We all know that the holiday season is supposed to be a happy time, but can also be very stressful. If you have gone through a divorce and this is your first year separated during the holiday season, then it can become even more stressful. Here are some tips for handling divorce during the holiday season.
Create a plan for the season
Before the holidays even come around, make a plan for yourself. This is easier to do if you do not have any kids, as you will have to make plans with your ex-spouse for how you want to split up your time. If this is your first year single during the holidays, make the time to do something for yourself. Divorce is stressful, so find something you can do to help you relax. Maybe a nice massage or mani and pedi with your girl friends can take your mind off of the divorce. A small getaway can also help you to forget about the divorce, especially when you might be reminded of the marriage when setting up holiday decorations or thinking about holiday traditions. It might even be a good idea to come up with your own new traditions, to help forget about the ones you had with your ex-spouse.
Think about the kids
Divorce around the holidays can be incredibly difficult if you have kids, and it is important to reassure them that the holiday celebrations will continue. Things might be different this year, but your children should still get the chance to enjoy the “most wonderful time of the year.” Make sure both you and your ex-spouse talk to them about how they are still loved, which is why they will spend time with each parent during the season. Also think about what is best for the child/ children when it comes to dividing up time. Divorced couples can sometimes have a hard time coming up with a schedule that works, but do remember that the holiday’s are a special time for a child, and that being separated during the holidays can be a big change.
Avoid talking about the divorce
Sometimes it is inevitable. There is that one nosey family member who wants to ask a million personal questions, while acting very concerned. Simply let them know that you do not feel comfortable discussing your divorce, and want to focus on the joy of the season. You might also make it a point to talk with family members ahead of time. Before a holiday get together, mention to your family that you will reach out to them if you are feeling sad or upset about the divorce, but that you wish to keep the topic off the dinner conversation list.
Take it day by day
Just as you have been taking the divorce day by day, you will have to take each holiday year by year. Acknowledge that things are going to be different, but change can be a good thing. Stay positive, and you can make the holidays wonderful, even when going through a divorce.