Although the holiday season is filled with love and joy, it can also be quite stressful and demanding. However, that stress increases if you are going through a divorce, especially when children are involved.
With the loss of the family unit and the uncertainty of the future, how is it possible to survive the holidays? Fortunately, there are several ways to make this time of year a positive one, despite the divorce proceedings. In fact, once the New Year begins, you may come out of the season stronger than ever.
The following are several tips to help you get through a divorce over the holidays:
- Limit tension with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse – While the marriage is coming to an end, you and your spouse will continue to be parents to your children for the rest of your lives. For the sake of your kids and their well-being, do your best to effectively cooperate with your ex when planning for the holidays. Bite your tongue, fake a smile, and avoid creating conflict. Plan ahead so you don’t experience any type of miscommunication.
- Be honest with your children – Divorce is more devastating to the children than the parties directly involved. Let the kids know what has changed and what will remain. If they are old enough to express themselves, listen to what they have to say and acknowledge their feelings. Encourage them to ask questions to give them a good idea of what life after divorce will be like. Make the transition into the next chapter in life as smooth as possible.
- Create new traditions – Sometimes past seasonal traditions that were once cherished now bring negative emotions. Take this opportunity to replace these traditions with something new. Let your kids contribute their ideas for new traditions. Whether it’s spending the entire day in your pajamas while eating ice cream or volunteering at a soup kitchen to feed the homeless, think of new ways to celebrate the holidays and create new happy memories.
- Take a vacation – If you just want to get away from it all, why not take a road trip to relatives who live far away to plan a trip to an exotic location. Although it may be a costly venture, it may give you the peace of mind necessary to survive the holidays without being reminded of your pending divorce.
- Acknowledge your own feelings – While are doing your best to keep your kids happy, you need to be aware of your own feelings of anger, sadness, and loss. Whenever you feel down, rely on your support system of friends and family to vent or ask for advice. Take care of yourself by eating healthy, working out, and doing things that make you happy.
- Be thankful – The holidays are mainly about sharing and being appreciative. Even though the marriage is coming to an end, be thankful for the opportunity to start a new life and get another shot at happiness.