How to Navigate the Holiday Season After Divorce
Holidays during the first year following a divorce can be difficult to navigate, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a joyful holiday season. Below, the attorneys at Rodier Family Law discuss approaches for adjusting to a new and different holiday season this year, especially if you are a parent.
Coordinate with your ex-spouse prior to the holiday season – and don’t wait until the week before a major holiday! This will help you avoid stress, confusion and preventable arguments during the bustle of the late December holidays. While your relationship with your ex-spouse may be complex and strained, it is important to communicate as effectively as you can during this time. For the sake of your children, it’s important to put your differences aside in order to find joy in the holiday season.
If your children are old enough, allow them to have a say in the holiday plans and prioritize planning new traditions. If your ex-spouse has your children on Christmas day, for example, coordinate a celebration with your children before or after that date.
If you have an agreed-upon or Court-ordered schedule, review it, accept what is says, and be prepared to abide by it unless you and your co-parent agree to do something different. Do not take out your frustrations about how your court ordered or otherwise formalized holiday schedule carries out in a given year on anyone – your children, your spouse. Do not demand that your ex-spouse change the plan simply because you don’t like it this year.
Make New Memories
It may be difficult to move on from previously cherished traditions, but that doesn’t mean you can’t make new ones. The first year following your divorce is a time to make new memories with friends and family so you can have something to look forward to.
We recommend not spending the holidays alone, even if your spouse may have the kids for the holidays. While alone time can be therapeutic in small doses, it’s important to fill your holidays with the company of loved ones. This will help remind you that you’re loved during the holiday season.
Take Extra Care of Yourself
This time of year is fun and full of joy for many, but it can also bring about more stress—it’s a buzzing time of year filled with planning, shopping and gatherings. It’s important to take extra care of yourself during this busy season in order to get through it.
Despite the abundance of holiday food and drinks we indulge in every year, maintaining a consistent exercise routine and healthy diet will not only aid your physical health, but mental health as well. During the hectic bustle of the winter season, make time for you—even if it’s difficult to fit alone time into your schedule. In whatever way you define self-care, make time for it to alleviate stress and prioritize your mental health.
Donate Time to Others
If you need to get your mind off things in order to enjoy the holiday season, consider donating your time. Investing your time in an organization or charity is an excellent way to divert your attention away from your divorce. Volunteer at a community event, donate to a food drive or give to a local charity. Giving back to people who are less fortunate during the holiday season is one of the greatest gifts you can give.
Stay Optimistic and Allow Yourself to Enjoy the Holidays
Although your holiday traditions may be changing this year, it’s important to stay optimistic—you and your children deserve to unwind and have a lovely holiday, despite the circumstances you may be going through. As a parent, your mood will leave an impact on your children. As the season approaches, try to think of how you can remain strong for your children and find little joys during this holiday season.
Happy Holidays from Rodier Family Law!
Rodier Family Law wishes you a lovely holiday season. While following these tips will never fully alleviate the pain that comes with your divorce, we hope that they help get your mind off of the stress you have been dealing with and enjoy new traditions this holiday season. Our team is empathetic to your struggles and believe that you deserve a happy and healthy holiday no matter your current life situation. Our knowledgeable family law attorneys are also here to answer any concerns regarding divorce or separation. Contact us today to learn more.
All content in this article is strictly informational in nature. The attorneys at Rodier Family Law recommend seeking professional counsel on your specific situation.