Tips for Dealing With Divorce During Holidays
Divorce changes things. Your daily routine will be different, as will your holidays. Particularly if you have shared children, the first set of holidays after divorce can pose significant challenges, both logistically and emotionally. Below, our seasoned Alabama divorce and family law attorney offers some tips to get you through the holidays during and after your divorce.
Take Care of Yourself
The holidays can be a difficult time of year even without divorce. It is easy to fall into unhealthy patterns which can make things feel even worse. Make sure you are getting enough sleep, exercising, and eating well. All of these things will make you stronger, both physically and mentally, and will put you in a better position to deal with the stress and any challenges that arise.
Spend Time With Friends and Family
Negative thoughts and feelings lead to isolation, and isolation leads to more negative thoughts and feelings. It is easy to get into a self-fulfilling prophecy of loneliness when you are going through a divorce. Resist the temptation to stay alone and make plans with your friends and family. Spend the holidays with your loved ones. Your loved ones are there to support you, and you will feel better overall.
Divorce is a time of change, and timing may not work out the way it has in the past. Remember, the holidays are about celebrating with friends and family, and they do not need to happen on a specific day. You may find yourself celebrating a few days early or a few days later so that you are celebrating with your kids. Why not celebrate Thanksgiving on the Saturday before that Thursday? It is still your holiday together.
Don’t Feel Guilty
It is easy for divorcing parents to feel overwhelming guilt about how the divorce will affect their children, especially over the holiday. Remember you are getting divorced for a reason. The holidays will be different, but that doesn’t mean they will be worse. You can start new family traditions to carry forward. Disregard the guilt and focus on how your new holidays will be going forward. If you embrace the new course of things and enjoy yourself, your kids will too. As unfamiliar as it may feel, your kids might even appreciate celebrating the holidays twice this year.
Where Possible, Work Cooperatively With Your Ex
If you have shared children with your ex, you will be keeping in touch out of necessity to organize travel, make important decisions for the kids, etc. The more you and your ex can focus on the shared goal of making your kids happy, the easier it will be on everyone involved. Find a holiday schedule that works for you. You can choose to alternate holidays–one parent has the kids for Thanksgiving, the other has them for winter holidays–or you can create a plan for both parents to have a holiday with the kids. You do not need to have many conversations, or long conversations, to cordially hash out a plan.