5 tips to survive the first holidays after divorce
Written by Craig Cherney

5 tips to survive the first holidays after divorce

Holiday memories and traditions are often connected to special times with your ex-spouse. Whether you’re coming up on your first holidays after divorce or you’ve been on your own for many years, navigating the holiday season can be difficult after a divorce. Follow these tips to make your first holidays after divorce as painless as possible.

1. Don’t Isolate Yourself

It can be easy to fall into the trap of becoming a bit of a recluse. Whether you’re grieving the end of your marriage or are just relieved that it’s over, the process can be emotionally draining and stressful. Do your best to get out of the house, even if it’s just to pick up some groceries or enjoy holiday displays. Forcing yourself to go out can make it easier for you to transition back into your routine when you’re feeling more like yourself.

If you run into people who aren’t aware that you and your spouse are no longer together, it’s up to you to decide whether you’re ready to tell them or not. From timing to wording, there are some tips to help you tell people about your divorce.

2. Set Realistic Expectations

The first year after divorce will likely be your most challenging holiday season. Don’t expect too much from yourself. Be realistic about what you will and will not be able to do. If you aren’t feeling up to decorating your house or sending out cards this year, that’s okay.

Make sure to communicate your plans with your family and friends so they can have a reasonable expectation of you as well. Your first holidays after divorce are hard enough without trying to go above and beyond to please everyone else.

3. Lean on Your Family and Friends

Spend as much time as you can with your loved ones, including friends and family. The people who love you most can remind you of your value during this transitional time. Knowing that you have a support system of people who care about you can help you make it through, so don’t be shy about asking for help when you need it.

4. Make New Traditions

The first holidays after divorce can be especially hard on your children. Just because you’re divorced, that doesn’t mean your holiday traditions need to fall by the wayside. Talk with your family and decide what traditions you want to keep. Make changes that suit your new life. Get rid of the traditions nobody really enjoyed anyway. This holiday season is all about making new memories with your family and friends.

Divorce doesn’t have to be the end of everything. Collaborative divorce can help change your perspective to looking at it as a new beginning. It can be a time to reinvent yourself and start your ideal life.

5. Treat Yourself

Don’t forget to buy yourself a present when you’re shopping for everyone else on your list. Whether it’s a cup of hot coffee or a massage, taking time to care for yourself can help relieve some of the tension you may be feeling. You don’t need to spend a lot of money; even something as simple as a bubble bath or movie night with friends can help you feel better.

Finalizing your divorce around the holidays can be especially stressful, but often the scary part is the unknown. The collaborative divorce process focuses on identifying what both you and your ex-spouse need and working toward a mutually agreeable outcome. This sets you up to enter your new life with a plan for success. Contact Best Legal Choices to learn more.