How to Get Through the Holidays After a Divorce

The holidays can be depressing for some people, but the likelihood of depression is doubled if you have just gone through divorce. Dealing with life after a split from your spouse can be a difficult process in general, and holidays can be a painful reminder that your marriage is now over. You can, however, manage to get through the holidays by setting some realistic and helpful goals that will make things easier for you.

Instructions

    • 1

      Spend time with supportive family and friends. Being around others who care about you and who are willing to offer you encouragement can help you survive the feelings of sadness, loneliness and loss you might be feeling. It is never a good idea to isolate yourself during the holidays. Getting out and socializing with others can even take your mind off your problems as you enjoy the company of those who love you.

    • 2

      Avoid putting your children in the position of deciding which parent to spend the holidays with. Even if you are still angry and upset with your ex-spouse, you still share parenting with him. Prior to the holidays, come up with a plan that will allow your kids to spend quality time with both you and your ex during the season. For example, you might have them spend the time up until Christmas Day with you and the remaining days of their holiday vacation time with your ex. Do whatever it takes to come to an amicable arrangement. Divorce is hard enough for children, so planning their schedules ahead of time and being cordial your ex will help make them feel more secure during the holiday season.

    • 3

      Avoid the urge to overspend. There may be a tendency to go out and make many frivolous purchases in order to make yourself feel better during the holidays or to placate your kids. Getting yourself into debt will only add to your burdens, so make a holiday budget and work to stick to it.

    • 4

      Consider taking a trip away over the holidays. Being in familiar settings that remind you too much of past holidays, when you and your spouse were still together, is certain to bring your spirits down. If going out of town isn't possible, think about checking into a luxurious hotel for a night or two, eating in a nice restaurant and taking advantage of any extras, such as a spa treatment, that the hotel may offer. Just being in different surroundings can make you feel better.

    • 5

      Resist overindulging in food and alcohol. The holiday season offers the temptation of fattening, sugary foods, and alcohol is often served at seasonal gatherings. You may have the urge to eat and drink too much in order to "anesthetize" the feelings of sadness, rejection and anger because of your divorce. Focus, instead, on making healthy choices and eating and drinking in moderation.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your depression gets out of hand, or if you have suicidal thoughts during the holidays, seek professional counseling immediately.
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