No one will deny that the holiday season is a challenging time. The past two years, in particular, have seen anxieties ramp up due to a continuing pandemic where loved ones stay away from big gatherings. A recent divorce of a longtime split between couples combined with the “hustle and bustle” of late 2021 and early 2022 makes for the perfect storm of stress.
While specific de-stressing steps can’t turn back the clock, it can make the holidays a bit more palatable, if not outright enjoyable.
A popular feature on social media sites is the pages that show “on this day” memories. However, it can also serve as a reminder of days gone by. Combining posts and pictures of your past with current ones where friends and family may be living the life you want can only bring you down.
Staying away from Twitter and Facebook during an emotionally-charged time can help manage stress and help you to look forward, not backward.
Get out and about
The end of a marriage can create isolation. Perhaps your ex’s family wants nothing to do with you, or your own loved ones are judging you. In those situations, picking and choosing the people you enjoy being around is the optimal solution.
Calling or texting a friend or close family member can prevent the natural instinct towards isolating yourself during a holiday season that is about spending time with friends and family.
Spell out boundaries
Avoiding awkward conversations starts with proactive steps in establishing boundaries. Be clear about what you want to talk about and the topics you would like to avoid. Should someone overreach, politely inform them that there is nothing to say and change the subject.
Invitations to parties where you know that one or more guests will be persistent in their own form of “interrogation” can be easily sidestepped with an RSVP in the resounding negative.
Focus on children
Kids look forward to the holiday season, even those who are struggling along with their parents over a recent divorce. Focusing on them can be a practical and helpful diversion for everyone involved.
Establishing a Christmastime co-parenting plan well before the holidays begin can go a long way towards having a happy holiday season.
A life-changing time can actually be an opportunity to create new traditions for you and your children. That starts with removing the obstacles and clearing a path towards happiness.