Plan Ahead. If you have children, know exactly where they will be spending each of the holidays. Often, the Marital Settlement Agreement that we draft for you includes a very specific visitation schedule for each of the holidays. Working out in advance where the children are going is not only good for them, but also for your own state of mind.
Create New Traditions. Don’t dwell on what you used to do with your ex-spouse. Start new rituals. In a few years, those will be part of your memories and the things you look forward to repeating each year.
Reassure Your Children. Let them know that the holiday celebrations will continue, though they may be a bit different. The kids can help you brainstorm to come up with new ways to celebrate and new family traditions around the holidays.
Be Flexible. If you don’t have the kids on the actual holiday, pick another day to celebrate with them instead. Co-parenting is all about being flexible.
Spend time with Friends and Supportive Family. When the kids are spending holiday time with the other parent, plan a fun day spent with close friends or family. If you are feeling isolated, lonely or depressed, don’t be afraid to ask them for help.
Make a Schedule. Like Santa, make your list of tasks and goals to accomplish this holiday season and set target dates to get them done. This will help you feel more in control and less stressed.
Take Care of Yourself. Make sure that you are getting the right amount of sleep. Exercise and eat healthily. These things can make a big difference in your emotional state and your outlook.
Be Realistic. There is no such thing as the “picture perfect” holiday. Holidays can be stressful. The first year after divorce is tough. Remind yourself it’s okay to feel sad. You are only human.
Rest and Relax. Plan some time that is just for you, whether that means going to a spa for the day, or just taking a long bubble bath with a glass of wine and your favorite music.
Remind Yourself That Things Will Get Better. Take it one day at a time, one holiday at a time. Things will get easier. It will hurt less. Right now, just concentrate on one thing at a time.