The holidays never quite feel the same when divorce enters the picture. You may face many difficult changes – ending traditions you had with your spouse, losing relationships with his or her extended family, and splitting time with your children.
First and foremost, we want you to know we empathize with you. This time of year can undoubtedly be the most painful, regardless of what stage of the divorce process you’re in. We believe, even amid the stress and heartache, there are ways you can make the most of the holiday season.
Surround Yourself with People You Love
If your divorce is still fresh, it’s all too easy to fall into the trap of self-induced isolation. While some time alone is healthy during the grieving process, you should try to fight the urge to stay bundled up at home and make an effort to engage with others.
This could take the shape of a Christmas party or an intimate dinner with trusted friends, visiting with your parents or siblings, or driving to look at Christmas lights with your children. It’s normal to need time away from the world with everything you’re going through, but make sure to balance it by spending time with people who know how to comfort and support you.
Create New Traditions
For many people, the strongest and most sentimental memories are centered around the holidays. It’s easy to remind yourself of when things were “perfect” with your ex. The best way to combat these happy-turned-sad memories of traditions the two of you used to share, is to create new memories that bring a new sense of joy!
While it is important to keep existing holiday traditions consistent for your children, this is also time to think outside the box and create something new and fun for everyone. Maybe it’s watching your favorite Christmas movie with your kids, taking yourself on a holiday shopping spree, or going on a trip with old friends.
One of the best ways we’ve found to take your mind off of your current situation is to volunteer. The holidays provide some of the most fulfilling volunteer opportunities. Many people in your area won’t have the opportunity to enjoy the holiday experiences we so often take for granted. When you’re feeling low, try giving your time to help those in need, even if it’s a simple conversation with someone to show you care. Sometimes the best way to help yourself is to help others.
Last but not least, make sure to choose yourself this season. Instead of focusing on everyone else’s needs as you have for so many years, you have an opportunity to decide how you want to spend your time. Don’t worry about what other people say you should do for Thanksgiving or Christmas — it’s up to you! Take this time to get to know yourself again and choose what makes YOU happy.
Are you currently going through a divorce? Andersen, Tate & Carr, P.C. wants to help you and your family navigate the legal system to find the best resolution, and alleviate as much of the stress and emotional hardship we can. Family law attorney Trinity Hundredmark has a decade of experience representing clients divorcing in Georgia. For more information, contact our law office at 1-770-822-0900.