Getting through your first holiday season after divorce can be challenging. When you are freshly out of a relationship, you may feel isolated during these end-of-the-year months. After all, the holiday season often comes with movies, songs, advertisements, and more, all focusing on family and love. It can be overwhelming.
We’ve put together a list of tips to help you get through your first holiday season after divorce, both in terms of logistics and your emotional well-being.
Begin Planning a Schedule Months in Advance
If you and your ex share children, it’s crucial to begin planning for the holidays well in advance. You will need to both have a clear understanding of who has the kids for which holidays, for how long, and where you’ll be.
If you and your ex disagree about splitting up time, it’s important to know this early on. This gives you plenty of time to resolve the conflict rather than have the tension go with you through the holiday season. This can not only affect your happiness, but also the happiness of your children.
These advanced plans can help you as well. Once you know what holidays you won’t be spending with your kids, you can make plans for yourself. Decide which family or friends you’ll be spending the holiday with, or maybe even plan a solo trip for some relaxation time.
This tip goes hand-in-hand with planning. You must keep an open mind as you plan for the logistics of the holiday season. Remember that it’s important for your children to maintain a strong relationship with both parents. Of course, you’d love to spend each holiday with your children, but prepare to make sacrifices and be flexible about splitting time.
Whenever possible, be flexible and understanding about last-minute changes. Even with advanced planning, unexpected changes can still occur. Rather than being angry about this, try to keep a positive attitude. Hopefully, your ex will extend the same courtesy to you in the future.
Make Your Children The Priority
The holidays are a magical time of year for kids. By focusing on them this holiday season, their pure joy and excitement can rub off on you.
Remember that while it is your first holiday season after divorce, it is also theirs. Check in with your children about how they’re feeling, and make sure they know that you are there for them too.
Give Yourself Grace
Don’t expect yourself to feel fully in ‘the holiday spirit.’ Allow yourself to feel negative emotions too. You are going through, or have recently finalized, a difficult divorce. You are bound to feel feelings of sadness, grief, and maybe even anger. This is normal; don’t beat yourself up about it. If you are feeling overwhelming feelings of sadness, turn to family and friends for support.
Create New Traditions
Traditions hold many memories. By creating new traditions, it is part of your fresh start.
Here are some ideas for new traditions to try:
- Do a mystery gift swap
- Have a movie marathon
- DIY holiday decorations
- Explore new traditions from your culture
- Participate in holiday charity events, like toy drives
- Buy an advent calendar
- Try new holiday meals
Decide If You and Your Ex Want To Spend Holidays Together
This option is not for everyone, but if you and your ex ended your marriage on good terms, you might decide that this is the best setup for your family. Perhaps you don’t want to spend the actual days together but are comfortable meeting up for a shared meal or family tradition. Be honest about your feelings, and only do what you are comfortable with.
Salt Lake City Divorce Attorneys
Getting through your first holiday season after divorce is intimidating, but you can do it. Remember that you are not alone; there are truly thousands of people experiencing the same change as you this year.