Holidays often cause the blues in people who are divorced. Memories of festive, happier times can magnify feelings of loneliness, dread and despair. People that are recently divorced as well as parents who will not be with their children for a special day are particularly vulnerable. However, there is no need to lose hope. Those in broken marriages can do certain things to help get themselves through this time of year while at the same time keeping their spirits up.
Probably the most important thing anyone can do in this situation is to plan ahead. This way a person feels in control rather than allowing the holidays to overwhelm him or her. Reach out to friends, family or colleagues and establish where you are going and what you will do. It may not be the ritual of years past but that is okay, it will simply be something new. And be realistic about expectations. Holidays can be enjoyed without things being picture perfect. In other words, you do not have to try too hard to have fun.
Parents who are going through a rough time because they will be away from the kids can follow some simple steps. Don’t feel guilty, you can’t change what is. Remember that life happens and this is the journey you and your family are on. Think of it this way: Your kids will now have two holiday celebrations instead of one. Use technology to contact the children provided you are on infringing on the other parent’s time. And never criticize the other parent, that is a big downer. Don’t focus on past activities. When you do have the kids, introduce them to a new tradition. Maybe it is something you always wanted to do like take them on a trip to your parents or have them participate in something that was a family tradition from when you were their age.
After a divorce, there is usually less money so do not concentrate too much on gifts but rather focus on what is important. Look at the lights and take in the decorations. Listen to the music. Stuff is just stuff and there is no point in having these days turn into a stressful buying period. Volunteer or just help someone in need. Doing things like that can make you feel good while at the same you are helping make the world a better place. Make it a fun time. You may find yourself appreciating the holidays a lot more once you have a new perspective.