Deck the halls! With the holidays in full swing, memories of your ex can flood your mind and put you in a funk. This is completely normal! There are things you can do to ease the pain and move yourself, and family forward in a positive way. Holidays are a time for family gathering, and seeing as yours is seemingly falling apart, it’s easy to wallow in self-pity and play the victim. This is a step in the wrong direction. These 5 tips for the holidays after a divorce will help you enjoy yourself as well as the company that surrounds you.
- Take a step back
Things have changed so things are going to be different. This is okay. It’s okay to not fully understand what is going on or where things are going. Take a step back and understand that this holiday season will not be like the last, which is perfectly fine. The first step to truly enjoying yourself and the time you spend with your friends and family is understanding what has happened, and how to create a better, more positive future.
- Don’t isolate yourself
Even though you need you time to think about what has happened and where to go from here, the holidays are a joyous time for joyous celebration with the people you care about. Don’t take too far of a step back that you forget to celebrate the season with the people that have been there for you through it all. Show your appreciation. You just underwent a huge life change and there will be periods of loneliness but sitting back watching everyone have a grand old time will do nothing positive for your self-esteem, making everything seem worse than it really is. Go out with friends. Visit your extended family or spend quality time with the children. Your recent separation doesn’t define you, and these people still love you for who you are.
- Focus on who you are with…not who you aren’t with
That being said, get out there and live your life! Enjoy the time your spending with the people you’re spending it with. Focus on who you are with instead of the people that aren’t around anymore. Positively interacting with the people around you will help clear your mind of all the negative things that are going on in your life and it will all be somewhere else for a little while. This help you get away from your recent separation and help you move past it. It’s time to stop dwelling on the past and develop other relationships instead of maintaining toxic ones. Show gratitude and compassion to the people around you and you will realize it will ease the burdens of yesterday and push you forward to the opportunities of tomorrow.
- Get yourself a gift
Odds are, you’ve been through the ringer dealing with your divorce and the deals are sometimes too good to pass up this time of year. Treat yourself to something that will add substance to your life. A gift to yourself could be anything you want. Go get a massage. Take yourself out to a movie or even go on a little vacation with your closest friend. Do something that will get your mind off the trials of divorce. Don’t break the bank, but something that can ease the stress and add happiness to your life is much needed. It’s the little things, and a break from reality can help balance your thoughts put things in perspective.
- Make it easy for the kids
If there are little ones in your life, focusing on them is a great way to channel your energy. Make it the best holiday season they’ve ever had and their bright smiles will make your year. Kids are sponges and soak up everything that goes on around them. Focusing on the kids after divorce is a great way to let them be themselves as you continue to support their growth, especially during the holidays. If you’re too busy dealing with your divorce and arguing with your ex, they’ll associate the holiday season with angst and other negative feelings. This only confuses the children and makes it incredibly difficult for them to be themselves.
Compromise is the name of the game. Don’t argue (at least in front of the kids) with your ex about who will spend the holidays with the children, but rather try and make it easy for the children to spend as much time as possible with the both of you. They need to understand that the holidays aren’t centered around conflict and divorce, but rather happiness that comes from spending quality time with the people you love.
Regardless of how you decide to spend the holiday season, you deserve to be happy and enjoy the time away from the troubles of your divorce. Don’t let the divorce define you or stop you from what you want to do. Buy yourself something nice. Spend time with the kids or hang out with close friends. Spend your time this holidays doing something you enjoy with the people that love and support you and you’ll get through this holiday season with a smile on your face.