Wondering how to survive the holidays during divorce?
The holiday season is tough enough, but a divorce action, child custody action, or a split household can add to the stress level, making it even more difficult to make it through the holidays. Here are some tips for surviving the holidays when involved in a family law proceeding.
How to Survive the Holidays During Divorce
Plan Ahead & Give Notice
Make sure the other parent is aware of all holiday trips and functions that you plan to spend with your children. Waiting until the last minute to notify the parent will likely result in court proceedings, and worse yet, a denial of your plans. Giving plenty of advanced notice will help with any issues that may later arise from the other parent’s objections.
Start New Traditions
Nothing makes the holidays more festive than family traditions, so try producing new ones or start using old traditions that you enjoyed from your own childhood.
Take Time for Yourself
Taking a few minutes every day to yourself is critical, especially during the holidays. This can be as simple as having a cup of tea in the morning before everyone wakes up, exercising, or even meditation. You are no good to your family if you do not take care of yourself, so make the time.
Avoid Overindulging and Self Medicating
The holidays can bring on the blues regardless of what is going on in your personal life, and there is no reason to make those feelings stronger by using drugs or alcohol. Find other vices to feel good like exercise, a good book or movie, video games, or even cooking a delicious treat.
Smile and be Kind to Others
It may sound counterintuitive when dealing with a difficult situation, but studies have shown that being kind and smiling at others can lift your spirits when you are feeling down.
Stay Strong for the Kids
Never involve your children in court proceedings or adult conversations and try to stay strong. Children are very receptive and can notice nonverbal cues from their parents. When you are stressed out your kids can sense it. Spend quality time with your children by reading and playing with them and always speak positively about the other parent. Remember, half of your child comes from the other parent so when you insult the other parent or speak negatively about them, you are insulting your child at the same time.
Fall Back on Friends/Family/Therapist
Finally, always fall back on your friends and family. A good support system is necessary for any of life’s challenges so do not be afraid to reach out to friends, family or even a therapist if facing a true crisis.