The holiday season is upon us, and it used to be a time of joy and love but after divorce, especially a fresh divorce, it is a time of sadness, loneliness, and despair. I wish I could tell you how to get rid of the feelings you are having, but I am still trying to figure it out for myself. Coping with holidays after the divorce has been difficult for me especially since my ex-left 5 days before Christmas, but I can say that it does get easier over time.
I can also say that there are things that you can do to help manage the stress and loneliness of the holidays. For starters, if you have family that you can visit then consider doing so. It may not take away the loneliness completely, but it can help. If you find yourself alone you can reach out via the phone and contact people that are important to you – the key is to remember that you are not alone. There are countless people feeling the same way as you are, consider seeking them out.
If you are going to spend the holiday alone take super good care of yourself. Pamper yourself with a couple of nice things. I like to take a long hot shower and dress up a bit, even though I know I am not going out. I cook myself a nice meal and watch a movie or two or three. I am grateful I have a day off, and I use it to kick my feet up and relax!
Another great way to alleviate the stress and loneliness of the holidays is to volunteer somewhere. There are plenty of opportunities; your church, veteran’s center, and homeless shelters are all good places to check out.
For those with children, I must say this… It is even harder, especially when the child is with the other parent. I think I struggle with this the most and I have yet to completely overcome my feelings when I am not with my daughter. But we must all remember that the holidays will pass, we will survive, and life goes on. We simply need to press on and always remember that God is still with us even when we feel the most alone.