You are experiencing a lot of firsts as a new divorcé. The holidays bring out a lot of emotion. For some, their new freedom is nothing but a positive gift in their life. For others, they may experience sadness and grief over the loss of their marriage. Maybe you are a mix of the two. Regardless, it is important to get through the holidays in a way that can propel you forward and prepare you for success in the new year. While we refer to this blog as a “divorce holiday survival guide,” I rather call it a “holiday thrive guide.”
Take Yourself Out On a Date
In any relationship, it is natural to put others before yourself, at least on occasion. It is easy to be focused on someone else’s happiness. Now you have an incredible opportunity to focus on yourself. Get to know ‘you’ better by planning a date night for yourself. Once a week, do something fun by yourself. It doesn’t have to be any sort of elaborate plan. Maybe just a night in with your favorite take-out and a funny movie. Treat yourself to a day trip to your favorite hiking spot. Do something that helps you connect to who you are and who you want to be.
Don’t Hesitate to Establish Boundaries
You need to not be afraid to establish clear boundaries with friends and family during this time. If you don’t wish to talk about your divorce, speak up and say so. If you don’t want your Aunt to keep trying to set you up with “That nice girl” or “that nice boy” then explain you aren’t ready to date and you will let them know when you are. You have the right to communicate your personal boundaries, especially in times of difficulty.
Don’t Forget Tradition But Do Something New
The holidays are a time of tradition. Maybe you and your ex always picked a Christmas tree together and that memory is a bit too painful. Don’t feel pressure to keep up holiday traditions just because you always did them. Instead, try a new spin on the old tradition. For example: instead of picking out a fresh Christmas tree, you purchase a smaller fake one and invite friends over to help decorate it with homemade ornaments. That way you feel as though you aren’t ‘hiding’ from the holidays, but instead making great new memories.
Do you have any suggestions to add to the list? Want to add to our divorce holiday survival guide? Contact West Coast Family Mediation Center to schedule a free consultation.