No matter how confident you are post-divorce, the holidays can feel like a slap in the face. The family gatherings, traditions, and even just receiving holiday cards from your married friends and family can sting.
Don’t let the holidays set you back. One of the few good things about getting past a divorce in 2020 is that there will be no (or hopefully much less) intimidating holiday parties seeing your married friends you may have established alongside your ex. We can thank the pandemic for some breathing room.
Whether you’re a man, woman, have young or old children, partnerless, or seeing someone new here are some tips on getting through the holidays:
Plan ahead. If you have kids, talk to your ex ahead of time about who gets them so you can emotionally prepare and seek out alternative plans if needed. If they’re not with you, will you want to video call with the kids? Schedule a time that’s agreed upon by everyone. Such actions prevent last-minute arguments and unexpected emotions. Decide who you will spend the holidays with or if you’ll be going it solo. There are probably other divorced or single groups in your area on meetup.com too. Many people are creating virtual holiday calls/ chats or small gatherings with a trusted few. Start making connections and plans now. The unexpected will blindside you with emotions and unfulfilled expectations.
Connect with the people that matter and limit your social media. Nothing is more self-sabotaging than scrolling through your feeds and seeing happy families and couples. (Reminder: it’s all bullshit anyway. No one is nearly as happy as they appear there. You know that.) Take the time to call or spend time with the people that matter and don’t accept shitty people just to avoid loneliness.
If you’re religious, seek out a service (whether it’s in person or online.) It’ll likely help you center your perspective on the holidays and help instill an attitude of gratitude. You made it out of a shitty relationship, and that’s something to be grateful for. Although, it can be difficult at times, try to remember what the holidays are all about.
Take care of yourself and do something for your confidence. Don’t numb your pain with drinks or food. You WILL regret it and feel even worse. You deserve holiday joy. Gift yourself something you’ve always wanted,or take the time to enjoy some of your favorite holiday activities. If you don’t feel comfortable going out then create your own fun by hosting your own holiday party with all of your favorite people.
Don’t give up on romance. If you’re seeing someone new, the first holiday season together can be stressful. Be sure you feel your best in the case of meeting new family and friends for the first time or even getting intimate. Performance anxiety with a new partner post-divorce is REAL, so don’t let bedroom-related difficulties ruin your night. Men may want to reach for an ed option like sildenafil if they find themselves struggling in the bedroom. While women may want to replace any undergarments that hold special meaning with new comfy lingerie that makes them feel good. Remember- prepare!
Create new traditions. Don’t try and stick to the old ones you associate with your ex. You are living a new life- act like it! You can choose how you celebrate now. Need ideas? Bake elaborate cookies. Volunteer. Go on a hike/ walk. Solve a puzzle. Explore some holiday crafts. Do a DIY spa day. You get it…
Accept what is and that you’re doing the best you can. It will get easier with time. Holidays are always a time for reflection and when your divorce is new you’ll experience those flashbacks all the time, but as time goes on you’ll create new memories, meet new (and better) people, and maybe even enjoy and look forward to the holiday season.