Holidays After Divorce

Goldberg Jones Divorce, Everyday Dads Leave a Comment

The holiday season is right around the corner, and for many men that can mean an avalanche of stress and emotions. While we like to think of the holidays as a time of joy and happiness, the reality is often the opposite. For many couples getting through the holidays is the final step before filing for divorce. For those already divorced, the holidays can be incredibly difficult between juggling parenting time and coping with the loneliness.

Tips For Dealing With Holidays After Divorce

For men facing divorce or family issues, the holidays can bring anxiety and dread. Whether you’ve been divorced for many years, this is your first holiday after divorce, or you are waiting to file until after the New Year, it is common to be overwhelmed and drained as you navigate the festivities.

As you head into the holiday season, being prepared can go a long way towards minimizing stress.

Avoid situations that will escalate.

It can be tempting for divorced parents to try and celebrate the holiday together. If there is a zero risk of conflict, this can be an alternative to splitting parenting time over different holidays. Unfortunately, for many exes, the likelihood of conflict is too high and separate celebrations are the best option.

During the holidays, the path of least resistance can help you navigate the pressure of the season.  It is ok to avoid seeing your ex during the holidays, but be sure to continue to communicate using a channel that is comfortable. If phone conversations often get heated, using email can provide you the space and time to craft a diplomatic message.

Start new traditions

Starting your own traditions can help you establish a new routine. Find ways that you can bring new meaning to your celebrations. It can be as simple as cooking a special breakfast the morning of the holiday, or going to your favorite coffee shop for a seasonal drink.

Volunteering is also an excellent tradition for those looking to make new friends and help people in their community. It can be a fulfilling way to spend time and, for some, the socialization can help minimize some of the loneliness of divorce during the holidays.

Ask for help

Taking care of yourself is important, especially during the holidays. Being realistic about what you can and can’t do and knowing when to recruited help can make all the difference. In an attempt to overcompensate, many newly divorced parents overwhelm themselves by trying to do too much. Sometimes saying no to social invitations can save your sanity.

 The holidays can also be a great time to start working with a mental health professional. A therapist or psychologist can provide you with tools and suggestions for managing the stress of the season. Additionally, the structure of having a weekly appointment to discuss what is going on in your life can help you traverse the period between Thanksgiving and the New Year.

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