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5 Keys for Surviving the Holidays After Divorce

5 Tips for Getting Through the Holiday Season After Divorce

  • Help Others
  • Stay Flexible
  • Prioritize Children
  • Create New Traditions
  • Accept Others’ Help

Surviving the holidays after divorce can be tough. However, there are steps people can take to make the process less difficult. Below are a few tips for getting through the holiday season after a divorce.

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1. Help Others

One way to make it through the holiday season is by focusing on others. For some, this could mean volunteering at a soup kitchen. However, some people may find that they have neighbors or other acquaintances who are also alone during the holidays and who might appreciate some company. There are numerous other opportunities to volunteer at this time, and it may help distract from the pain of the divorce.

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2. Stay Flexible

Holidays do not have to unfold in a certain way. It’s fine to prioritize self-care and do other things that are not focused on the holiday, whether it’s going to a movie or avoiding the celebration completely. People may also want to stay open to last minute changes of plans because they may find that they no longer want to spend the holidays the way they intended. They should be open to taking whatever steps they need to in order to survive the holidays after a divorce.

3. Prioritize Children

While prioritizing self-care is important, prioritizing children is even more important, and if there are children involved, it is necessary to put them first. An article at CNN suggests making sure all the details are agreed upon in advance, such as where the child will spend the holidays. Parents should try to keep some traditions in place but should not force themselves to spend time together if they cannot do so without fighting. Above all, parents should keep in mind that however difficult it may be for them to survive the holidays after divorce, it is probably even harder for their children.

4. Create New Traditions

Whether or not children are involved, parents may want to think about what kind of new traditions they want to create. It can be painful to do the same things that the person did as a couple or a family without the former spouse. New traditions can be big or small and might involve cooking different food, going to different places or decorating the house differently. The new tradition might be something the ex-spouse particularly disliked and that would not have been possible during the marriage.

5. Accept Others’ Help

Surviving the holidays after a divorce can mean letting others do their part. Friends and families usually do not want loved ones to be alone on the holidays and will invite people who are newly divorced to share in their celebrations. While there are some people who may actually prefer to spend the holidays alone, others may not want to but may hesitate to accept these invitations, feeling they are intruding on someone else’s family time. Newly divorced people should allow themselves to accept others’ help and invitations. In time, spending time with other family members and friends could become a new holiday tradition in itself.

Whether a person is relieved about the end of a marriage or it was not that person’s choice, holidays can still be difficult and disrupted in the first year or two after divorce. However, being flexible, putting children first, making new traditions and being unafraid to lean on family and friends can all be ways of surviving the holidays after divorce.