Sunday, 17 December 2017

How to Survive Christmas After Divorce

It’s that time of year again, with the holidays looming large before us and a particularly challenging time for those who are separated, divorced or experiencing difficulties in a relationship. Perhaps this is your first Christmas alone after a long-term relationship or maybe it’s your 10th Christmas on your own. Regardless of whether it’s a new experience or an old one, you are very possibly dreading the holidays. As a counselor and divorced person myself, I by no means intend to minimize the challenge of facing Christmas without a partner, because I know first hand that it can be very difficult, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.

Preparing for the Holidays

It seems that no matter how much we try to prepare ourselves, when the holidays begin, many people feel like hiding in a cave. What makes it even more difficult is seeing all the TV images that show blissful people and families spending happy moments together. Messages of love, peace and joy are thrown at us at every turn. So, to you, who are now facing the holiday on your own, it might feel as if you are the only person in the world fending for yourself. But, let me assure you, you are not alone. While TV ads make it all look fabulous, the holidays are actually a difficult time for countless numbers of people even for those who may be in relationship.

How to Beat the Holiday Blues

While it may seem that you are stuck with the bad feelings surrounding the so-called festivities, there are things you can do to make the holidays a little less stressful.
To beat the holiday blues, try adopting a few of the following ideas, as they may have a positive impact on the way you move forward with your life.

1. Begin by knowing that more than likely there will be some sadness if this is your first holiday alone.

Be okay with the sadness. Remember, what you resist, persists, so if you start to feel sad, keep in mind that sadness is just another emotion, If you allow yourself to feel the sadness without running away from it, it will pass through you more quickly. Once you let yourself feel your feelings, you’ll make room for other happier feelings that will take the place of the sadness.

2. Have the courage to reach out to family members and friends. It’s okay to let people know that you’d like to spend time with them since this is your first holiday alone. Or better yet, invite them to your house and host the celebration. If neither is possible, make yourself available to those who may also be alone for the holidays, or volunteer for a charity where you are making a contribution of yourself. Giving is one of the best ways of diminishing the lonely feelings.

3. If you’re a single parent, now is a good time to start a new tradition with your children and watch it lift your spirits.

A woman I know started a tradition of reading a special Christmas story each night to her children. The kids loved it and looked forward to a new story every evening. It was such a success, she compiled the best Christmas stories ever told and had it published. Perhaps you and your kids could do something similar or possibly you could gather together and make ornaments that signify the beginning of a new life. If the children are old enough, ask them for their ideas for making Christmas a little brighter. You’d be surprised at how creative children can be. Whatever you decide, use this opportunity to “try on” new ways of spending the festive days in a more satisfying way.

4. Pay attention to the choices that have led you to where you are right now and see all the changes you’ve already made in your life. Pat yourself on the back and acknowledge yourself for all the inroads you have made. It takes courage to make changes, and you’ve proven that you have that kind of courage. Each year will bring new experiences and every Christmas will get easier and more enjoyable.

5. Ask yourself whether there are any new choices you can make that will propel you in the direction of a more inspiring future. When you get your answer, don’t be afraid to take a few chances and run with them.

Starting a new life can be very exciting, especially when you relax and allow yourself to enjoy the changes. Take a few risks and watch how good you will feel.

Bear in mind that the holidays last for a short while, so put them in proper perspective.

Instead of throwing the holidays out of proportion, remember that before long, things will be back to normal.

Why not use the holidays as a way of setting the ground work for your new beginning. Make up your mind that you’re going to show up differently in your life and your relationships. As Debbie Ford says in her book, The Right Questions, “Every choice we make leads us in one of two directions. We are headed either towards a future that inspires us or toward a past that limits us.”

Which direction are you headed? Why not use this year’s holiday season to start moving in a new direction. Move into an inspiring new year filled with joy, fulfillment and happiness by giving yourself the gift of healing your heart.


No comments:

Post a Comment