The season of family togetherness is here once again, but what do you do if your family unit has recently been broken? Whether you’re still going through your divorce or it’s the first holiday season since your split was final, it can be tough to cope.
It’s a difficult time, to be sure, but there are a lot of ways you can manage to keep your spirits bright and avoid feeling like a Grinch.
What do the experts recommend?
First, experts say that you need to remember that behind all the holiday lights and images of happy family life, not everything is what it seems. Think back to your own marriage and remember how often you plastered a smile on your face while quietly wondering what it would be like to be divorced. Other people out there are now where you were a year or so ago.
Second, be proactive about your self-care this holiday season. This means things like:
- Skipping that family gathering where you know your divorce will be a topic of conversation and nobody will respect your privacy
- Avoiding dinner with that one friend who wants to tell you what your ex is doing now and doesn’t get the hint that the info isn’t appreciated
- Seeking out company when you feel like you need it — and staying home with a good book or binge-watching holiday movies when you don’t
- Finding new ways to celebrate the season that don’t remind you of the times you had with your ex (good or bad) so that you can move on
- Indulging a little and pampering yourself, whether that means a holiday vacation out of state or a special gift you buy yourself
It’s okay if you can’t seem to muster a lot of holiday cheer right now, especially if you’re still going through your divorce. Just don’t let your marital situation spoil what you enjoy the most about the season.