Advice to Navigate the Holidays After Divorce
As the the holidays approach us, families who have experienced a transition often feel weight on their shoulders. Thoughts of lost traditions from the past, heartache of the separation of their family, and the curiosity of the unknown can cause added stress to a holiday that is supposed to be just the opposite. We have gathered four tips to help you navigate this holiday season. Whether it’s your first December since your divorce or 50th, these tips will help you lay the groundwork and enjoy what makes
this time of year so magical.
- Start New Traditions – When traditions come to a halt, it’s disappointing. You connect traditions to memories and when the tradition ends, you may cherish the memories with an uneasy feeling of “how it used to be”. The answer to how to move forward, is to start a new tradition!Some tradition ideas:
- Watch a holiday movie together
- Drive around your neighborhood to look at lights with holiday music on
- Facetime family far away
- Decorate gingerbread houses
- Collect canned goods and donate together
- Ask everyone to add something to the toast before dinner
- Open a gift early
- Play a new game together
- Have the kids make part of the meal
- Organize a cookie decorating competition
- Co-Parent as a Team – Time with your children is incredibly valuable to the both of you. Sharing that time with another parent tends to be extra difficult on the holidays. Encourage the other parent and your child/children, to enjoy their time together. Being flexible with your co-parent’s schedule leads to a stress-free day and a strong example set for your children.
- Take Time for Yourself – Enjoying quality time with the people who you care about makes this time of year special, but taking a moment to breathe and appreciate all the goodness in your life is also important. Journal a list of what you’re grateful for, have some quiet time cooking, or spend the time you have alone watching a holiday film.
- Embrace Change with Positivity – Change can be difficult. When your co-parent and children are struggling with this as well, it can be hard to keep your cool. Try your best to acknowledge everyone’s feelings. Hearing out your child’s feelings can be helpful in proceeding. Let them know that these changes can also be seen in a positive light! Two celebrations rather than one, new traditions that they can help begin, and lots of people who love them should be celebrated!
Ultimately, remember the reasons or this season. Embrace old traditions, eagerly start new one’s, and ensure that everyone feels loved!