Surviving the holidays during divorce can be done! You can actually thrive not just survive. A good dose of determination, creativity, resolve and planning will increase the fun and lessen the blues. Everyone knows the holiday season is the most stressful time of year. Throw in divorce and holiday cheer can go right down the drain.
Nothing shreds your emotions and taps you out physically like the turmoil of divorce. All the pieces of your life are turned upside down, your finances, housing, healthcare, and your kids are all dramatically affected. Now add Christmas and New Years, parties, family you don’t want to see, friends of your ex, credit card bills…seems like a recipe to make you want to pull your hair out. You’re feeling sad disoriented and broke and now have to go full steam and hang out with cheery people from intact families. Ugh.
Here are a few suggestions to help “Grinch-Proof” you through the holiday season:
One of the most important things to remember is to be grateful for any and all blessings in your life. Sometimes this seems near impossible as you feel like you’re in a figurative hole. However, if you discipline yourself to look for the jewels in every day, an “attitude of gratitude” will become second nature.
Keeping a gratitude journal is a great way to remind us of all the amazing goodness in our lives. Here’s what you do: Each morning when you wake up to what you think might be is another gray day, force yourself to think of something to be thankful for and write it down. Keep it at your bedside. It can be small. Be grateful for your home or apartment, a warm bed, a good cup of coffee or your amazing kids. Think of as many things as possible. You might be wowed by the length of the list. You definitely will feel encouraged! And Blessed!
Secondly, season your words with positivity. Our own words are powerful. What we say convinces ourselves! The more positive your words, the lighter your mood and the clearer your thoughts. You will be a joy to be around even in the middle of your storm. Add a smile to your positive words and you’ll find those around you smiling back at you.
Thirdly, be a giver. Not of gifts, but of yourself. Maybe you’re asking, How can I give when I have nothing left to give? When we give our time and attention to others in the middle of our own pain, we lose ourselves. We become aware that maybe some else has it worse than we do. In contrast our pain lessens.
Gratitude, positivity and selflessness are transformational for you and others.
Changes in how you think and your behavior begins to shape your feelings. You’ll feel less depressed. If you feel less depressed, you feel more like getting out of your P.J’s and doing things like buying that Christmas Tree, decorating or making cookies.