How Do I Get Through the Holidays After Divorce?
If you are getting divorced or recently finalized your divorce, the holidays may be challenging for you. Here are some eight tips to help you navigate the holidays during or after your divorce.
- Be honest about your struggles and emotions. Toxic positivity (or positive toxicity)refers to the dysfunctional management of negative emotions, especially sorrow and anger, and fosters the belief that no matter how emotionally challenging a situation is a person should maintain a positive mindset. A person engages in toxic positivity often dismisses their negative emotions and responds to difficulties with false niceties and reassurances. After your divorce, during the holidays and special occasions, you may struggle with negative emotions, but you should find healthy ways to process those emotions.
- Set boundaries. You may need to set boundaries with your friends, family, and even yourself. Whether you ask your family to not invite your ex to certain gatherings or set conversational boundaries for your friends, you shouldn’t be afraid to establish some boundaries.
- Commit to being present. The holidays are often a popular time to binge drink, which involves drinking over four or five drinks in a two-hour time frame. During the holidays, you may be tempted to numb with drugs or alcohol, or food. You may also want to withdraw emotionally and mentally from your friends or family. However, you should stay present.
- Create new traditions. A fun way to get in the holiday spirit is to create new traditions. As some of your traditions may involve your ex or their family, you may benefit from creating your own traditions with friends or yourself.
- Avoid isolating yourself. You should build and connect with your support system throughout the holidays. While you may be tempted to isolate, you can benefit from staying busy and engaging with loved ones. You might also consider volunteering as that can help you meet new people and increase your holiday spirits.
- Be flexible. After divorce, many people struggle as they feel like they are not in control. Holiday plans often go awry; having backup plans and remaining flexible can help you avoid becoming upset or emotional by mix-ups and plans that fall through.
- Take a social media break. If you are already feeling down, social media posts can make you feel worse. To avoid spiraling or even cyber-stalking your ex, taking a break from social media can protect your mental health.
Bonus Holiday Tips for Divorced Co-Parents
If you have children, they can also be affected by your divorce, and navigating the holidays post-divorce can be hard for parents and children alike. Here are tips for navigating the holidays post-divorce if you are co-parenting children:
- Review your holiday parenting plan. During your divorce, you and your partner (or the court) should have outlined a shared parenting time schedule that included a holiday/vacation time schedule. Your holiday schedule outlines which parent will have physical custody on specific holidays and reviewing this plan can help you prepare for the deviation in your normal co-parenting schedule/routine. You can also discuss boundaries that you may have outlined in your agreement. For instance, some parents include that their child can call and text with their other parent but only on certain days or times.
- Discuss gift ideas and limits. A common holiday issue between co-parents is that they feel like one parent is trying to outshine the other or buy the affection of their children. To avoid having arguments about the cost of gifts, consider setting a price limit on gifts. You can also coordinate gifts to avoid buying duplicates.
- Put your children first. You and your co-parent can likely agree that you both love your children and want what’s best for them. Even if you are not amicable with one another, remind yourself of how much you both love your kids and want them to have a great holiday season.
- Include your child in holiday shopping and planning. Depending on your child’s age, they may be able to offer ideas for fun holiday activities or their wishes concerning where they want to go on a holiday vacation. You can also take your child holiday shopping with you to help them get a gift for their other family members or parent, which can help show them you want them to have a healthy relationship with their other parent.
- Engage in self-care activities. While your children are your priority, you should also make sure you take care of yourself mentally, physically, and emotionally. Take time for yourself and enjoy some of your favorite holiday activities. Maybe even consider starting some new holiday traditions you do yourself.
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Whether you need help with an initial divorce filing or post-judgment modifications, our firm is here and equipped to help you. We understand how emotionally and mentally taxing it can be to navigate family law and divorce cases, which is why we are dedicated to empowering clients to make educated case decisions and navigate their cases as smoothly as possible.Schedule a free 15-minute consultation today by calling (949) 577-7935.