Don't Let Divorce Steal Your Holiday Cheer

For the newly divorced or recently separated, the holidays may be a depressing time, especially if you are spending them without your kids. But even though your family may not all be together on the actual holiday, it does not mean the holiday season will be lost, or cannot be something special. Treasure the memories and family traditions you had in the past, and focus on making new traditions that are just as joyful; to help hedge out the holiday blues you need to be proactive.

Create New Traditions. Brainstorm with your children to create new holiday traditions. No longer driven by the expectations of your former spouse, you can decide the best way to spend the holidays. Your visitation schedule may not even make your past traditions possible so expand the options for enjoying the holiday season. Have your own parade of lights with stops for hot chocolate and cookies. Have a bake night, creating cookies to give as gifts to friends and family members. Have a movie marathon night watching all your favorite holiday flicks. Focus on ways to make the holidays uniquely yours.

Spread Some Holiday Cheer. Do not spend the holidays alone. Plan ahead and reach out to family and friends to spend the holidays with you. Surround yourself with loved ones to remind you of the special people in your life and distract yourself from whatever negative feelings you may be having. You won’t feel lonely surrounded by the people who love you.

Receive By Giving. Volunteering your time for a local charity, food bank or homeless shelter can be rewarding and help give get some valuable perspective. Select a family to help over the holidays to give the holidays a positive focus. Helping others can lift your spirits and lessen any feelings of sadness.

Take The Opportunity To Relax. Holidays tend to be some of the most stressful times of the year, with holiday shopping, dinner plans and decorating. Take some time during the holidays to relax and spend time on you. Treat yourself to a nice meal, take a bath and enjoy the silence.

Don't Bust The Budget. One of the biggest mistakes made by divorcing or newly divorced parents is overspending for the holidays. Give the gifts of your time and attention rather than trying to buy your children's affection and favor with expensive gifts. Trying to outspend your former spouse can leave you in debt and feeling even more stressed. The quality time you spend with your children will give the holiday season more real meaning and be more fulfilling for you and your children.

As you prepare for the holiday season, set realistic expectations. You may still be struggling with the sense of loss and uncertainty than can go along with divorce. Don't be afraid to reach out to the supportive people in your life and let them know specifically what you need from them from listening to their companionship. Empowering yourself by creating your own traditions and tapping into the positive people in your life, cannot only help you cope with the holidays but bring unexpected cheer.

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