Its the holiday season! I came across this article and wanted to share with any of you who are facing a tough holiday season being newly separated or divorced. Hang in there!
Dealing with separation or divorce is always difficult, especially during the holidays. There is a tendency to become overwhelmed by the stress and strain making some people feel that their entire world is falling apart. The holidays are a reminder of the happier times in life, but also serve as a reminder of what once was – leaving you feeling depressed. The following tips will help you survive the holidays whether you are newly separated or divorced:
1. PLAN AHEAD – Make plans to do something fun in advance. Take the trip you always wanted to – get yourself out of your ordinary routine.
2. CREATE NEW RITUALS AND FAMILY TRADITIONS – Pick a new ritual and implement. Do something to give back to the community.
3. REASSURE KIDS THAT HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS WILL CONTINUE, BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY – The Holidays can be celebrated multiple times and on different days. For children of divorced families, this will be their new normal. Help your children to see the positives of having more than one holiday and will multiple families. Avoid having your children rushed around from house to house just so everyone can see them – its their holiday too and they could use some one on one time with Mom or Dad – especially if this is the first holiday after a separation/divorce.
4. ASK IF YOU ARE ACTING “IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE CHILD” – Talk to the other parent in advance – don’t wait until the last minute to make holiday plans concerning the children. Many children are dependent on routine and schedules. It will put your child at ease to know well in advance what the plans are for the holidays and that both parents are on the same page. Keep the arrangements as simple as possible.
5. IDENTIFY YOUR EXPECTATIONS – Write down what you imagine your holidays to be. Accept that things will be different this year. Be realistic. This will help you to feel more in control and less stressed.
6. ASK FOR HELP FROM SUPPORTIVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS – This is the time to reach out to those who have offered help or their time in the past. Its okay to lean on friends and family – they want to make sure you are okay over the holidays as well.
7. ORGANIZE YOUR TO DOs – Just good advice overall, write down what you have to accomplish before the holiday arrives. Delegate, schedule, and make a list.
8. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – It’s easy to overeat or party too much to medicate your pain, but in the long run, it creates more problems. Don’t put yourself in a situation that can create more heartache or problems in your personal or professional life.
9. SCHEDULE TIME FOR REST, RELAXATION AND NURTURING – Indulge in your free time.
10. ONE DAY AT A TIME; ONE HOLIDAY AT A TIME – It will get easier. It will get better. It will hurt less. Right now, just concentrate on one thing at a time!
As a Charleston Family Law Attorney, we can help make your holidays less stressful when you are facing a separation or divorce. Contact our office today to set up a consultation.
Emily W. Ayers