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  • Writer's picturepaulamwaterman

Celebrating the Holidays After a Divorce

Facing the holidays after a divorce, whether it’s your first year alone or your tenth year, can be fraught will stress and sadness. In our culture, the holidays convey the idea of family and togetherness; a time of feasting and gift-giving. If this is your first season after divorce, the holidays can be especially stressful; activities and gatherings that you once experienced with your spouse are now practiced solo.

Here Are Some Tips for Surviving the Holidays:

1. Set Realistic Expectations

Recognize that divorce is a major life change, and your finances and responsibilities may be completely different now. Make the adjustment ahead of time.

2. Reach Out to Family and Friends It’s ok to ask for help from a support system; don’t wait for people to reach out. Most people are hideously busy during the holidays but want to support friends and family who need some extra time and attention. It will give you the closeness and togetherness that you have gotten used to during this time of year.

3. Don’t Spend the Holidays Alone Similar to reaching out, don’t allow yourself to isolate and spiral. Hiding away is punishing yourself and possibly the people who love you, but it won’t punish your ex. Fill your time with family and friends to distract yourself from reflecting on your broken marriage.

4. Work Together with Your Spouse for The Sake of Your Children You will always have children with your ex-spouse, and they deserve to experience a holiday season filled with safety and security. The holiday season can be just as wonderful for your children if you and your ex-spouse can work together towards a shared goal. Find a way to make the most of the holidays for everyone involved.

5. Create New Traditions You may not be able to celebrate the way you always have, but that doesn’t mean the holidays go uncelebrated. This is your chance to make some new traditions that are uniquely yours. Try something fun and new and include your children as much as possible.

6. Count Your Blessings. This may be the hardest of all, especially if this is your first season after divorce. It’s ok to grieve over the loss of your marriage and the dream of your family, but it’s important to keep a proper perspective. No matter how bad the breakup was, there are plenty of things to be thankful for. The new year represents a time for re-birth and renewal, a beginning to the rest of your life.

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