As the year comes to a close, so may your marriage. Many people choose to divorce after the holiday months to avoid sullying holiday cheer or in the hopes that things will work out.
You may not be able to wait until then for whatever reason, but you may also worry about how the proceedings affect the holiday season. You can still navigate through the holidays amid divorce by following these three tips:
1. Focus on the children’s best interests
No matter what time of year you divorce, focusing on what is best for the children always helps things go more smoothly. The cooperation and civility between you and your soon-to-be-ex can keep your children’s spirits bright. Be flexible but thorough as you come up with the custody arrangement.
2. Stay socially engaged
A difficult part of divorce during the holidays is being alone when your children are with the other parent. Plan ahead so that you can healthily enjoy this time. Maintain some sort of social connection to ward off loneliness and depression. For example, you can search for and attend local holiday events in your community, volunteer or plan a night out with others who are celebrating alone.
If you end up by yourself (or prefer to be so), it can still be positive as long as you have the right attitude. Do things that bring you happiness instead of trigger painful emotions. Maybe go somewhere or do something that you have always wanted to. Remember to take care of yourself through healthy eating and regular exercise.
Be careful of your spending during the divorce process. Receive legal guidance before going on a lavish vacation or buying yourself an expensive gift.
3. Start new traditions
It may be hard or hurtful to hold on to old family traditions now that you all are no longer together. Create new ones, both with your children and without, to attach new meaning and memories to the holidays.