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Post-Divorce Holiday Tips

As a recent divorcee, you know you’re in trouble when the malls begin to adorn everything with red bows and garlands. When normally you’d be “Ho, ho, ho, and a cup’o cheer,” now you might find yourself feeling more “Bah Humbug!” Don’t worry, you’re not a horrible person, you’re just going through a particularly excruciating transition in your life. You’ll make it through this holiday season, but if you want to make it unscathed, here are a few tips about how to make the holidays something worth smiling about, even post-divorce.

Setting the Tone for Your Holidays

First things first: It’s highly likely you will turn into an emotional wreck a few times this holiday season; but that is okay. Accepting this and the (awful) feelings you will experience in waves is the first step to preparing for the holidays after a divorce. But here comes the hard part: You must not let yourself fall apart and become crippled by these emotions. The only thing to do, that is emotionally healthy, is to allow yourself to think through these feelings.

Think of it as a preemptive strike against depression and the ruination of your holidays. After all, you’re divorces, not dead, not imprisoned, or and not a social freak. Think of this holiday season as a time when you can do whatever you want. You can create a new holiday tradition, decorate however you want, and spend the holidays with whoever you want. See? It’s not so bad.

Say Hello to Friends You Know

So in the same vein as allowing yourself to emotionally heal, it is a wise choice to surround yourself with family, friends, and loved ones. The alternative is holing up and becoming the holiday miser of the family. No one wants to be known as the crazy uncle or aunt, so do yourself a favor and reject the urge to become a holiday recluse. If you were to shut out the world for a couple of months all you would achieve is steeping in your own misery and pain.

Aside from resisting the call of the hermit, forcing yourself to be around those who love with will help heal those divorce wounds. After a divorce people tend to feel unlovable and undesirable. There is nothing more damaging to the psyche than cultivating poor self esteem and self-loathing. So break out of the cycle and let yourself be loved!

Stick to the Plan

One of the most comforting things about the holidays is the routines and traditions we fall into. One of the worst affects of divorce is ruining those routines and traditions we fall into. So building off of the previous tip, we suggest making a list of the normal holiday routines and traditions you follow each year, and continuing those traditions.

Mind you, you can skip a routine or tradition or two if they are too painful to follow through with, if you never liked it anyway, or if you just don’t want to. Remember: Divorce is a new beginning for you, not the end of your life. The holidays are a time for celebration, warmth, and, well, cheer. Don’t let a divorce ruin the holiday season for you.

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