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. Now 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 to work and grateful for that, after three months at this new job, she dreads going to work every day.

For many people, the anticipation of celebrating the holidays with family and friends is something they eagerly look forward to as they 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.

However, there are many others who, during the year, have experienced a loss 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.

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 these 5 “C’s” in the face of a crisis and unexpected loss.

  • Cry out to God (prayer for self and asking others to pray with and for you).
  • Count your blessings (slow down. When you count your blessings it changes your outlook and your mood).
  • Claim God’s promises (promises in the Bible to provide for you and never leave you).
  • Consider your options and opportunities (again, SLOW DOWN! Don’t make hasty decisions out of your emotions of grief—fear, anger or depression).
  • Choose to trust (squeeze out every ounce of learning that you can).

These 5 “C’s” provide structure when we are 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.

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