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First Holiday Separated? Strategies on How to Cope

While the first holiday after a divorce can be stressful, depressing, and filled with emotions, there are coping mechanisms to get you through the season. With patience, flexibility, and understanding, the true meaning of the holidays can get you through it.

No one likes the idea of spending the holidays all alone. After a divorce, it can be even more complicated, making you angry, sad, depressed, confused, hateful, and even vengeful. Even though your emotions were most likely high throughout the divorce process, there are strategies that can help you cope with the way you feel now.

The holidays are often seen as a centering point for families and friends. However, when you are dealing with a divorce, or a broken relationship, you might often consider “how will I be able to celebrate anything?”

Dealing with Emotions

As challenging as it might be to deal with the distress and heartache, there are effective ways to cope with your emotions and still be able to celebrate the season. In fact, the holiday season can offer a solid ground to help you transcend to the next evolving stage of your life. The holiday season offers reassurance that some things will not change over time. In fact, holidays are about sharing and the understanding of gratitude and love. Even during tragedy, like a divorce or death, we can always reach down to our core to find a deeper, meaningful level to our lives.

By following a few tips, you can move from your anger and depression into a level of celebration. With a little guidance, you and your family can come to realize that a divorce is not the end of something, but the celebration of something new.

The guideline includes:
    • Patience – You need to learn to be patient with yourself and your family. Grieving, even through a divorce, takes time. Soon you will find a deeper connection and learn to live past the divorce. Accept your fears and tears, and learn to enjoy each holiday experience, one at a time.
    • Flexibility – While old traditions are great, it is important to try new things. Being flexible allows you to be creative and to enhance the meaning of the holidays in a new way.
    • Focus on Others – Remember that the holidays are about sharing yourself with others. Changing the focus away from you will minimize your harsh emotions and diminish your anger.
    • Finding the True Meaning – The true meaning of the holidays is not about stuff, or spending. Give the gift of yourself by offering your attention and time.
You can easily find joy and reasons to celebrate while you hold onto the unchangeable, tangible things in your life, like your family and friends.

By Kenny Leigh