holidays after a divorce

Helpful Tips for Dealing with a Divorce During the Holidays

In case divorce wasn’t painful enough, you’re now having to go through it during the holiday season. Full of sentimental memories, couples walking arm-in-arm, and family traditions that no longer exist, the holiday season is easily one of the most painful times for a newly divorced individual.

The good news is that it does get better—once you get through this first Christmas season, you can breathe a sigh of relief that you are through the worst of it. In the meantime, use these tips to make the holiday season as positive as you can.

Make sure you have the legal aspects of your split covered. The team at Kirk Drennan Law is here to help. Call us at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation now.

Do Your Custody Schedule Early

If your holiday custody schedule isn’t already decided on, make it a priority in the months and weeks leading up to the year’s biggest holidays. The longer you wait, the bigger that knot in your stomach will grow. Have the conversation in a neutral, public place to limit the risk of a fight. If the co-parenting relationship is still adversarial, consider talking about it over email. Once the schedule is settled, you’ll be amazed at how much lighter you feel.

Focus on Creating New Holiday Traditions with Your Child

The loss of family traditions stings, so try to connect with your child by finding new holiday traditions you can do together. While this doesn’t replace what you have both lost, it does give you a chance to find a new normal. Not sure where to start? Look for local holiday events on social media, set up annual gatherings with friends who have children in the same age range, or connect with local family members.

Listen to Your Children’s Feelings

As you work to make the holiday season as fun as possible for your little one, don’t forget to spend time acknowledging and working through their pain, too. You can’t cover up their negative feelings with new experiences or gifts.

Those feelings have to be worked through, and if they trust you with those feelings, make some time to chat. If your own feelings are still too raw to provide that support, find a good pediatric therapist in the area to help your child.

Lean on Friends and Family

A lot of people going through divorce pride themselves on going through it on their own. They want to prove that they can stand on their own two feet and come out on the other side stronger. There’s nothing wrong with that, but don’t do it at the expense of your own mental health. Your friends and family know what you’re going through and likely want to help, but don’t know how.

If you’re having an awful night, your ex sent you a verbally abusive voicemail, or you’re struggling at the thought of splitting holidays with your children, turn to someone you love and trust. It’s good for your own mental health and helps you be more present for your children.

Limit Exposure to Old Memories

It’s easy to get caught up in old memories during the holidays. Certain songs or events may trigger these memories, and social media can cause an unintentional backslide. Spend a few minutes going into your social media settings and requesting that it not bring up “on this date” memories with certain people tagged.

While some posts may still slip through, you can save yourself a lot of pain. There will be a time in the years to come to reminisce, but it will be once you’ve healed and you’re able to look back at those times without sadness.

Remember That This, Too, Shall Pass

Don’t put pressure on yourself to make this the best holiday season ever. Do what you can to preserve the holiday magic for your children, but don’t expect yourself to love every moment. That extra pressure can turn an already-rough season into one that’s truly unbearable. Focus on getting through and keep reminding yourself that there will be more opportunities for the Christmas season that you can genuinely enjoy.

Get the Help You Need with Kirk Drennan Law

While divorce is never easy, you can make it easier with the help of the team at Kirk Drennan Law. We’re here to advocate for you and fight for the best possible outcome in every part of your divorce. Set up a consultation with our team now by sending us a message online or calling us at 205-953-1424.

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