Are There Particular Coping Mechanisms for Getting Through the Holidays After Divorce?
As attorneys who help countless families get through divorce here in Florida each year, we frequently discuss concerns that clients have about getting through the holidays, in particular, during and after divorce. One of the main concerns we specifically hear about from parents is what to do about old family traditions, and whether they should be continued, adjusted, or completely replaced with new traditions in order to help everyone move on.
For a number of clients, starting new traditions – for example, ordering a fake Christmas tree and putting it together with the kids instead of going to cut down a tree – allows families to have something new and refreshing to do together, where they could find joy and comfort in the newness.
For some, being left with more time on their hands, on their own, if their children now split their time between households, can be daunting. One option is to set up an event with other family or friends and filling up the time with activities of one’s own. For some, this leaves them feeling more refreshed than when they were married and had to handle child care around the clock as well as getting ready for the holidays.
A number of experts have put forth suggested proactive tips on how to get through your first holiday as a single person and/or parent. Below, we discuss some of these tips:
Getting Input from The Kids
For many parents, involving their children in the decision-making process is helpful in coming up with plans or the holiday season. Whether the holiday is being celebrated with each parent on different days, or the one day is split in half, it can be helpful to prioritize taking into account how the child will react and avoiding conflict when possible.
Scheduling in Private
In addition, having any discussions that need to be had with your ex in private – perhaps by phone or in person – helps prevent the possibility of projecting negative feelings onto your child. If this means securing some form of support for yourself in order to get through any negativity that might come up as a result, that’s also an option.
Self-Care & Opening Up to Others in Your Life
Also remember to take care of yourself. This is a task that can be hard for any parent, let alone one that is newly divorced during the holiday season. Surrounding yourself with family and friends, getting plenty of rest, and engaging in any activities that make you happy is very important. Sometimes this also means being proactive about setting up a get-together with others instead of waiting for them to contact you.
While this is easier said than done, a number of experts also suggest working to be thankful for what you have and keeping a positive outlook when possible, as this can allow divorced individuals to focus their energy on healing.
Speak with A Divorce Attorney Who Is On Your Side
Know that having space from a difficult situation will be helpful, and having a dedicated attorney working by your side can help you feel like you’ve got that support when you need it. Contact our experienced Orlando divorce attorneys at Greater Orlando Family Law today to find out about our services, and have a happy holiday!