Tips for Dealing with Divorce During the Holidays
Now that Halloween is behind us, the countdown for Thanksgiving has begun in earnest. Thanksgiving can be a wonderful time of year, full of food, fun and families for most. Unfortunately, those in the midst of a separation or divorce (or those who have recently gone through one) may have a much harder time getting in the festive spirit. However, we hope the following tips for dealing with divorce during the holidays will be helpful to you.
Beware of nostalgia
Though the holidays (and Thanksgiving specifically) are great opportunities for remembering and celebrating good times, it can also be a painful trap for some. Traditions can be wonderful, but they can also change and even become better when circumstances require it. Rather than focus on the good old days, try and keep your attention on the here and now. Realize you have a great opportunity to make new traditions and that part of doing so requires giving up some old ones.
Keep family and friends close
Though we all want time to spend time with our children over the holidays, the reality is that it is difficult (if not downright impossible) to have the children spend big holidays with both parents. Splitting times can be tricky enough when the festivities take place in the same town, but it becomes totally unworkable when traveling is involved. As a result, holidays are often rotated each year between parents. That means on your “off years”, you’re going to need to keep yourself busy with other family members and friends. Don’t worry about imposing or being a downer, reach out to those closest to you and try to keep yourself entertained while the kids are away. Going out and staying occupied is better than sitting at home thinking about how much you miss the way things were.
Focus on what you’re thankful for
It’s a time for giving thanks after all, but too many people spend time and energy thinking about what they don’t have rather than what they do have. Rather than focus on the pain of the divorce, make time to list the things you are thankful for. Even small things like a great meal, a laugh with a friend, or extra time off work, when acknowledged, can help create better perspective for the holiday and for the future.