to do next Christmas differently! Set realistic expectations,
acknowledge your limits, and invest in good relationships that
will help you to celebrate the reason for the season: the
love of God to us in Jesus!
Let me elaborate
on the fifth point above, which has been immensely helpful to
DeLoryes. It was 15 years ago that DeLoryes got help from New
Hope and ever since she has volunteered as a New Hope Counselor
- first as a telephone counselor at the Crystal Cathedral in Garden
Grove and then as an online counselor from her home computer in
Orange. She explains, "I wanted to return the good that had been
given to me... It's a far reaching opportunity to help others
one-on-one... People are looking for love and care and/or referral
direction. We, in Christ, offer them that. It's such a blessing
to me personally, that sometimes I feel selfish for doing it!"
learned that the secret to overcoming post holiday depression
- or any depression for that matter - is to learn how to care
for others. Everyday she can live out the true Christmas spirit
of "Joy to the world! The Lord has come!" And she isn't alone
anymore - she's part of a New Hope family of caring volunteers
who gather together for continuing education classes, social events,
church services, or to pray for one another. She serves side-by-side
with other New Hope Counselors caring for those who are hurting
and giving them new hope.
make New Year's resolutions. Helping others who are hurting is
a resolution worth making... and one that actually can be kept!
That's what Glenn Gorman of Villa Park did. As a retired police
officer who had gone onto to develop a successful auto body repair
business, Preferred Auto Body and Paint, he felt a "void" because
he missed helping people. Then on January 1st in 1999
he read an article in the Orange County Register that led him
to make a life-changing decision. The story described the dramatic
rise in calls to the Crystal Cathedral's New Hope Crisis Counseling
Center after the holidays and the need for more people to volunteer
to listen. He recalls, "When I read that article, I thought, 'Maybe
this is my calling.'"
the New Hope Counselor training course at the Crystal Cathedral
in Garden Grove and learned that God truly cares about people's
pain and that by offering his ears and his heart in basic ways
he could help people to get their lives on a good track. "I
went from a 'bottom-line' kind of guy to someone who can listen
- really listen," Glenn said. He has continued listening
for six years and counting. But he still fondly recalls making
good on his resolution to help others: "I remember driving
home after my first night at New Hope. I felt that same satisfaction
that I did when I worked for the police department without having
to go out on the streets and face people with guns, crazed on
cocaine." In fact, Glenn believes so much in the value of
serving as a New Hope Counselor that he got his mother to volunteer
Ph.D. is the Executive Director of the New Hope Crisis Counseling
Center at the Crystal Cathedral and a Clinical Psychologist and
Spiritual Director with ChristianSoulCare.com. On his website
you can sign up for a free, bi-monthly inspirational e-mail.