How to reduce holiday stress during and after divorce

By Cathy Meyer 

Holidays are always stressful and demand so much time and energy, but this can be even more magnified when you have recently gone through a divorce. Some easy to follow tips will make them easier and more enjoyable for you and if you have them, your children.

Here’s How:

  1. Continue your traditions, but simplify them.If one of your traditions is decorating your home, you may find that you can cut back on the amount of decorations you put up this year. Less can lift your spirits just as much and be much less time consuming to put up and remove after the holidays are over.
  2. Let others help.If you normally cook Christmas dinner for family or friends, why not suggest a pot-luck this year, and assign each person a dish to make. You can also make the turkey or ham, for example, and assign others to bring side dishes and desserts.
  3. Don’t spend the holidays alone.Although some people would rather retreat until the holidays are over, if you are recently divorced, it’s probably not a good idea to spend the holidays alone. Accept an invitation from a friend or family member to spend Christmas with them. If no one extends an invitation, mentioning you are planning to spend the holidays alone will usually result in a friend extending an invitation.
  4. Take care of your health.Divorce can cause a huge stress on your mind and body. Facing the holidays can be extremely stressful even under normal circumstances. Combine them both and it becomes a necessity to pay attention to your health. Get rest when you are tired. Don’t skip meals and try to eat a balanced diet. Get your regular exercise. Do some things you enjoy to lift your mood and feed your spirit.zSB(3,3)

    Don’t argue over who your children will spend the holiday with.

  5. Hopefully, visitation has been planned in advanced of the holidays, but if not, don’t let it ruin your holidays by having a big argument over where the children will be. It might be less stressful to move your holiday to the day before or after, so that you can avoid the conflict. Being happy is more important than “winning” and your children will appreciate not being involved in a tug-of-war between the couple.
  6. Give yourself a gift.You’ve gone through a lot and you deserve it. Even if your budget won’t allow for something extravagant, buy yourself something you’ve been wanting, such as a book, new bath products, or flowers. Choose something that is important to you. Treat yourself to a nap, if that’s something you’ve missed and it makes you feel better. Be good to yourself.
  7. Count your blessings.Most people feel much better about their lives when they take the time to sit down and think about what they have in their lives that are important to them. You will feel fortunate to have the good things in your life.
  8. Lean on your faith.Remember the reason for the season. Take some time to nourish your spirit in whatever way has the most meaning for you, whether it’s going to church services, visiting with friends, or taking a walk through the park. Volunteer at a local shelter to serve meals to the homeless, or volunteer to wrap presents for needy children. Helping others takes your mind off your own difficulties.

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