If you’re newly separated or divorced, leading into the holiday season alone for the first time can be daunting, and you may be feeling some emotions you may not have felt in some time. If there are children in your family, and your ex-partner has them in their care, whether by court orders or mutual arrangements, there are going to be many emotionally difficult moments.
Without family by your side during the holidays, depression can set in, and you can feel more alone than you have ever been. However, if you want your holiday time to be joyful, it might be time to make a few plans to begin to move on with your life as a single person. Remembering good times from your prior relationship can make you feel even more miserable when you are newly separated, and dwelling in your self-pity certainly won’t make the situation change.
You’re Not Alone
A startling statistic is that almost half of all marriages end, and for you, it means that you are not alone. There are likely people you know who have been through what you are going through right now, so take some time to ask some questions about how they got through their first holiday.
Quite often there are children involved in separations, and their well-being should be a priority for both parents involved. Whether you have your children, or your ex has them, co-parenting basics come in handy this time of year. One important thing to remember if there are children involved is that they pick up on your emotions, and if you are sad, they will see it and they will become sad too.
Don’t Get Stuck In A Rut
Christmas can be a time of sadness and loss, but it can also be a joyous time if you start to take control of your life, and follow a few basic steps to rediscovering happiness.
- Think fresh thoughts. Create new traditions for you and your kids, don’t dwell on the old ones.
- Make plans to call your children at a specific time, and never miss the call. Communicate and compromise with your ex to ensure the children are contacted at the most appropriate time.
- Invite friends or family over for the eve of holidays, so you can create some happy memories for yourself.
- If your children are going to be with the other parent for holidays, maybe you should take some time away yourself. Take a short holiday by yourself; you may just make some new friends.
- Do everything you can’t do when kids are around. Binge TV series, take a hot bath or take a long drive to some place nice if that’s what you don’t normally get to do.
- Do something creative. Renovate a room in your house, create some music, paint, write your story; or just do whatever it takes to get your mind off the loneliness you are feeling.
- Call an old friend and invite them over for a chat or a drink. It can be a great self-esteem boost.
The first holiday season after separation is the hardest. You just need to remember that things will get easier, and the best way to do that is to do more things that can create the experience of happiness.