The holidays can be stressful even in the best of times, divorce magnifying the stress. How do you survive the holidays while in the midst of divorce if you are running solo or with children? Below is some practical advise to help you consider your options:
1. Plan your holiday season – this way you establish boundaries and expectations with friends and family early on. You won’t be caught off gaurd on how to respond to holiday invitations with family and friends. Choose only those gatherings with people that you would feel completely safe, loved, and supported by.
2. Don’t make the topic of your divorce your holiday conversation – Take a holiday break from divorce drama and graciously bow out of questions by responding “I’m not making my divorce my holiday theme, thank you for asking though.” Your thoughts will set the tone for your holiday experience. Try to focus on the positive and the abundance all around you.
3. Take in some sites that uplift your spirit – from churches, to hotels, to well decorated streets and nature. What speaks to your soul? Feed it the joy of the season through your eyes. There is beauty all around, look for it. Try getting out of your head and embrace something outside your regular schedule. Delight in your surroundings. Check your paper’s calendar section for some seasonal adventures.
4. Consider going away for an indulgent self-care weekend – perhaps a nice hotel with spa services for a massage or facial. Take in some local shopping and treat yourself to something special. Buy tickets to a play or musical performance.
5. Volunteer in your community – help those in need and they end up helping you! Work in a soup kitchen and feed the homeless, or visit a nursing home and offer to do a reading from a book or take a flower for each resident to let them know they are not forgotten. If you like animals, check into volunteering at a local animal shelter. The point is, get involved wth your community and you will feel a sense of community during the holiday season.
If there are children involved they are most likely feeling uncertain about the future and the ways the holidays will change. Get them involved in the planning of the season. Maybe they would like to go to a ice skating rink, drink hot chocolate or bake cookies. Maybe they would like to be involved with a community project too. Plan as a family and you will provide your children with a sense of empowerment in an uncertain time. They’ll have something fun to look foward to.
As for me, this year I am hanging with new friends in Los Angeles after moving here about a year and a half ago and taking a few days to go to Napa with my brother Adam to visit our Father. I promise not to WINE too much, but Jordan Vineyard is calling my name.
I hope you look for joy in the season and embrace life with an openness to see that there is companionship, love, and joy that comes in different packages.
Don’t forget to wine a little:)