Beating the Holiday Blues
Many people eagerly anticipate celebrating the holidays with family and friends and begin planning months ahead for cookies to bake, gifts to share, meals to prepare and serve along with festive decor to complement the Christmas season.
Many others have experienced a loss during the year…of a loved one, a job, a home or even their health to cancer or other traumatic injury. Surrounded by so much joy, the sadness of the loss can be overwhelming. This type of overwhelming sadness is more commonly known as the holiday blues.
For the many people enduring those circumstances, the topic of grief can be quite unnerving. It certainly doesn’t sound like fun! Like most of us, if you are experiencing the “blues,” you may not want to revisit a particularly painful time of grief or loss in your life. You might be afraid to go back “there,” dreading the thought of feeling the pain again.
Let’s look at Jane’s experience. After 15 years of dedicated service to her company, Jane was laid off but told it wasn’t because of her performance. The company needed to cut some positions and hers was one of those. Jane is devastated and her mind is racing with thoughts. What could she have done differently? How could her employer do this to her? What kind of future does she have now? Jane is struggling with how to handle distressful thoughts and feelings.
Fast-forward three months. Jane began coping by immediately looking for another job. She found a job at a local retail store but at half the pay, and it bores her to tears. While Jane is able and grateful to work, after three months at this new job, she dreads going to work every day.
Be honest with yourself. Are you experiencing the holiday blues or seriously grieving this holiday season?
My dear friend and mentor, Linda Wilson, dealt with grief as she battled leukemia several years ago. She emerged stronger in her faith and character as she faced multiple crises. Linda used the 5 “C’s” in the face of a crisis and unexpected loss.
The 5 C’s for Dealing with Grief
Cry out to God. Pray for yourself and ask others to pray with and for you.
Count your blessings. Slow down and just notice what is going well. When you count your blessings it changes your outlook and your mood.
Claim God’s promises. In the Bible, God promises to provide for you and never leave you. You can read thousands of passages to back up this claim. I encourage you to start with the Psalms and hear songs of both despair and joy.
Consider your options and opportunities. SLOW DOWN! Don’t make hasty decisions out of your emotions of grief — fear, anger or depression. Tend to those emotions by listing out your options. Perhaps enlist a trusted friend or counselor to help you think through your options and opportunities as your recover from a loss.
Choose to trust. Squeeze out every ounce of learning you can.
The 5 “C’s” provide structure when dealing with the intense emotions of grief. Structure helps us move through our emotional stages toward a grounded place of acceptance and willingness to adapt to the difficult situation.
This excerpt is from an article featured in BeInspired Magazine.