a christian perspective on the world today

Discovering Your Value

Have you ever heard of the “mid-year blues”? Also known as “seasonal affective disorder” (which has a fitting acronym), it is a phenomenon not limited to but occurs mostly around winter where people begin to wonder if their lives have any value at all. It sounds a lot like an existential crisis, except that it’s not necessarily as dramatic or overly philosophical. Often, it can involve a decrease in interest or motivation towards our jobs, our school or any other aspect of our lives. As the temperatures cool and the days shorten in winter, many feel the effects, both body and mind.

It’s around this time when many people ask themselves: does my life have value? Did it have any in the first place? The extreme conditions make these existential questions seem more pressing. Every day we wake up to the same routine, day in, day out. When it feels as if we’re merely floating through the river of time, it’s easy to get dulled and lose sight of what made us once so passionate. 

purposeful design

It is when we are most down that we need to be reminded just how much we are truly worth. The biblical authors remind us that each of us are “fearfully and wonderfully made” (Psalm 139:14) in God’s own image (Genesis 1:27). From our very conception, much care has been put into making us who we are. Even if everyone forgets us, or we forget ourselves, God promises that “[He] will not forget you” (Isaiah 49:15). The story of Jesus dying for our sins is one of the greatest love stories in the world. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16). How spectacular is that? No-one would die for something without value, so for God to be willing to pay such a high price for our eternal freedom proves that He finds something in us worth cherishing. No matter how we feel toward life in our ever-shifting seasons, God extends the invitation for us to be a “chosen people” (1 Peter 2:9). He has plans for everyone, “plans to give you hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). There are so many promises in the Bible that uncounted books about them have been written and line the shelves of bookstores everywhere. Isn’t that comforting?

Knowing how much we’re valued, however, doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll automatically snap out of the self-depreciating funk the mid-year blues enjoy putting us through. This is where NEWSTART comes in. NEWSTART (Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sunlight, Temperance, Air, Rest and Trust in God) is an
ultra-practical set of tools designed to enhance every aspect of your life and help you feel the value you already possess. It can give you a “new start” in life, no matter what you may be going through.


“You are what you eat” holds some truth. Everything we consume affects not only our health but also our mental state. It shouldn’t really come as a surprise that “a healthy diet” is one of the more popular cures proposed by health blogs to combat mid-year blues. Everyone’s body is different, so I’ll avoid prescribing an exact diet. As a general rule-of-thumb though, the more natural your foods are, the better they will be for you. You might want to lay off those sugary snacks for now.


The mid-year blues provide an excellent opportunity to evaluate your health. Even small exercises like a simple walk release endorphins in your brain, which reduces anxiety, depression and negative self-worth while improving your cognitive function. It’s little wonder that more physical activity makes us happier and has been touted as a cure for seasonal affective disorder. After all, “A cheerful heart is good medicine” (Proverbs 17:22) and who can resist a free cure that actually works?


Our bodies need water to work, lubricate our joints and protect sensitive tissue. With water constantly leaving our bodies through perspiration and other bodily functions, we need to replenish our internal supply of water to function properly. Drinking two-to-three litres or eight glasses of water a day is recommended, though it can vary between individuals.


Sunlight plays a bigger role in our health than you might expect. Exposure to its comforting rays encourages production of serotonin, a chemical that regulates mood, cognition, social behaviour, memory and a plethora of other benefits. Additionally, sunlight makes your body release nitric oxide, a compound that brings down blood pressure and promotes heart health. So, the next time you take a lunch break, feel free to get out there and soak up as much sunlight as you possibly can.


The word “temperance” is often used to describe abstinence from alcohol, tobacco and other harmful substances. Alcohol can decrease your life expectancy by four-to-five years with tobacco cutting it by about 10 years. Reducing or cutting them out entirely is generally a good idea. Temperance, however, can also mean “the quality of self-control”. This includes self-control in what you watch, what you eat and anything else that might negatively affect your physical and mental wellbeing.


Fresh air is incredibly invigorating. One breath is enough to decrease stress and pump enough oxygen into your body to stimulate your immune system. In other words, air makes you happier and stronger. Perhaps this is why exercising outdoors is recommended.

Some of us, however, might be living in areas where the air quality is not so great. If so, try planning a trip to an area with as much nature as possible, even if it’s only for a short amount of time. You’ll thank yourself later.  


Every day we burn energy, whether through physical labour, schoolwork or that project your boss suddenly sprung on you after you clock out of work. Taking time to rest and replenish your energy is incredibly important. Sleep deprivation alone negatively impacts your memory, weakens your immune system and increases your risk of cardiovascular disease. In Mark 2:27, Jesus says “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath.” In other words, we were made not to work 24/7 but to take regular intervals of rest. Make it a habit. The seventh day of the week, Sabbath, was designed specifically for this.

trust God

Research is now affirming that belief in God is good for you—not just from a spiritual perspective, but on a physiological level. As the Giver of purpose and the One who guides us into it, God wants us to put our trust in Him and walk beside Him through our everyday journey. It’s not a 100 per cent guarantee that we’ll be safe from all trouble. In fact, Jesus Himself tells us that “in this world you will have trouble”. However, He tells us to “take heart”, for He has “overcome the world” (John 16:33). God also promises to never abandon you. If you ever feel lost, you are invited to “cry out to God Most High, to God, who vindicates me” (Psalms 57:2).

our valuable lives

When life gives you lemons, perhaps it’s time for a new start. A healthy body leads to a healthy mindset and will allow you to realise the worth you possess. So, the next time you’re feeling down, take a break, sniff some air, and remind yourself that you are loved and valued. 

Zach Tan is a writer based in Melton, Victoria. He has an eccentric sense of humour and is constantly on the lookout for new things to write about.

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