The holidays can be an extremely difficult time when you’re also dealing with divorce or separation. It’s easy to become overwhelmed with the stress of trying to maintain a happy facade while surrounded by painful triggers. But there are some strategies to help you find some joy during a challenging transition. Here are ten divorce survival tips to help you find some peace and even joy this holiday season.
1. Plan Ahead
Emotions during the holidays can rise to the surface at any moment; therefore, it’s a good idea to be prepared. Plan to do something relaxing and as stress-free as possible with people who care about you.
2. Create New Traditions
If your previous traditions might be too painful, consider taking a vacation or find a way to incorporate an old tradition you love into a new ritual that’s all your own.
3. Set Realistic Expectations
No holiday is perfect and will never be. Accept that you may have breakdowns – especially during the first year after divorce – and come up with a way to cope when it happens. Remind yourself that the difficulty will pass.
4. Be Flexible
Knowing that the holiday may not go as planned and old traditions may bring up painful triggers, be flexible in how you celebrate the season. Find what works best for you and your new life.
5. Focus on Others
The holidays are an ideal time to focus on others, which will allow you a distraction from the difficulty of the season. It’s a great time to share with others and be thankful for the goodness in your life.
6. Prioritize and Simplify
Divorce can bring your priorities into stark clarity. This is an opportunity to simplify your life. The holidays are typically hectic, but you now have control over how your time is spent. Take advantage and turn something that might have been a devastating experience and turn it into a positive.
7. Be Social
It would be easy to let the emotions get the best of you and hibernate through the holidays. This is a completely understandable urge, but isolation is not the answer. Force yourself to be social, even if in small stints. Being out for a short time is better than not at all.
8. Be Patient
Don’t be too hard on yourself. If you need to cry, let yourself cry. Remember that this is a difficult transition and to be kind to yourself.
9. Ask for Help
Utilize your support system; they want to help you! If you are feeling isolated or depressed, let your friends and family know. Tell them what you need from them, whether it’s to simply listen or to be a companion.
10. Take Care of Yourself
During the stress of the holidays, it’s even more important to get the right amount of sleep and exercise. Doing so will increase your ability to cope with all that will be thrown at you.
Nicole established the Denver Divorce Mediation Group, LLC and became a CFDP® after having experienced a divorce herself. As a divorce financial planner and mediator, she has helped hundreds of couples move through