Don't let divorce get you down; find things to be thankful for this
holiday season. The holidays can be a stressful and emotional time for
a lot of people, but for anyone who's recently experienced some type
of loss, like a divorce, this stress and emotion can be amplified. While
Thanksgiving might be a difficult time, it can actually lay the groundwork
for the acceptance, healing and hope needed for you to move forward with
your life. If you're going through a divorce or other loss this holiday
season, try these four tips to help you heal.
1. Accept change and acknowledge the loss.
Integrating the changes involved in holiday celebrations after divorce
becomes easier as years go by, but until then, it is not helpful to pretend
that all is well if you don't really feel that way. Acknowledging
your feelings is a necessary step in the healing process. At the same
time, managing this expression of your feelings and expressions to some
extent, especially in front of children, is important. Some expression
of sadness or frustration is acceptable for children to see, as it gives
them permission to feel and express their feelings as well. Just remember
to not disparage or blame the other parent in front of the children and
not to burden your children with the responsibility of being your caregiver
instead of your child.
2. Accept support.
Whether you celebrate the holidays with friends or family, utilizing them
as resources is critical at this time. Sometimes they don't know what
to do to be helpful, and most will feel not only useful but even grateful
if you reach out and ask specifically for what you need.
3. Be grateful for the things that go right every day that you don't
even realize. Instead of focusing on what is wrong right now, try to realize how much
is going right. An unhappy relationship and marriage is now behind you.
If you think about it, even if the divorce wasn't your choice, you
are better off now than you were in a destructive marriage. You are on
your way to a better life with all the possibilities that can bring, whereas
when you were still together, you were not.
4. Create new Thanksgiving traditions.
One of the hardest things about surviving the holidays post-divorce is
facing the changes in your celebration. If you have always hosted a large
extended family dinner at your house, you might not feel up to it this
year. If you always traveled to your in-laws’, now is your chance
to think of something different that you might enjoy. Instead, think about
getting together with the friends or family who support you and care for you.
Think of the change in your life as an opportunity to make this holiday
your own in a new way that will feel good to you and always remember to
include some expression of what you are thankful for this year. There
is always something to appreciate, no matter how difficult our challenges.
And remember – life never gives us more than we can handle.
If you are in need of an attorney to help you with any problems that may
have arisen since your divorce and would like to discuss your options
with one of our experienced family law attorneys,
contact Owens & Perkins at 480.630.2464 for a complimentary ½ hour consultation.
From all of us at Owens & Perkins, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.