Coping with the Holidays After Divorce
The holiday season serves as a constant reminder of festive, happy times in life, and stand in stark contrast to the reality of loneliness and despair facing many divorcees.
A newly separated or divorced person often has a hard time enjoying the holidays to their fullest extent because of justifiable sadness, dread, and panic. Although there is no way to flip the emotion switch on or off to cure the holiday blues, there are things you can do to make it easier to cope.
Make sure the plans are simple, but fun and effective.
Plan to do something that is fun, relaxing, and as stress-free as possible with the people you care about most. If the holidays are too painful and remind you of the best and worst times with your ex-spouse, consider a vacation that can take you somewhere to "escape" from these painful triggers.
Create New Rituals and Family Traditions
While past traditions may be preferable because they are comfortable, it's a good idea to start some new rituals with your close friends and family. This could include, but is not limited to, an alternative day of celebration or specific holiday activity.
Reassure Kids that Holiday Celebrations Will Continue, but in a Different Way
Children are an essential part of your new holiday traditions, and giving them a voice in the process can help everyone feel more at ease with the situation.
Ask if You are Acting ‘in the Best Interest of the Child'
If child custody is an issue, decide ahead of time how holidays will be divided, and reassure your kids that you will be fine while they are with your ex-spouse. Every parent knows tired kids can be cranky, so plan accordingly depending on their ages and ability to adjust to a situation. Make sure the plans are simple, but fun and effective.
Make a Schedule
Make a list of everything you need to do for the holidays and a target date to accomplish your goals. Planning out a schedule helps you to feel more in control and less stressed with the change.
Ask for Help from Supportive Family and Friends
If you feel isolated, lonely, or depressed, rely on a healthy support system of family and friends. Clearly communicate your needs, whether they are companionship, understanding, compassion, listening, etc.
"Perfect" holidays are usually reserved for the end of movies. Be realistic in your holiday expectations about the holiday season, especially in the first year after your divorce.
Take Care of Yourself
Get the proper amount of sleep and exercise, and eat healthy to maximize your energy and coping ability every day. When you're emotionally hurt, overeating and partying are easy short term medications that create long term problems.
One Day at a Time, One Holiday at a Time; One Year at a Time
Just concentrate on one thing at a time, and life will get easier, better, and more pain-free.
The Dishon & Block team of California attorneys will ensure you come out the other end of your divorce prepared to face the holidays and life ahead of you. Give them a call or fill out the form below for a consultation.
Schedule a Consultation:
California Divorce Guide