“Another dreary day,” I sighed as I pulled back the curtains to stare out the bedroom window. “How many days in a row has it been since we’ve had sunshine?” I sighed again, for I had long since lost count. At least if it had snowed most of those days, the scenery before me would be shrouded in white drifts that offered some recreational possibilities. But who could go skiing or tubing on mist or fog? As far as I knew, not even Olympic champions were that skilled.
What I had was a clear cut case of the doldrums. Even the sound of the word “doldrums” is that of a drum, thrumming methodically out of dull duty. Today would be just another tedious round of routine.
According to the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, the doldrums can be “a spell of listlessness or despondency” or “a state or period of inactivity, stagnation, or slump.” 1 Both definitions defined me to a tee.
“What to do?” I sighed again.
Indeed, what does one do when each successive day is just like the day before it, and the day before that—a steady round of classes, study, term papers, mid-terms, and finals. Or a daily drive to a stuffy office to sit at a desk in front of a computer. “Dull. Dull. Dull.” The drum beats on, on, on. . . .
Following are five steps you can take to help stop the steady beat of the doldrums so that you can once again be right with your world:
1. Focus on God. Hope in Him, and know that He will hear you when you call out to Him (Ps. 38:19).
Obey God. When you do, you “will eat the best from the land” (Isa. 1:19, NIV).
3. Stand firm. Cling to what you know to be true (2 Thess. 1:15).
4. Be grateful. Thank Jesus for loving you so much that He came to die for you. Thank Him even for the trials, sorrows, and doldrums you are experiencing. For it is true that He will guide you through them.
Be kind. Help others. Jesus calls us to do this in the parable of the sheep and the goats (Matt. 25:31‒46). And in Isaiah 58, He urges us to feed the hungry, clothe the poor, and help them to find shelter (verses 6, 7). Scientific studies have proven that when we are kind to others, we will most likely experience a sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism.2
1. Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary, http://www.meriam-webster.com/dictionary/doldrums (accessed February 12, 2013).
2. Allan Luks, “The Healing Power of Doing Good: The Health and Spiritual Benefits of Helping Others,” http://www.melbabenson.com/articles_files/Healing%20Power%20of%20Doing%20Good.pdf (accessed February 27, 2013).