Radical ways to care for yourself during the holidays when you are going through divorce
What could be more difficult than navigating the holidays when you no longer have a partner by your side? Perhaps, if you have children, they might not even be with you on what you consider the most special of days. Although it may seem unlikely there is anything you can do but hide under a rock until the New Year arrives when going through or just after divorce, there is another path.
1. First, recognize this time will be different and, likely, include sadness. But don’t view past holidays before separation or divorce with rose-colored glasses. The confluence of family, friends and lots of pressure for perfect gifts may have made you a little despondent, or even angry, in years past too. Now, of course, it’s different, and you perhaps feels more isolated or even a loss of identity while going through divorce. But different can be good if you make the decision to create a mindset to take care of you. The advantage, this year, may be that you have some time to yourself to decide what you want and need, whether it’s time to be alone or surrounded by people you love. But how? Your budget may be tight and your spirits low. Recognize your mood and take action!
2.Do you love bubble baths but never have time for them when the kids are home? That’s a low cost way to indulge. If you want to splurge a little, try this bubble bath to add to the fun. And maybe light a candle (or three) too.
3.And, btw, let’s not forget the pleasure you may need. Even if you aren’t ready to date, quite yet, there are ways to show yourself self-care. After all, if you don’t take of you, it may not happen at all right now. You are a consenting adult and deserve it! How you treat yourself now will set the tone for your next steps. Close the blinds and make a date with yourself. This respite may allow you to face the future with renewed strength and sense of purpose. Until you know it is ok, take steps in line with acting as though it will be.
4.After the bath, think about next moves in these comfy sweats and achingly cozy cashmere hoodie. Take a walk if you can and contemplate options as you soak in any nature you can find. Let your mind wander or simply breathe in what you see. Adding a gentle yoga or meditation class right now may make you feel more centered and calm. And it may be comforting to watch a favorite movie from your past that reminds you your life is more than just this moment and that choices, and surprises, await.
5.When it’s time to eat, think of what you most enjoy rather than your children or former partner’s preferences. You may want to bake or buy a few of these indulgences for yourself and maybe have a few inexpensive gift items on hand too. Once you’ve done the work of you, make the plans you choose: when to be with company and what time to spend alone. With a renewed sense of what matters to you, make plans accordingly!
The point is to be good to yourself during the holidays and remember that what you need, during or after divorce, matters more than ever right now. If you have children, recognizing what you enjoy, who you are and want to be now while showing up for them as that person will give them the best gift of the holiday season. Showing your children and yourself that you can cope with change, even become a bit stronger and more resilient in the process, will set a powerful example for them and you well into the future.
If you are ready to take care of yourself and participate in a community of liked-minded people, join us at Dear Divorce Coach.