If you are divorced and lonely nothing heightens those feelings more than the messages you receive during the holiday season.
Society makes no secret, with the commercials and magazine ads showing happy couples and families, that we single folks have somehow missed the holiday “gravy train.”
Couples and intact families aren’t the only folks who can fully enjoy holiday cheer though.
Just because you are divorced and single again doesn’t mean loneliness and negative emotions have to take the place of holiday celebrations and joy.
5 Behaviors to Avoid if You’re Divorced and Lonely During the Holidays
1. Don’t expose yourself to depressing people or situations.
If being around couples or intact families during the holidays brings you down, stay away. Or, pick and choose and attend the celebrations you know will elevate your holiday spirit instead of darkening it.
This really is simple. If you aren’t up to spending time with someone or, at someplace, don’t put yourself there.
2. Don’t let your pride get in the way.
We are all safe being vulnerable during the holiday season. Most people are in a giving mood this time of year. If company is all you need, reach out to others. You’ll be greatly appreciative of how willing friends and family are to share their holiday.
During the holidays’ people get busy, they become family focused which leaves little time to think about those who need or want to be rescued from loneliness. Let people know you will be alone and the invitations will start pouring in.
3. Don’t wallow in self-pity.
My second, post-divorce Christmas was miserable. My sons were with my ex, they were spending Christmas with my Uncle and his family and I sat home caressing and coddling my broken heart. It was a truly adolescent way to respond to my situation!
My self-absorption over my own unhappiness was excessive. We are all lonely and unhappy at times, that doesn’t mean we have to make that loneliness and unhappiness the center or our existence.
If you know your children are safe and happy, that is reason for you to be happy or, at the very least, comforted during a difficult time. You aren’t the first person to be newly divorced during the holidays. If others have survived, you will also. Choose to look outside your own pain for things to feel gratitude over. It is as simple as making the choice to enjoy, in whatever way possible, the holidays.
4. Don’t be rude to your ex.
Seriously! You may be a mess but you don’t have to be a hot mess. Stirring up drama is bad for you, it is especially bad for you during the holiday season. You don’t like where they are spending the holidays with your children? It’s their call, let go of your desire to control.
Pissed because their new love will be included in your children’s holiday celebration? Too bad. There is no place in holiday celebrations for the green-eyed monster. Bottom line, be civil because most of the drama you stir would be over things you have no control over, anyway. Don’t even go there!
5. Don’t choose Vodka over human companionship.
Drowning your loneliness in a bottle won’t help you sober up on January 2nd further along your path to healing. Using booze, pot, uppers, downers, whatever your flavor of numbing chemical works against you, not with you. Make the choice to absorb the joy around you, to receive into your heart and mind solutions to the pain you feel instead of covering it up and tapping it down.
I hear divorced clients say, I don’t know how I’ll get through the holidays.” Divorce and living single again isn’t easy any day of the year and it doesn’t have to be any less easy during the holidays.
Instead of viewing the holidays as something you have to “get through” view it as an opportunity to do something that reinforces your inner strength. Doing things you find enjoyable is the only way to keep from feeling lonely during the holidays. And, I find that is something most don’t understand…how lonely they feel is completely up to them. It’s been my experience that being alone can be liberating and is a great excuse for pandering to no one’s needs but your own.
Don’t miss this chance to prove to yourself how strong you are and that there is joy and happiness to be found, even in the worst of situations.