Surviving The Holidays During Divorce
Holidays are typically the time that families get together and enjoy each other’s company. Vacation time is
abundant and adults and children are available to spend quality time together. For those going through a divorce, the holidays can be tough as they are a reminder of happier years past that will not be repeated in the same way. It’s important for those going through a divorce to think ahead about what will be the most difficult for them to make it through, for their own mental health and for that of their children. Some helpful tips follow if you’re wondering how to survive the holidays while going through divorce.
Accept that it may be difficult- Have reasonable expectations for yourself and what you’ll be able to handle.
Don’t expect that everything will be perfect- Know that you may need some times to be sad and upset. By having reasonable expectations you’ll be less likely to be disappointed when not everything works out exactly as you had imagined.
Ask for support-During this hard time, be sure to surround yourself with supportive people. Tell your closest friends and family that you’re anticipating a hard time and ask if it’s ok to call them when things seem really bad. If you’re not looking forward to some family gatherings but feel obligated to go because of your children, keep an ally close by who is supportive and ready to back you up if you feel down.
Make plans ahead of time If you have to manage children and who goes where and when, it’s better to have it decided well ahead of time. It’s uncomfortable for you and the kids if surprise visits or changes happen about when they’re staying with Dad or Mom. By planning ahead you’ll make sure everything’s clear and that both sets of grandparents will have time with the kids as well.
Reassure your kids- Your children will need some reassurance that although things will be different this year, they’ll still celebrate the holidays and see their family. Make sure they know that although Mom and Dad aren’t together, they both love them very much. In order to overcome some of the difficulty, try inventing new holiday traditions with your children.
Get out- No matter how down and blue you may be feeling, try to get out of the house and with people. Staying on the move will help keep your spirits up and forget about some of the hard things you’re going through. Try to schedule time with those who you feel most supported by, especially if your children are with your ex for the afternoon and you know you will feel lonely.
Seek professional help- If you feel like you’re not able to cope, schedule some time with a counselor or therapist. Remember, asking for help is a sign of strength and will set you on your way to better times.
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