After a divorce, the holidays take on new meaning. Maybe they’re more stressful because you have to work out a parenting arrangement quickly with your ex and attorney and get your kids where they need to go, or perhaps they’re a little sad because of the people you no longer get to see. These are all normal situations and something that you can prepare for.
So, how can you get through this time of year? The first thing is to recognize that you don’t actually have to participate, and that you do deserve time to yourself. If you aren’t sure if you want to attend a party, don’t obligate yourself to it; decide at the last minute. Even if you had said you would go, many people would understand if you couldn’t or felt too overwhelmed with your own personal life at the moment.
Another thing you can do to help yourself through the holidays is to give yourself permission to create new traditions. You aren’t required to stick to the traditions you celebrated with your ex or family in the past. If you normally cook the large Christmas dinner, it’s okay to bow out and order in. Or, if you always travel to see friends, see if they can come to you instead.
The holiday can be tough if you won’t have your kids this year, but remember that you can occupy yourself with other events and activities. If you can’t see them, opt instead to visit friends or to spend time on a trip alone; it’s good to take care of yourself and your own mental and physical health.
Source: The Huffington Post, “Yule Be Okay! Navigating The Holidays After A Divorce,” Sandra Vischer, Nov. 18, 2016