8 Tips for Surviving Your First Holiday Post-Divorce

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The Holidays are here and one should give a good college try to enjoy this New Year Season. For all the Women of our World that are starting over in their lives through this time of year, the following tips may offer some solace.

There’s no way to get around it:   Cheer and glad tidings surround you during the holidays, but chances are you don’t feel very festive. In fact, you probably feel more alone than ever, especially if you find yourself at a party surrounded by couples. How can you possibly get through this period with your sanity intact and without getting even more depressed?

Do something totally different your first holiday alone: If you’ve never traveled on a holiday before, travel. Whatever you do, don’t try to revive your old holiday traditions. You’ll just be setting yourself up for heartache.

1. Be Aware of Your Own Personal Expectations

Divorce is a major life change. Your responsibilities have changed, your financial situation has changed, how you spend your free time has changed, etc. Before you do anything, factor in these changes into your daily plans for the holiday season. This will help alleviate stress and eliminate surprises. Make a list and set a budget.

2. Give Yourself Permission to Skip the Holidays

That’s right. Maybe things are just too tough right now and all you want to do is be alone. There’s nothing wrong with that. You can reach out to family and friends explaining that this year is just to emotional for you to engage. There are no rules stating that holiday non-participation is sin.

3. Do Something for Others

You can immerse yourself in charity work. Some suggestions are filling stockings for salvation army children, knitting caps for chemo patients, and even looking into working at a soup kitchen. The extra benefit in doing such work is that you meet new people.

You are also empowering yourself to get up and do something, and not passively waiting for things to happen to you.

4. Decide on the People that You Can Enjoy Holiday With Guilt Free

If you get along with your family, spend the holidays with them. If you don’t get along with your family, spend the holidays with a good friend. You need to be surrounded by people who care for you, won’t pressure you or rag on you, and who are willing to listen when you need to talk.

5. Reach Out to a Single Friend

That first year find a cozier, more intimate situation or arrange to do something that you truly love to do, like skiing or hiking or watching old movies. Maybe you and an old friend can attend one of those swanky buffets that many restaurants host during the season.

6. Control Your Weight and Maintain an Exercise Regimen

Easier said than done, we all know, but there’s no headier feeling than feeling strong and fit. If you begin to eat all those holiday sweets and goodies that people give you, you’ll soon start to feel sluggish and even more depressed. This is the one area in your life where you can maintain some control. Just don’t overdo it. Exercise moderation in all things, including alcohol.

7. Self Care

Self care is top priority at a time like living through a divorce so just don’t spend holidays in a large crowd of strangers or with a group of couples who have invited you as a tag along. There is no sadder feeling than to be alone among strangers when you are feeling so raw, or to be reminded in a group of couples that you are the lone single person.

If you are depressed to the point of inertia, here are the Best Picks for Divorced Women.

8. Family is Always Family

For all those women with children, remember that family always comes first. By being the power of example, you can set out an amicable and reasonable schedule for all children to be able to celebrate with both parents together or separately, if at all possible. Through this process of sharing the kids through this holiday, they learn that family is love.

Mommy and Daddy may not be able to love each other as before, but they both are more than capable of loving their children together even if they are living apart. Always remember that children see everything.

Things Could Be Worse

No matter how bad the break up was, there are plenty of things for which to be thankful. Try to remember that divorce is both an ending and a beginning. Your divorce should not keep you from properly embracing the spirit of the season.

Have a happy and healthy holiday!

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