Divorce is hard enough to deal with any time of the year, but the holidays seem to be the hardest. Christmas is a time for celebrating and coming together with family, but if you are in the middle of a divorce or have gone through one recently it can be hard to feel festive. Many people worry about their children and how they will be affected. Here are a few ways to ease the stress of celebrating apart.
1. PLAN AHEAD – Start as soon as possible and plan who will spend what day where. If you let kids know that the holidays will still continue, but in a new way, you and they will be less stressed and anxious about it.
2. CREATE NEW RITUALS AND FAMILY TRADITIONS – There are many parts of the season that will stay the same, but some will have to change. You can develop a new day for celebrating.
3. REMIND YOURSELF TO DO WHAT’S BEST FOR THE KIDS – Decide ahead of time how holidays will be divided. Reassure kids that you will be OK while they are with the other parent. Remember, tired kids will be stressed out and cranky, so plan according to their ages and ability to adjust. Keep the arrangements as simple as possible.
4. MAKE A SCHEDULE – If you know what is happening, then you are less likely to stress about it. Also, if you tell all people involved what your scehdule is, they’ll know their part in your plan.
5. ASK FOR HELP FROM SUPPORTIVE FAMILY AND FRIENDS – Rely on a healthy support system if you are feeling isolated, lonely or depressed. Tell your support people what you need from them (companionship, understanding, compassion, listening, etc.)
6. TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF – Remember to eat healthy, don’t drink too much and get enough sleep. Overeating and partying may feel good in the moment, but you’ll feel worse in the long run for it.
7. ONE DAY AT A TIME; ONE HOLIDAY AT A TIME – It will get easier. It will get better. It will hurt less. Right now, just concentrate on one thing at a time!
How do you get through the holidays as a divorced parent? Are you the child of divorce and how did that define your holidays? Share below.