Spiritual Practice


Mikayla Ziegler and Lisa Crawford

In my early teens I began to notice certain feelings that didn’t make sense. On rainy days, I would be more anxious and tougher on myself. During the dark days of winter, I had a heavier heart. Finally, a psychiatrist told me I might have seasonal depression.

You, O Lord, are a shield around me,
my glory, the one who lifts up my head.
Psalm 3:3 (NRSV)

I was skeptical until I learned that one in four people in the U.S. experiences some form of seasonal depression. I also learned certain techniques that can help:

  • Turn on bright lights. Create a sense that the day is brighter than it actually is.
  • Find joy even in bad weather. Play in the rain with friends. Or look for color in your surroundings—bright green grass, a garden of flowers, a colorful swing set.
  • Pray. Talking to God can calm your anxiety and lift your spirits.

—Mikayla Ziegler, 18


Chocolate chip cookie on white background.

REWRITE YOUR WINTER: Pray about your struggles with seasonal depression. Then ask God to inspire fresh ideas for winter days. Bake cookies for the city mission. Collect lunchroom change to benefit the fight against trafficking in your area. Volunteer at the local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. Shift your focus to serving others.

—Lisa Crawford


Depressed this Christmas? Visit for a service for students, a video guide for a personal Blue Christmas prayer service, and more.

—from devozine (November/December 2018). Copyright © 2018 by The Upper Room®. All rights reserved.

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