The Holidays and Divorce: The Five Best Things You Can Do for Yourself (And Your Kids)

Take care of yourself during this stressful time.

Posted Dec 11, 2011

The holidays are the most emotionally charged time of the year; 
if you like where you are in life, it's a magical time, but if you don't
 like your life circumstances, holiday time can be quite awful.

To those of you who are divorced or divorcing, this can be an especially
 challenging couple of months.

Here are some suggestions to get through this period a little bit better:

1) Create new rituals for yourself and your children - Trying to re-create
 what you did when you and your spouse were together can be painful and 
leave you feeling empty. Try something new or go somewhere different this year.

2) Don't accept invitations to events that will make you feel bad, lonely,
 or 'less than" - For example, being the only single person at a party of all couples 
is a great set-up to feel excluded and perhaps even marginalized.

3) Make your plans in advance but let people know you need to be spontaneous - This means that if you are 
invited to a party, you want to be able to make your decision to go (or not go) 
as close to the event as possible (maybe even an hour before). If you go to an
 event, you need your friends to know that you might need to leave early. Ask
 them to bear with you during this transition.

4) Stay away from the commercialism as much as possible - Billboards, ads 
in magazines, newspapers and all forms of media love to show ads of the happy 
families during the holidays. It's impossible to stay away from it completely, but
 do your best to avoid seeing and hearing the media's message about this "most 
wonderful time of the year."

5) Be gentle on yourself and remember that life will not always feel this
 raw, sad, scary, depressing or down - You are going through a tremendous 
transition so your "negative" feelings may be heightened—even if the separation
 or divorce was your choice.