The Un-Happy Holidays

For millions of parents, the holiday season is anything but joyous. The season may represent sadness due to our past. As the Mayo Clinic points out, millions of people suffer from S.A.D. (Seasonal Affective Disorder). This is what used to be known simply as the “winter blues.” Nevertheless, for a parent, the ramifications can be greater as we have kids who are also affected by our melancholy state.

I have made a conscious effort to be transparent about my own challenges, including sharing “Why I Go to Counseling” and “The Baggage I Have Got to Overcome.” If you or someone you love struggles this time of year, consider these six thoughts:

  1. Find a professional with whom you can speak with honest emotion.
  2. Run to where true comfort can be found (2 Corinthians 1:3-4) and seek God’s resources, including a local body of believers.
  3. If you are dealing with grief, avoid the pitfalls of doubt, anger, envy, or self-pity.
  4. Look for the blessings in your life.
  5. Rely on the spiritual habits you know address the issue (even if you do not feel like it).
  6. Celebrate eternity.

There are times, especially this time of year, when people need help. I know more than a few. The key is to get the help for ourselves and do what is necessary to minimize the effect on our loved ones. The resources are almost limitless. The church is a great resource for counseling referrals or for programs such as Griefshare. And, given my own experiences, I would be happy to point you in the direction of trained Christian counselors who have helped me overcome my own messed-up world.

Until next time …


The aforementioned list is adapted from the Christian Counseling and Education Foundation and author Paul David Tripp. The site also offers a valuable article on choosing a Christian counselor. 

About Jeffrey D. Potts, Ed.D.

Raised on a ranch in the Texas Hill Country, Jeff Potts, Ed.D., grew up learning the importance of hard work and family values. A graduate of Baylor University, he has master’s degrees from two universities and earned his Ed.D. in teaching and learning from a fourth institution. Potts launched his pedagogical career in the 1990s, working full-time with students and parents. READ MORE→