Coping with Divorce During the Holidays
Are you going through a divorce?
If so, getting through the holiday season may be a challenge, as memories of happier times can consume your thoughts. Family and friends may be eagerly anticipating the festivities while you, on the other hand, may be wondering how you can celebrate anything this holiday season.
So how can you cope during the holidays after a divorce? Although no magical solutions exist, it is possible for you to shake off the divorce blues and find peace and joy in the season.
Plan Ahead to Ease Post-Divorce Holiday Stress
The holiday season can be a stressful time for anyone. Divorce has a tendency to magnify those feelings and make you feel overwhelmed. Planning ahead for the holidays will help you feel more in control and less stressed.
Develop a plan of action to get yourself through the holidays after divorce. Make a list of everything you need to accomplish, and decide ahead of time where to spend the important days. You can always change your mind later, but having a plan will allow you to focus on the festivities rather than your divorce.
Do you believe you have too many painful reminders around to get into the spirit of the season? Plan a vacation away, alone or with friends or family, so you can do something fun and relaxing for yourself for the holidays. Your loved ones will understand and support your choice to get away for a few days (or weeks!).
Create New Post-Divorce Holiday Traditions
This holiday season will be unlike those that came before your divorce. It’s normal to mourn, but instead of holding onto the past, try embracing the future with by starting new traditions that are uniquely your own.
Who says you have to put up the same holiday decorations, or that you have to celebrate on specific days? This season, find new rituals and traditions to make the season special and different from those before the divorce.
You could host a gingerbread house decorating party rather than your usual holiday dinner, for example. Or instead of going for a Christmas Eve drive to look at holiday lights and decorations, spend the evening serving hot cocoa and fresh-baked cookies at a local senior center or homeless shelter. Volunteering is a great way to shift focus away from your pain, while working in service of others.
The point is, after divorce, you can do whatever you want during the holiday season. Creating your own traditions is empowering, and will help you feel more like celebrating.
Ask for Post-Divorce Support from Friends and Family
Despite your best efforts, the hustle and bustle of the holidays may leave you feeling down and depressed. Don’t bottle up those (very normal) post-divorce emotions. Instead, ask your loved ones for their support.
People who care about you want to help, but they may not know how, so don’t hesitate to tell your friends and family what you need from them. You may need to vent about the divorce, for instance, or you might need their understanding if you decide to skip a holiday gathering.
You’re going through a tough time, so give yourself a break and ask for the support you need. If you’re uncomfortable sharing your feelings with those closest to you, our community has many resources you can access. Look for a Meetup group near you, or check community resources through the United Way or through your church or professional counselor.
Divorce doesn’t have to mean an end to your happiness this holiday season. The compassionate legal professionals of the Burton Law Firm P.C. can direct you to helpful divorce-related resources in Ogden and throughout Northern Utah. Contact our office today to learn more.
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