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6 Important Things to Do When Facing the Holiday Season After Divorce

By Dominica

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Last Updated: December 28, 2021

Experiencing a divorce or a breakup can be challenging for everyone involved. It can be especially tough to face the holiday season after a divorce.

In fact, for many divorcees, the holiday season can bring to the surface various negative feelings like sadness, grief, anxiety, regret, loneliness, and more. The fact that the family is now in two separate households can make it hard to feel joy, especially when there are children involved.

If you’ve gone through a divorce or breakup and you’re experiencing some stress about upcoming holidays, know that you’re not alone. As the holiday approaches, consider the following tips to help you get through it.

 

6 Helpful Tips to Deal With the Holidays After a Divorce

1. Brace Yourself With Support

You don’t have to face this challenging time alone. 

Be sure that you surround yourself with some positive influences and support. This could be a good friend, family member, therapist, or a support group. It’s alright to have some feelings about the holidays and getting those feelings out can help you feel better.

It might not completely take negative emotions away, but it can take the edge off them and help you manage or navigate through them.

2. Create A Parenting Plan

If you’re co-parenting, consider talking to your ex about a plan for custody of the children during the holiday season. 

This isn’t usually an easy task, because it’s challenging for parents to think about not having their children during a holiday or having to take turns. However, it’s necessary to sit and talk about a plan for yours and the children’s sake.

Talk about various scenarios and decide what works best for the entire family.  Once you set a schedule, stick to it. You might want to put it on your calendar and let your children know well ahead of time what the holiday season will look like for them regarding where they’ll be.

Down the road you may decide on a different schedule, but for now do your best to create a schedule that is best for the children.

Do your best not to be those parents that use the kids as a pawn for revenge. Put your feelings aside and do what’s best for your children. If your ex is being challenging with the schedule, try not to react angrily.

Rather, do your best to sit and have a real hear-to-heart with them. Come from a calm, sincere heart, as this is much more effective at resolving conflict than an all-out world war.

3. Create Holiday Traditions

You may have created some family traditions, which is usually fun for the family.

Now that you’re divorced, you may want to keep some of those traditions or adjust them if you choose. You can also create new holiday traditions that are meaningful for your new family structure.

For example, if your children are used to spending Christmas Eve with you, yet you’ve agreed to let them stay at your exes, perhaps you can create a new tradition by video chatting with them, reading them a favorite holiday book or singing songs together.

Just because you’re not in the same home doesn’t mean you can’t make a meaningful connection and make memories with them. 

You can also ask your children if they’d like to create a new family tradition. Allow them the freedom to talk about their feelings and wishes for a cheerful holiday season. This helps everyone to stay out of the past, or getting down about the divorce, and concentrating on moving forward with optimism and hope.

4. Exercise self-care

It’s challenging for some to face the holiday season because they’ll really miss the days when the whole family was together. 

Sadness or depression may set in and it may be tempting to skip self-care. Granted, it’s alright to grieve a bit about past holiday seasons with the family, but do your best to practice self-care, taking care of yourself regardless of how you feel.

Get plenty of sleep, eat well, exercise, and spend time feeding your soul with inspirational things. Sure, it can become stressful, but you can choose ahead of time to tackle that stress in positive ways. Try deep breathing, meditation or prayer, quiet time, walks in nature, or something else that brings you some peace.

When your children see you taking care of yourself first, they’re learning that self-care is important and will be more apt to practice it themselves.

5. Rediscover Yourself

While it may be different this holiday season, know that you can focus on the positives. 

Take some time to rediscover yourself at this time. Get together with family or friends and celebrate your love for each other. Perhaps you can volunteer in the community. Do some research to see what’s going on in your area that celebrates the holidays and go. Make yourself get out and enjoy this time of year.

At the same time, enjoy some time just to yourself. If you love to read, get several books to read through. Or you can try out that new hobby you’ve been thinking about. Don’t be afraid to rediscover yourself at this time in life and make the best of it.

6. Make The Most Of It

This holiday season may be different than the last, but it can still be memorable and meaningful. 

Make the most of it and enjoy the moments you do share with your family.  Even if the time with your children is cut short, spend every moment delighting in them and the time of year.

If by chance the children won’t be with you this holiday, do your best to find others who you can celebrate with. Or, take the holiday and go on vacation to somewhere you’ve really been wanting to go.

Holidays may not be the same as they used to be while you were married, but they can still be full of holiday cheer, making memories that last a lifetime.

Create some wonderful memories.

Photo by freestocks on Unsplash

 

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2 comments on “6 Important Things to Do When Facing the Holiday Season After Divorce”

  1. Hello sir
    Your article helpful tips for Holidays after Divorce is very meaningful and worth putting it in practice.
    surley i liked the presentation and facts given to be discussed and handled in an amicable manner where the kids are involved in 2 houses.
    Thanks
    Venkatesh

  2. Hi,

    #2 presumes a responsible co-parent. People who share children with narcissists cannot even expect the barest forms of cooperation.

    My ex has taken our son out of the country. It’s extremely difficult to communicate with him. (Most advise to go no-contact as much as possible from such a person.) I forgot to ask for the address of where they would be staying. Now he refuses to give it to me. It’s crazy-making behavior that he’s consciously choosing to engage in & indicative of how narcissists devalue and discard people.

    And yes, this makes all of the other items on the list even more important, during the holidays and every day.

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