Getting Through the Holidays During Divorce
The Holidays are coming. Yes, it’s that time of the year again and people are starting to fill every street corner and mall, and the season feels nostalgic everywhere you turn.
The holiday season is also the hardest to get through during or after a divorce. With everyone else around you meeting up for coffee, exchanging gifts, and party after party, it is inevitable to feel lonely and sad. It is tough, but it is not impossible to get through these moments.
Getting through a divorce, whether it is just recent or a few years past, can leave you feeling emotionally vulnerable, and worried about finances. And the holidays just amplify these feelings and worries.
Here are some tips to help you navigate the holiday season and keep focused on things that matter:
Remember Your Feelings are Valid: Initially, you might repress your emotions and avoid feeling the way you do. However, you must acknowledge your heart: why it hurts, and why you do not feel okay. The only way to get through something is to experience it and get through it.
Build Boundaries and Take Control: The holidays are when we most likely spend time with our family and friends. Sometimes, it can’t be helped that specific issues are brought up over the dinner table.
If you are well aware that you are still sensitive about certain topics, approach your friends and relatives in advance and tell them what you do not want to talk about while enjoying the holidays with them.
It is also a prudent way to protect the kids from a potentially uncomfortable situation as well.
Stay in the Now: Nostalgia hits particularly hard during the holidays, with warm memories crowding out everything else, even bad times, and before you know it, you are feeling sad and lost.
It is important to keep in mind that you have a new life of adventure in front of you and exciting new times ahead.
It is important to keep in mind that you have a life of adventure in front of you. And new good times.
Establish New Traditions: One of the reasons that holidays feel nostalgic is the sense of familiarity. However, since it happens yearly, it can also be a reminder of what once was.
Establish new traditions like trying out new dishes, something that you haven’t cooked in the past. You may also visit places you have never been to or pay a visit to other family relatives and friends you haven’t seen in ages. If you have children, pick a new activity as a new tradition to do with them.
Volunteer or Sponsor a New Charity: One of the things you can do to create new traditions is to volunteer or do charity work during the holidays. If you have kids, it can also be a great way to show them how to give back.
No matter how bad your kids think you have it, there is always someone who is worse. Teach them to be thankful for everything they do have!
Surround Yourself with Family and Friends: It is understandable if you don’t feel social or festive this holiday time. Divorce is nothing to celebrate. But isolating yourself doesn’t help you either.
Make social plans with a few loved ones you feel comfortable with; the ones you can be your genuine self with and soak up the love coming your way.
Think of the Kids: You may have the urge to “cancel” the holidays, but it is not that easy to do so if you have kids. You do not necessarily need to fake it for them. You just have to make things a little familiar and bright enough for them to feel the ambiance of the holidays. Do not forget that they are also going through these changes and transitions in their lives too.
Of course, one of the best things you can do to have a better mindset in dealing with all the pain of divorce is to keep in mind that it will get better; that it will get easier, but it will just take time. Here are some mental tips to help:
It is not always about you: The kids still need to experience the holidays no matter what. If they want to spend some time with the other parent, you can’t take that away from them.
Love means more than money: It is the time for giving gifts, but your children will understand if you can’t buy them the most expensive ones. Now that you are going through a divorce, there will be financial repercussions. Splurging on the holidays might not be ideal.
By giving them your time and attention your children will feel loved and supported, and that’s the best gift of all!
Coordinate with the other parent: It might be hard for you to communicate with your ex. However, knowing the when and how of the plans with your kids will save both parties frustration and disappointment.
Celebrate with the other parent: If you have just started the divorce process, and you have not talked to the kids about the arrangements yet, you may even consider celebrating with the children’s other parent. It may be awkward, but communicating will help you get through it.
Taking all these things into consideration may help you get through your divorce during the holidays. Have a mindset of gratitude and create some new memories with your children.
The holidays are also a tempting time to spend money. But, think of the setbacks it will do to your financial situation after the occasion. Can you afford more credit card debt? Are you prepared enough for the years to come?
Make smart financial choices this season, and if you need further guidance with your divorce planning, then contact us today.
Take Control of Your Future
When you consider divorce, or if you know someone who is contemplating divorce, one of the biggest realities for those in the divorce process is the financial settlement and financial analysis post-divorce. Get the assistance of Kimberly Surber, a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst®.
Kimberly provides step-by-step guidance on matters related to divorce. With a wide range of experience and expertise related to divorce issues, Kimberly will simplify the process and provide much-needed clarity in areas such as long-term tax consequences, asset, and debt analysis, dividing pension plans, continued health care coverage, stock option elections, protecting support with life insurance, and much more.
This information is not intended to be a substitute for seeking legal advice from an attorney. For legal or tax advice please seek the services of a qualified attorney and/or qualified tax professional.