6 Sanity-Saving Tips for Surviving the Holidays after Divorce
The holiday season can be challenging for anyone, but for those going through or recovering from a divorce, it can be particularly difficult. Navigating this time of year alone may stir up various emotions and potentially hinder the progress made in moving forward with life. To help you cope and thrive during the holidays after divorce, we’ve gathered insights and advice from experts and individuals who have experienced similar situations.
Tips for Surviving the Holidays During or Post-Divorce
Give Yourself a Special Gift (Invest in Yourself)
During the holiday season, you might not receive gifts from your ex, but that shouldn’t stop you from treating yourself to something special. It doesn’t have to be extravagant; even a small gesture can make you feel good. One person shared their experience of having a custom stamped silver necklace made, with charms representing their children’s birthstones and tags inscribed with words like ‘patience,’ ‘faith,’ and ‘strength.’ The necklace became a powerful reminder of their journey through divorce, filled with patience, strength, and faith.
Keep the Old Traditions, but Make Them New
Divorce may force you to face a holiday season without your ex, but it doesn’t mean you have to abandon all your old traditions. Take the time to acknowledge your grief and emotions, allowing yourself to feel sad if needed. One individual shared how they continued their tradition of Christmas shopping at the mall but made it new by doing it with a friend instead. Honoring the past while creating new memories can be a healing process.
Focus on You
Remember, it’s okay to go against tradition and prioritize your well-being during the holidays. Take inspiration from Jenny Ford, who booked a staycation, focused on her health and personal growth, and reconnected with her passions after her divorce. Embrace self-improvement, be it pursuing education, starting a new job, or working on your physical health. Boosting your self-esteem and confidence can provide you with a fresh perspective on your situation.
Volunteering can be a meaningful way to spend the holidays, especially if you’re feeling disconnected or overwhelmed. One individual found solace in volunteering at an orphanage in Romania, immersing themselves in a new environment and being helpful to others. If traveling abroad isn’t feasible, there are local opportunities to volunteer, allowing you to gain perspective and a sense of value through helping others.
Change the Date of Your Holiday
Divorce may require you to adapt quickly to a “new normal.” If you’ve recently separated and the holidays feel too heavy, consider celebrating them on a different day. One person shared their experience of celebrating Thanksgiving a week early, taking the day everyone else would be celebrating as a personal retreat. Self-care is crucial for single parents, and adjusting the holiday’s timing can allow you to prioritize your well-being.
Make Time for Fun and Rest
The first holiday season after divorce can be especially tough, and it’s essential to take care of yourself during this time. Keep yourself occupied, spend time with supportive friends, or escape with a good book or some light-hearted movies. Laughter and humor can be powerful healers, helping you get through difficult moments. Remember, time does heal, and it will get better with time.
While the holidays after divorce can be challenging, they also present an opportunity for personal growth and resilience. Embrace self-care, seek support from friends and loved ones, and find ways to honor your past while creating new memories. Remember, you are not alone, and many others have successfully navigated this journey. Take inspiration from their experiences and use this time to rediscover yourself and embrace a new chapter in your life.
1. How can I make the holidays special for my children after divorce?
Ensure open communication with your children about the changes and include them in creating new traditions. Focus on quality time and creating cherished memories together.
2. How do I deal with potential loneliness during the holidays?
Reach out to friends, family, or support groups to combat loneliness. Engaging in social activities and volunteering can also be helpful.
3. Should I attend holiday gatherings with my ex’s family?
If it feels too overwhelming or uncomfortable, it’s okay to decline the invitations. Prioritize your emotional well-being and do what feels right for you.
4. How do I manage co-parenting during the holidays?
Plan ahead and communicate with your ex-spouse about holiday arrangements for the children. Be flexible and understanding, putting the children’s needs first.
5. Is it okay to start new holiday traditions after divorce?
Absolutely! Embrace the opportunity to create new traditions that reflect your current circumstances and values. It can be a fresh start for you and your family.