Home Alone This Holiday?
Post Separation Tips for the Holidays
The first holiday – post separation – can be particularly stressful and filled with a wide range of emotions. Holidays can be stressful at the best of times. Shopping, decorating, baking, year-end work deadlines, work parties, scheduling, gift-wrapping, family obligations! Are you exhausted yet?
So how do you manage through the holidays when you add divorce to the equation? Below are some tips for helping cope with the first holiday season alone.
- Acknowledge how you are feeling. Recognize that is it completely understandable you may feel sad or lonely, especially if you have children and they are with your former spouse or missing your former spouse and extended family. If you had nieces or nephews on your spouse’s side of the family, that could feel like an even more significant loss. With the healing of time, you might also be able to continue a relationship with your former spouse’s family.
- Give yourself permission. It’s okay to put YOU first. You don’t have to attend all those holiday/work parties if you don’t feel like it. While sometimes being out with others can be a great distraction sometimes, it’s okay to take a pass. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves to please others, and we forget to think about ourselves.
- Pamper yourself. Somehow our lives get full of obligations, have-tos, should-dos, deadlines and responsibilities. We rarely take time to do what WE want. When was the last time someone said you have two days with no one to be accountable to? No emails, no deadlines, no obligations! Rent movies and have a PJ day, buy a good book and read all day, go to the movies. Buy yourself that gift you always wanted!
Do something new!
The best way to overcome post separation blues is to keep yourself busy and engaged. Here are some tips to consider:
- Establish new traditions. Perhaps your former spouse never wanted to put lights up, but you always did. Now you can decorate and plan new traditions, just the way you want it.
- Plan a winter escape. If you have the budget and time for it, check out last-minute deals to warm destinations. No one likes to fly on Christmas Day, and there can be some pretty good deals out there to get someplace warm, or to new scenery.
- Reach out to old friends. You’ve been there for them many times in the past. Just be honest and tell them you’d rather not be alone. Chances are they’ve been thinking about you but didn’t want to invade your space.
This year, make a plan to consciously take care of yourself, reduce your post-divorce stress and surround yourself with people who bring you joy.