Even if your divorce was amicable, the holidays can be a hard time of year. With an influx of family photos on social media and an engagement ring commercial every five minutes, it can be tough.
This doesn’t mean you should dread the holidays. Far from it. It just means you may need to practice some self-care to start loving the season again. By taking these steps, you can get your holidays back:
Keep your schedule busy
If you have children who will be spending time with both parents this holiday season, it’s important to plan out a holiday schedule.
Even if you and your ex do not have children, making a holiday schedule can help. Plan out the days you plan to spend with friends or family and identify any gaps that you may have.
If you have a day to yourself, fill it with something you want to do. Take a new class at the gym, go to a movie or volunteer. Getting out of the house can lift your spirits. If you don’t feel like being alone, invite a friend or a family member to come with you.
Address the divorce but don’t dwell on it
Family gatherings are ripe for gossip. It’s usually time to catch up with everyone on life events, which inevitably leads to talking about your divorce. Depending on your relationship with your family, feel free to talk as much or as little about it as you like.
Avoid the temptation to pin blame on your ex or talk badly about them, especially if you have children with them. Also encourage your family to speak positively in the presence of your children. Share as much as you feel comfortable, but do not dwell on the divorce. If you need to vent, do it with one of your close family members and not the entire group.
Plan ahead, don’t look behind
Easier said than done, but the holidays have a way of making us think about past experiences. You may reminisce about holidays spent with your ex, or the trips you took together. Don’t dwell on these memories too long. Acknowledge them when they come, then think about all the new experiences you have ahead of you.
Don’t get stuck remembering the good times while ignoring what caused your divorce. The holidays are time for new resolutions, so plan out what you want out of the upcoming year. Give yourself experiences to look forward to. Resolve to take an art class, go on a trip or learn a skill you’ve always wanted to know. You’ve earned it.
Toughing out the holidays
Make sure that whatever your holiday situation, you have the support you need. Don’t be afraid to ask for help or tell people you need alone time. It gets better.
If you have questions about custody arrangements, what to expect after a divorce or the divorce process in general, a knowledgeable family law attorney can provide answers.