And if you just went through a divorce, you might not be in the mood to deal with it.
Your family—as you knew it—has been irrevocably altered, and the thought of quaint holiday traditions might have you wanting to scream “Bah-Humbug!” at the top of your lungs.
Here are 5 tips and tricks to get you through this upcoming holiday season in style.
Tips for Surviving the Holidays Post-Divorce
1. Give yourself permission to skip the holidays. That’s right. Maybe things are just too tough right now and all you want to do is be alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. Reach out to friends and family and let them know that you won’t be attending holiday events, etc. There is no rule that says you MUST participate in holiday activities this year if you really don’t want to. But, having said that—
2. It might not be good to be alone over the holidays. However, instead of doing the usual (going to Aunt Martha’s for Thanksgiving, for example), try mixing it up and doing something brand new. Maybe you and an old friend can attend one of those swanky Thanksgiving buffets that many restaurants host during the season.
I know I was feeling pretty depressed during my first holiday season alone, so I drove up to Olympia and spent Thanksgiving with my Aunt and cousin. They really helped me to feel sort of normal again, and I know it was good for me. So reach out to friends and family and see what kind of new traditions you can start.
3. Try to stay healthy. I was a total stress case for a long time after my divorce, and it’s easy to turn to booze or overeating as a way to cope. This might make you feel better in the short term, but it’s not going to do you any favors in the long haul. Unfortunately, I gained about 20 pounds that I still have to lose—and it’s not easy. So try to focus on yourself and be as healthy as you can. Having said that—
4. Give yourself permission to have some fun! Maybe your old friend wants you to come over, drink some wine, and watch Die Hard or A Christmas Story. Go for it! Your divorce was probably a small slice of hell, and you deserve to relax, unwind, and socialize with friends and family.
5. Volunteer! The holidays are all about giving, right? Put in a shift at a local soup kitchen or donate some toys to a charity. Nothing makes you feel better than giving, and the holidays are an ideal time to get involved in a positive way with your community.
Hope some of these tips help you survive the holidays this year. Divorce isn’t easy, so be kind to yourself and remember to still be thankful for the good things in your life.