The First Christmas After Divorce: Tips for Surviving and Thriving
Divorce will magnify the levels of stress and emotion that are already elevated during the holiday season. So too can the logistics, especially when kids are involved. Making sure that both parents (and each of their extended families) get to spend quality time with children might mean shuttling between different houses.
Pile that on top of all the chaos and activities which make the holidays stressful for everyone, and you have a recipe for holiday sorrow, not joy.
Even divorced spouses without children may have a hard time adjusting to the first Christmas after divorce. Sadness, loneliness, or depression can easily set in when you see happy couples enjoying the most wonderful time of the year.
As you get ready to deck the halls this first post-divorce holiday season, try to keep these helpful tips in mind:
Start New Traditions
The loss of comfort, routine, and familiarity during the holidays can be hard on kids the first Christmas after divorce. They may be really upset because they are not doing the things they always did or are with the people they always were with on Christmas Day or Christmas Eve. This can be hard for grown-ups too.
But think of this holiday season like a chance to start new traditions. Find unique new activities or come with fun and creative new ways to celebrate. Years from now, you may look back on this holiday season as the beginning of some of your all-time favorite holiday traditions.
Surround Yourself With Love and Friendship
For some folks, being alone after being with someone for many years is the hardest part of a divorce. So, don’t be alone. Don’t isolate yourself from the many friends and family members who want to share the joy of the season with you. Don’t avoid holiday parties or gatherings in favor of staying home, lamenting your situation.
Focus on Meaning and Others
This first Christmas after divorce can be an opportunity to reconnect with the true spirit of the holiday. Focus on others rather than yourself for a bit. Look outward rather than inward to find the joy in the world around you. If you are a parent, put your energy into their laughter, happiness, and love.
Put the Humbug On Hold
Try to avoid letting the stress and emotion of this first holiday season overwhelm you. It can be easy to get sucked into negative feelings about your ex and how they have made a once happy time of year into a potentially sad one.
Don’t lash out and don’t spend all your precious time with family and friends feeling sorry for yourself. Stay away from negativity on social media, don’t drag your kids into your squabbles with your ex, and avoid other common divorce mistakes.
You can feel bad, even angry, but pull yourself back when you feel like you are going down that holiday road.
The Takeaway: Cut Yourself Some Slack
Simply put, the first Christmas after divorce is hard. Your divorce is still fresh and your emotions are still raw. Give yourself permission to struggle a bit during these first holidays. Don’t feel bad about feeling bad from time to time.
Take care of yourself. Find positive outlets for your emotions and seek out things that reinforce all the great things that still remain in your life.
Remember, that first Christmas for Joseph and Mary wasn’t exactly a picnic. But it was the first of many, many joyous Christmases to come.
Are You Considering Divorce and Need Legal Advice?
If you are considering or anticipating a divorce then you should schedule a free consultation with a Colorado Springs divorce attorney.
Attorney Bryson Perkins can help you understand your options and guide you through the Colorado divorce process so you are comfortable and satisfied that you are being taken care of every step of the way.