The holiday season is supposed to be filled with magic in the air, but for several divorced individuals, it’s filled with pain. During a time when family and friends gather to celebrate, the holidays may feel like an unwelcome reminder of the people who aren’t in your life anymore.
Recovering from heartbreak is especially difficult during these months, and you may feel resentment toward your loved ones when you see them enjoying themselves. While experiencing loss and regret at certain times of the year is normal, you must do your best to stay on track. Here are some coping mechanisms that will help you get through the holiday season.
Carve Out Space to Grieve
The first step to recovering from a divorce is to be honest with yourself. How are you feeling mentally and emotionally? What are your current needs? Share your thoughts with your close friends, and above all, share your thoughts with yourself. Begin to journal each day as a private way of expressing your deepest feelings. Don’t write down your future goals just yet, as they may be overwhelming to think about at this time. Instead, aimlessly jot down any recurring negative thoughts, followed by writing about anything you’re grateful for. Gratitude can come in the form of appreciating your job, counting all the people who positively impact you, or even writing about your pet. By doing a free write each morning, you will be able to feel out all of your emotions so that you can better concentrate throughout the day.
Avoid Having Your Buttons Pushed
Everyone has topics they’d rather not discuss or experiences they want to avoid. Take the time to self-reflect and identify which “buttons” you don’t want anyone to push. Establishing boundaries is a form of self-preservation, especially when you spend extended periods with your family during the holidays. What do you want to avoid during the holidays? Does Christmas music upset you? Try your best to figure out what aspects of the holiday season make you feel isolated or hopeless. Avoid watching holiday specials that center married couples and relationships.
Forge New Traditions
Holidays are a time of celebrating in repetitive ways each year. Perhaps you grew accustomed to building a gingerbread house with your former spouse, or there were certain Christmas movies you both watched together. If these traditions are haunting you and make you loathe the holidays, it’s time to create your own new traditions. Self-care and spending quality time with your friends and immediate family should be your main priority. Cook a festive meal for your loved ones or yourself. Go to a Christmas-themed amusement park with your kids or other family members. Treat yourself to a spa date with your closest friends. Breaking free from familiar patterns will help you break free from the holiday blues.
Divorce is never easy, no matter what time of year. Contact The Ault Firm today to work with an experienced divorce attorney to get the closure you deserve.