Tips for how to make it through the holidays after or during a divorce
Gift yourself a unique gift and invest in yourself
Although you may not be getting gifts from your partner this year, it doesn’t mean you don’t have the option to buy yourself a gift. The idea of treating your self to something special doesn’t necessarily have to cost a lot.
“I had a custom stamped sterling silver necklace made by someone. It featured a charm with my birthstone and three hanging tags stamped with the words patience’, faith’ and ’strength. The necklace was worn almost every day by me, and I found myself holding on to the most important word of each day. My friends used to tell me that I would rub the words off the silver tags. I treasure this necklace. Although I don’t wear the necklace as much as I used, it is a constant reminder of how I overcame my divorce with faith, strength, and patience. Monique Honaman, author High Road Less Traffic (and the recently released Bonus Dad! Bonus Mom
Be true to the past, but bring new life to them
Last year was my first divorce. It was very difficult. My marriage had ended, and I was going through the grieving process. My marriage lasted half my life, and this was my first holiday season as an independent person. It was important for me to learn to accept my grief and to realize that it was okay to feel sad. I also learned to accept that some traditions were still very dear to me.
“My husband, along with me, had a tradition of going to the mall for Christmas. After shopping, we split up, spent 30 minutes looking for gifts, and then exchange gifts. I went on my own, with a friend, and that really helped me to honour my past. We used to go shopping at the mall around Christmas, split up, hunt for gifts for 30 minutes, and then exchange gifts right there. Eleora Han Ph.D., a psychologist and author of the book Grieving the death of a loved one: how to accept grief and find real hope after a breakup, divorce or death.
Refocus on You
Jenny Ford had been married for four years, before she divorced her husband in December 2016. Although the holidays were hard, she was able to get through them: she booked herself a Washington DC vacation, lost 30 lbs. and wrote a book. Then she reconnected with her agency.
She is sure you can.
“Don’t be afraid if you don’t agree with tradition. You only have one life. There’s no set of rules that can tell you how to live it. You don’t have to be embarrassed by awkward looks or questions. Instead, you can book a vacation or staycation and decline invitations. Spend your holidays at the beach with your favorite music.
“It is perfectly acceptable to not be able to deal with everything immediately. Improve yourself. You can be the best version you. You can go back to school or find a new job. Your self-esteem will increase if you do things that make you feel good. You’ll also glow inside. You might find yourself able to see things differently, which can help you gain confidence and not worry about what other people think. “Rock your life. You only live once.” – Jenny
Patty and her marriage broke up eight weeks before Christmas. It was the 16th Christmas that Patty wouldn’t be able to see her family on the East Coast for the traditional holiday gathering. Because they were his relatives. Because of her survival instincts, I had to run as far as possible.
She traveled to Romania to volunteer in an orphanage, the Transylvania Mountains. This was exactly what she needed: complete immersion in a new environment and helping others. It is something she strongly recommends, but it doesn’t mean you have to go to another country.
“Volunteering was my best choice during my divorce. It’s important to register in advance for the holidays because it’s busy season for volunteering. Do what I did, volunteer abroad if there isn’t anything in your area. There are many people who will need your help. You can work with animals, children or the environment. There are many organizations that would love to have you. Volunteering helped me gain perspective and feel valued. Patty Blue Hayes, an award winning author of Wine, Sex and Suicide-My NearDeath Divorce and the founder of You Can Heal Your Heartbreak, an acclaimed audio program based upon her book, MyHeart is Broken. Now what? Life coaching is a way for people to rediscover themselves after divorce. Connect with her at www.pattybluehayes.com
Change the date for your holiday
The “new normal” may need to be established quickly. You might decide to separate one day before Thanksgiving. Then, by Christmas, your children will be moving into a new house.
“We celebrate any and all things, no matter what “day” they are or what the rest is doing. We are celebrating Thanksgiving one week early this year. My kids, their stepmom, and extended family live in different states. This allows me to take a retreat day, write a novel, journal, and have coffee and wine each morning.
“Self-care should be a top priority for single parents. Although we have so much to do, creating a magical experience for our children often means that it comes at a cost. In many ways, self-care is the glue that binds our world together. Tonia Adleta, speaker, mentor and business owner, is the founder and host for The Single Parent Summit.
“That first Thanksgiving/Christmas was the toughest one of all for me, ” recalls Susan McCord, host of the Dear Sybersue Lifestyle Talk Show.
“Tell yourself that holidays are just a few days away and that it will be over soon for another year. McCord says to keep busy. Spend time with trusted friends. Get away. “Humor is the cure of many difficult times in life. Although time does heal the heart, holidays can remove the bandage that covers the wounds. These people shouldn’t be taken over by you. It does get better.