The holiday season is officially in full swing. For many families the holidays can be fun, magical, and full of wonderful memories and traditions. Unfortunately, there are some families that find this time of year to be stressful and sometimes depressing. If your divorce is recent or even pending, this time of year can bring a whirlwind of emotions. Having children also makes it that much more difficult to handle.
The following are some ideas to stay in the holiday spirit, maintain a balance if children are involved and go through the holidays with as little stress as possible:
- If you have children you understand that children work best on routine. Try and maintain as many old traditions as possible, but also find fun ways to introduce new traditions for them to look forward to as they adjust to the new lifestyle situation.
- If you maintain a good relationship with your ex-spouse be sure to keep the lines of communication open in the weeks leading up to the holidays. Make sure you are both organized and have a way of maintaining tasks and schedules.
- Do not ask your children to pick sides when it comes to the holidays. That is unfair pressure on them. Find ways for them to evenly split time with you and your ex.
- If you don’t have children and are feeling especially lonely during the holidays you should try to surround yourself with friends and family. Although some people cherish their alone time, others could benefit by having loved ones around for support.
- It is okay to politely tell people that you don’t feel like talking about the divorce. You can explain to them that you are trying to stay positive as you look forward to seeing what the future holds.
- Decide if is easier for you to host the holiday or if it’s easier to travel to someone else’s home. Sometimes it is best to not have the responsibility and stress of planning and entertaining.
- If you have children who will be home for Christmas break, find fun ways to keep them entertained but don’t stress yourself by feeling the need to keep a packed schedule. Having down time can also be healthy.
- Set a budget for gift giving. Divorce can be expensive and parents sometimes feel the need to go over the top with gift-giving out of guilt from the divorce.
In an era where everyone seems to have or want an abundance of material possessions, try to focus on creating more experiences with your children and loved ones. Those are the memories that will stick with you for a lifetime.