It’s that time again…the holidays are quickly approaching and this season can be a difficult time for those who have gone through a divorce. However, the holiday blues don’t just occur in people who have been divorced. Death, financial hardship, and distance from loved ones can all contribute to the holiday blues. For a long time I dreaded the holidays and couldn’t wait until they were over, but that was before I learned how to deal with the stress the holiday season can bring.
Holiday Blues Related to Divorce
- Memories both good and bad
- Split custody of the children
- Estrangement from family (ex’s and maybe your own)
- Dealing with blended families
- Jealousy, self-pity and bitterness
- Feeling like you no longer have a family
- Poor self-esteem
Tips for Dealing with the Holiday Blues after Divorce
- Plan ahead. If you know you are going to feel down during the holidays, consider taking a vacation to a warm and exotic destination or make arrangements to visit a loved one or close friend. Schedule a few days to work on a favorite hobby or a project you have been postponing.
- Know that you will get through this time. This too shall pass and when it does so will the blues.
- Get support. You are not alone in your feelings. A lot of people get depressed during the holidays. Seek companionship by getting involved in a support group or volunteer for a community group.
- Create new traditions by trying new things, eating different foods and planning novel activities.
- Help the needy. When you reach out to others, you remove the focus from yourself. There is nothing that can make a person feel better than helping out someone in need.
- Avoid conflict with the ex and family. This is not the time to open old wounds and hash things out.
- Create your happiness. Many people believe that happiness is measured by the things they have and it is beyond their reach because of what is going on in their life. Happiness can be found by making a conscious decision to choose to be happy. Write down ten positive items in your life and focus on those rather than the negative. Recognize that your current circumstances are a temporary situation and life will get better.