Thinking about the holidays is one of the last things on your mind if you are going through a divorce or recently divorced. Adjusting to the many different traditions and how the holiday spent will be difficult, but here are some tips for surviving the holidays during or after a divorce:
- Be Positive! Don’t let the “idea” of the holidays ruin them for you before they even begin. Have a positive attitude and go into every family gathering (wanted or unwanted) with a positive mindset.
- Start Planning Now. If you know you will be alone on certain days (Say your ex has the kids Christmas Day and you have them Christmas Eve), make a plan for the days you will be alone to avoid sending yourself in a frenzy of feeling lonely. Catch up with a friend, book a day at the spa, or plan an event to go to.
- Change Your Expectations. “If you think you’re going to be alone over the holidays, seize the opportunity to do something you’ve always wanted to do.”
- Create New Traditions. Your family dynamic is definitely changing or has recently changed, so creating new holiday traditions in your home will help everyone in the family cope, move on, and enjoy the time you have together.
- Make Gift-Giving More Pleasurable. If you are going through a divorce or recently went through one, money may be on your mind. Divorces are expensive – so are gifts. “You might also consider supporting your favorite charities and arts organizations, or ordering gifts from mail-order or museum catalogues. Visit local merchants, buy gift certificates from a favorite restaurant or from a greenhouse, rent an indoor skating rink for an afternoon, give concert or theater tickets – the options are limitless, so just use your imagination!”
- Relieve Stress with Diet & Exercise. Foods that intensify anxiety include caffeine, sugar, alcohol, food additives, dairy products, red meat and poultry, and wheat and gluten-containing grains. Focusing on your health and fitness during this time will likely relieve anxiety and make you feel better in general.
- Be Proactive. “If your family or friends are not around this holiday season, you might want to consider helping out with the festivities at your church, synagogue, or community organization. Reaching out to a neighbor, a shut-in, or someone less fortunate than yourself this holiday season will take courage, but it can give you back your sense of place in the world.”
To see the full article in Divorce Magazine, go to: http://www.divorcemag.com/articles/happier-holidays