Divorcing is an unsettling process that can make you melancholy. Having it happen close to or during the holiday season seems to intensify those sad feelings. These special, memory-making occasions are linked with notions of joyful togetherness, a hint of romance, kids and parents nestling contentedly around a roaring fireplace, perhaps while observing the wintertime festivities with family and friends – you get the picture.
Reality can be achingly different, however. When a couple says their formal farewell, feelings can be raw, the children may be out of sorts and unresolved issues from the marriage can linger long after the legal proceedings are finalized. Who can act celebratory under such trying circumstances? Believe it or not, it can be done. It may require an overhaul of your past thinking, the founding of new traditions and discarding of old ones, plus some fortitude, creativity, flexibility and determination. But take heart!
Steps to post-divorce holiday happiness
Maybe you won’t feel quite as upbeat as you did in previous years. But the holidays don’t have to be emotional torture, even in light of your present situation.
People who have traveled this road successfully offer some tips:
- There is so much humanitarian need of all kinds throughout the year, especially during the holidays. Volunteer for an organization whose purpose you are passionate about.
- If you feel more at ease not indulging in the holidays this year, skip them. Don’t compel yourself to join in.
- Instead of mourning the way things were, do them your own unique way this year. Create new customs just for yourself.
- Maybe you would rather opt out of social activities you usually share with others. That’s okay. Gently inform people. Chances are they’ll understand and back you up.
It can also help to surround yourself with caring people. You don’t have to feign a stoic attitude. Find the people who are concerned about you and who have your well-being at heart. They can lift your spirits now, when you need it most. They can also support you as you consider the legal steps you’ll need to take in your divorce.