The holidays tend to be an emotionally challenging time of year. Throw in a messy divorce, children, post-traumatic stress, and this time of year can become nearly unbearable.
Holidays can make a lonesome time of year even more insufferable, and lets not mention the financial strain it poses.
You may have epic bouts of anger, sadness, and regret, but have no fear, happier holidays are on the horizon.
Before you spend winter break cyber stalking your ex over a bucket of candy cane ice-cream, if you are newly separated or going through a divorce this holiday season, check out these tips on ways to survive the holidays during and after divorce that can help you avoid holiday dread.
Be kind to someone
No it doesn’t have to be your ex, we understand, you may not be there yet.
Whether you serve the homeless in a soup kitchen on Thanksgiving morning, or collect toys for the pediatric cancer ward at your local hospital, giving back helps to take the focus off of you and your pain and shifts it to the feel good nature of doing something kind for the less fortunate.
Surround yourself with love
Ways to thrive during the holidays after a divorce? Plan to surround yourself with people that nurture your soul.
Maybe in the past you’ve had to suffer through the company of toxic in-laws or not so nice family members at Christmas dinner.
The holidays are a great time to establish new boundaries and intentionally spend time with people who truly support you.
Spending time with friends and family members who value and genuinely care about your well-being, can bolster your healing and oh yeah, the laughter that you’ll enjoy over holiday cocktails, its medicine to the soul.
Begin new traditions
Out with the old, in with the new.
Certain traditions can serve as a painful reminder of your divorce. Take advantage of any alone time that you may have, to establish new ways of celebrating.
Go ahead and bake those gingerbread scones, binge watch It’s a Wonderful Life, or gorge on raw cookie dough, whatever you do, just have fun creating new memories!
More tips on post-divorce holiday survival
Express gratitude for every little convenience and comfort you enjoy. Expressing gratitude is a pathway to the release of happy hormones – serotonin, oxytocin, and dopamine. Be grateful to the people who have helped you in times of need.
Make plans. Create an interesting itinerary. Understand that you are in control of how you feel and make a dedicated effort to turn any negativity on its head. Take charge of making each day an exciting, fun filled day. Feel the magic of the holiday season with a renewed sense of energy.
Engage in self- care. When you are stressed you are more susceptible to falling sick or catching a bug. Surviving the holidays after divorce is possible if you make efforts to exercise, take a nutrient rich diet and sleep well.
Alongside these top three tips for surviving holidays post a heartbreaking split or a divorce, here are a few more useful pieces of advice that can come handy when you are trying to thrive during the holidays after a divorce.
Hopefully, these tips on surviving the holidays after divorce will help you recover from the heartache that follows a painful divorce, experience peace and make happiness a part of your brand new life.
If you feel disconnected or frustrated about the state of your marriage but want to avoid separation and/or divorce, the marriage.com course meant for married couples is an excellent resource to help you overcome the most challenging aspects of being married.
Nadiyah is the author of The Smart Woman's Guide To Dating And Relationships. Nadiyah is a relationship expert, motivational speaker, author and tv host. Nadiyah believes that relationships are the foundation of strong families and communities, and it is essential to learn to navigate those relationships with principles rooted in the word of God. Nadiyah maintains a Master's degree in Strategic Communications, a minor in Sociology, a Bachelor's in English, and attended Pepperdine University and the University of California Riverside. These two degrees, her faith, life experience, and nearly a decade of marriage, have provided her with a strong foundation and practical insight in interpersonal communications and relationships. Further professional training through the American Psychotherapy Association as a board Certified Relationship Specialist has allowed Nadiyah to bring a multidimensional approach to her work.
If you are looking for a relatable speaker to motivate, engage, & inspire, while providing attendees with practical tools & insights to improve their interpersonal relationships, and/or revamp their love lives you've found the right person!
(Nadiyah Herron is also listed in Best Marriage Therapists in Rancho Palos Verdes)