The holiday season is a special time of year. People look forward to getting together with friends and family to celebrate. But when you’re fresh off a divorce or separation it can be a painful reminder of what once was.
Having to put on a brave face while trying to recover from heartache can be difficult.
With decorations all around, music playing, invitations coming in… melancholy can start to set in. Everyone’s getting into the spirit of the season while you’re going through your own personal nightmare.
It can be hard to know how to set boundaries with everyone who wants to spend time with you when you’re hurting.
How are you going to manage?
First thing is to take a deep breath and just breathe.
SOME TIPS TO HELP MANAGE THE HOLIDAY SEASON
Here are a few tips to remember that can help fight the post-divorce holiday blues to make the season seem a bit more merry and bright.
- Validate Your Feelings. Acknowledge what you’re feeling, don’t try to hide them. The holidays will be difficult. Trying to convince yourself otherwise can leave you feeling worse.
- Establish Boundaries. I cannot emphasize this enough. Be sure to set boundaries. This is crucial for your emotional and physical health. Figure out what you’re willing or not willing to endure during the holiday season because it can become overwhelming at times. Don’t let anyone talk you into doing something you’re not ready to do.
- Focus on your children. If you have children, focus on making their holiday as bright and cheerful as possible. A special breakfast or game that you can share together will not only distract you and them but will bring a sense of peace and joy.
- Stay in the here and now. If ever there was a time to want to drown out your sorrows, a post-divorce holiday would be it. But try not to indulge in anything that will trigger your emotions. A simple cheer to the holiday can be a good idea, just remember to set a limit.
- Create New Traditions. Holidays are a time for celebration. We tend to stick with our normal traditions. This can be very painful. Creating new traditions to celebrate the holidays like a different type of dinner, dessert or festivity will help with the healing process.
- Surround Yourself. With supportive family and friends, the ones that you can be yourself with. This can help you avoid uncomfortable feelings of isolation that you may start to feel.
- Have a “BackUp Plan.” Even the best intentions can sometimes fall through. You may show up at a party and realize you’re just not ready to deal with people. That’s perfectly normal. Have a backup plan should you feel the need to escape.
Remember the first of everything is usually the hardest. Do your best and be gentle on yourself. This too shall pass and things will start to get a little easier. All you need to do is take it one step at a time!