How To Enjoy The Holidays Even While You're Going Through A Divorce

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What To Do After A Breakup To Have A Happy Holiday Season As You Cope WIth Divorce
Family, Heartbreak

The first holidays after divorce are tough. This is the one time of year when family and spending time with family are emphasized, and it feels more crucial than ever that you have a happy holiday.

And this holiday season, instead of being able to celebrate the whole season with a spouse (and your kids), you’re stuck trying to figure out how to cope with divorce, probably finding it hard to enjoy the holidays.

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Despite how dismal your divorce is making things seem, it is possible to find at least some glimpses of genuine joy this season.

Here's what to do after a breakup to have a great holiday season, even while you’re dealing with divorce:

1. Know that it’s okay for the holidays to be different.

Different doesn’t mean bad or wrong or that your divorce has destroyed the holidays for your kids for the rest of their lives.

Different just means not the same. And the wonderful thing about not being the same is that you can choose to make things even better than they were before.

2. Focus on what’s good … or ignore what your ex is doing for the holidays.

I know it’s tough not comparing how your ex is celebrating the holidays (especially if you have kids) to how you’re celebrating them, but all comparison buys you is misery. Yup, even if you believe your celebrations are superior.

Focus instead on what’s good about what you’re doing — even if you have to dig deep to find the good.

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3. Avoid spending the holidays completely alone.

I get it if you don’t feel very festive this year as you’re in the midst of dealing with divorce, but that doesn’t mean it’s in your best interest to isolate yourself.

We both know the dark places your mind wanders when you’ve got too much time to ruminate about things. So, make it a point to socialize some and connect with people who are important to you.

You’ll be amazed at how spending time with loved ones and/or people who are having fun helps make dealing with divorce over the holidays just a bit easier.

The changes you’ve already made and survived this year as you’re coming to grips with the end of your marriage have been tremendous. The holidays are just another one of the traditions you had as a family that needs adjustment.

And as challenging as this change is, you can find your way through the season by using these three tips.

Will they work miracles and make this holiday season the best ever? I truly hope they do, but chances are that you’ll need to remind yourself of these tips repeatedly as you begin to create your new (or at least revised) holiday traditions.

Making it through your first holidays after divorce will require compassion — for yourself. Being kind to yourself is necessary for dealing with divorce, but over the holidays you need to extend even more gentleness to yourself.

And the best thing is that taking care of you is the most wonderful gift you can give yourself this year.

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Dr. Karen Finn is a divorce coach who works with clients who are struggling with divorce and not sure how to move forward with their lives. You can join her anonymous newsletter group for free advice or schedule a FREE 30-minute conversation with Karen directly in her Time Trade calendar.

This article was originally published at Dr. Karen Finn. Reprinted with permission from the author.