How to Live Your Best Life After Divorce

 [Official blog of Patti Hoying's Divorce Operating System]

10 Tips to Get Through the Holidays After Divorce

holidays Dec 17, 2022
10 Tips to Get Through the Holidays After Divorce

The holidays can be a difficult time for anyone, but they can be especially challenging for those who are recently divorced or newly single. If you are dreading these holiday weeks… if you're feeling a bit stuck on how to best celebrate as you move forward after your divorce… don't worry. You are not alone. This article shares some advice and tips on how to actually enjoy holidays with less anxiety and more joy. My hope is that "peace on earth" starts with you and those you love.

  1. Be open to new traditions: Christmas doesn’t have to look the same as they did before your divorce. Find new traditions. It's OK if you want to make changes to how you celebrate the season - it's all about doing what makes you feel comfortable and happy during this time of year.
  2. Find ways to give to others: You only keep what you give away. The holidays are all about giving, so find a way to give back in some way this season. Maybe it's donating to a charity, volunteering at a soup kitchen, or helping someone in need. In fact, it releases dopamine to help us feel better. Even small gestures can make a difference and help you find joy this holiday season. 
  3. Don't be afraid to say no: Sometimes the greatest gift you can give this season is time to yourself. If you don't feel like attending an event or seeing certain people, it's okay to say no. Respect your own needs and be honest with yourself about what will bring you joy this holiday season. If you feel obligated to attend a social event and you're not fully comfortable with it, find another way to spend time with the people there you DO want to see. Your mental health is more important than another person's expectation for you. Be gentle with yourself. 
  4. Minimize exposure to toxic people and situations: Be selective in who you connect with. It's important to be mindful of the people and situations you are exposed to this season. Avoid getting into arguments and don't be afraid to step away from an uncomfortable situation. Above all, surround yourself with those who bring out your best.
  5. Acknowledge your feelings when you need to. You may have heard the expression, “You have to feel the feels." When you have a wave of upset coming over you, feel it, sit with the emotion until it dissipates, then release it. (For more on this, check out David Hawkins' book, Letting Go.) In addition, don't be afraid to cry, write in a journal, or talk to someone about how you're doing. These feelings are normal and it's okay to take the time to process them.
  6. Take care of yourself. Above all else, take care of your physical and mental health during this time. Take time for yourself to relax, eat healthy meals, and exercise. Spend some quality time engaging in activities you enjoy and make sure to get enough rest. All of these things will help keep your body and mind in top shape during this stressful period.
  7. Get a head start on New Year's resolutions. Now is the perfect time to set goals for yourself and plan out what you want to accomplish in 2023. Whether it's something small, like getting more organized, or something big, like learning a new language, now is the perfect time to start making progress towards achieving your goals. Make a list and start to build some early momentum.
  8. Look to the future, not to the past. Even though the holidays may not be what you imagined, take comfort in knowing that you have help and support available to rise above it all and heal faster. Of course, time will also slowly, gradually heal your heart and make each year a little bit easier. Have faith that things will get better! And remember - you are not alone in feeling this way. There are people who care about you and want to help. Reach out to them and take the time to enjoy the little things!
  9. Keep busy: Frankly, it sucks when your kids are with your ex and you have nothing to do, so it's important to fill your time with activities and events that will help keep your focus on the good. Use that time for yourself and do more of what makes you happy. Binge watch a new favorite show, get lost in a good book, or take up a new hobby. Be grateful for what’s ahead of you as you past what was. 
  10. Seek support: If you feel like your emotions are too overwhelming to handle, seek out professional help from a therapist or coach. You can also share how you're feeling in a private group setting, like Women Living Well After Divorce. It's important to talk through your feelings and get the support that you need to make it through this transition period in your life.

Above all else, remember that you are not alone, and that this holiday season will soon pass. By following these steps, you can make it through the holidays after a divorce. Don't be afraid to reach out for help if needed and remember that things will eventually get better. You got this!

Cheers to a joyful and happy 2023!


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