If you walked into a store recently, you probably noticed that holiday decorations are already beginning to grace the shelves. Although it might be too early to start thinking about twinkling lights and snowy displays for your lawn, it is not too early to think about how you plan on getting through the holidays if you recently finalized your divorce. Since you likely already have a parenting plan in place, you will not have to spend this time worrying about where the kids will be for Thanksgiving. Instead, this blog will focus on providing tips to help you cope with the changes your family underwent, so you can enjoy a cheerful holiday season, regardless of where the kids will stay.
Surviving and Thriving During the Holiday Season Post-Divorce
If this is your first holiday season as a divorcee, it will feel like a major departure from what you are used to. However, you should remember that this is a good thing! If your marriage was not working, chances are some of the last holidays you spent together were probably strained and your children likely sensed it. Now that you are starting a new life, try viewing this as an opportunity to enjoy the holidays with a renewed sense of joy.
Here are 4 tips that will help you along the way:
- Do not spend the holidays alone: If you do not have your children on Thanksgiving or on another holiday your family celebrates, do not spend the day at home alone. Reach out to your close friends or family members. You could also arrange your own get-together and reconnect with some friends who might not have any family in the area. Whatever you do, avoid stewing in your own thoughts and getting down on yourself.
- Share the love: If you do have your children on some of these special days, try to extend some goodwill to your former spouse. For example, if you celebrate Christmas, take some videos and pictures of the children opening their gifts and share it with your co-parent. If your spouse has the children next year, the favor will likely be returned. Small acts of goodwill like this can help foster a healthy, cooperative co-parenting relationship that will ultimately benefit your children.
- Do not dwell on the past: Avoid reminiscing about the past. If there was a specific place your family enjoyed visiting during the holidays, now is not the time to revisit it. Live in the present and enjoy what you have now instead of what you had then.
- Make a New Year’s resolution: It probably sounds cliché to make a New Year’s resolution, but if you make it in earnest and stick to it, the resolution you make now can pay off later when you fulfill it. The divorce was the end of your marriage, but it is also the start of a new you. Take some time to figure out who the new you will be and strive to achieve it.
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