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Getting through the first holiday season after divorce

Posted on in Firm News

Now that you have divorced, it may seem like the only people who invite you to holiday get-togethers are happily married couples, and you decline because you would feel like the odd person out.

There is also the loneliness factor to manage. How can you rise above it and get a grip on your bah-humbug attitude?

Holidays and stress

While married, you probably looked forward to the holidays, especially if you have children. However, there was so much to do and so much expected of you that even then, the holidays may have left you feeling stressed out. Now that you are divorced or are in the process of ending your marriage, the amount of stress seems to have doubled. You no longer have the support of family around you, and the holidays have taken on a whole different aspect.

More misery

Some divorced people think of themselves as failures. They see smiling couples who appear to be very happy, which adds to their feelings of inadequacy. They cling to the pain of the past and make no attempt to move forward. This includes trying to recreate family traditions around the holidays that no longer work the way they used to.

Take a new tack

Here are six ways to make the post-divorce holiday season better.

  • Do exactly what you want to do during the holidays
  • Focus on the future, not on the past
  • Accept emotional support
  • Nurture new friendships
  • Do not put the needs of others before your own
  • Eat well and get plenty of rest

Additional thoughts

If people issue invitations to their holiday gatherings, go ahead and accept. Just let them know that you might have to cancel. Do not fret over whether to attend. If you do not feel like going on the day of the event, you can always extend your apologies to the host. Remember that the first year after a divorce is usually the hardest, but with each succeeding year, your life as a single person will get easier, and so will the holidays that follow.

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