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Tips For Getting Through The Holidays During Divorce

The holiday season can be hard to face when going through proceedings or newly divorced. If you want a quiet season, then let people know. They may be trying to fix you up with a date or adding your name to guest lists. Be direct and state that you will sit this one out and not be on the party circuit this year. Some divorcing people want to escape the frivolities and this is fine.

Get out of town

One way to get out of your environment is to go away and rent a flat, as one acquaintance did in Rome. She gorged herself on pasta, wine and ancient ruins. Another divorced friend went to Asia over these holidays on a tour. She enjoyed the sunshine and fabulous temples. Post-divorce, my sons and I took a cruise around New Zealand and to Australia. We felt the stress and tension from my acrimonious divorce melt away. It was healing. There are some great last minute deals for those that want to take a break from divorce in an exotic locale.

Distractions

Others may want the distraction of throwing themselves into the frenzy of the season. Individuals might revel in attending office parties, neighbourhood potlucks, films and more. There are plenty of places that you can go solo, to enjoy the festivities. I go to concerts at St. Martin- in- the- Fields in London by myself. Weeks before my marriage was over, I went to a Christmas pantomime of Cinderella. It was hilarious and took my mind off my situation, plus many other singles were in in the audience. Post-divorce I have gone by myself to the lighting of Oxford Street, yet have been surrounded by thousands. You can have fun going to functions alone, when no longer part of a couple.

Family gatherings

One can concentrate on family gatherings and avoid the rest of the seasonal events. Borrow some nieces and nephews and do kid related activities. Release your inner child by going ice skating or pursuing other amusements.

Start new holiday traditions

If you are a parent, ask your youngsters what holiday rituals that they would like to continue and what new things can be added. Shake up your routines during divorce and adopt a few new holiday traditions. This helps one to let go of the past and to move on. My sons and I changed what we do on Christmas. We substituted a big brunch for Christmas dinner and go to a movie. Afterwards, we partake in a simple, but elegant supper. The bonus is I now have more fun and am not stuck in the kitchen.

Be kind to yourself

Buy yourself a present, such as something pampering like a luxurious skin serum or decadent chocolates. One guy is purchasing fitness equipment this year that he has been coveting. Take a pause this season to put your feet up with a good book, go on a hike or whatever is rejuvenating. Whether or not you are staying in, consider the short-cut of buying delicious take away and bakery items to savour over the holidays. When feeling overwhelmed during divorce, see what can be eliminated in your life.

Co-parenting

When children are in the picture, you may be splitting up the holidays with the other parent. This is hard, so have an activity planned for their absence. Perhaps go over to your parents’ or get together with other singles for a meal. Some meet up with friends at the pub. Have a distraction ready, so that you are not sitting around feeling blue. My sons would ask me what I was going to do when they were gone. I did not want them to worry about me, so this forced me to find something enjoyable. Celebrations do not have to happen on the actual day and if presents are opened before or after Christmas, then okay.

Have more quality time

Post-divorce, I make less types of cookies, do less decorating and entertaining. Instead I have gained so much more quality time with my sons and am relaxed. I enjoy the holidays now that I am divorced, instead of running around ticking things off my to-do-list as I did when married. If you are struggling, talk to friends about your feelings. They can be a source of support.

This article was originally published on Paradigm Family Law’s web site in York, England.