The holiday season can be a sensitive time for anyone but for those going through divorce, or trying to move on after the process of divorce, it can be even more difficult. Some people struggle with moving on at this time of year due to past hurts, children who need to split time with families during the holiday season, or because of the memories of past holidays that may have been brighter.
Holiday depression can affect anyone – the newly separated or the long time divorcee. Here are some ideas for dealing with holiday depression while going through a divorce.
- Keep it positive- Too often it’s all about our state of mind. When you make the intentional effort to keep it positive, you will find you feel more positive. Instead of dwelling on what you don’t have or on feeling alone, focus on the positives in your life. If you need to, you can write them down as reminders to yourself.
- Plan ahead- Plan for fun holiday times. Don’t leave yourself with a lot of empty hours if you tend to get very depressed. Don’t wait until the last minute to look for ways to enjoy your holiday and remember that you will find peace, joy, and happiness when you seek it with an open heart.
- Don’t be a loner- While you may want to stay cooped up and hidden away, it will be good for you to get out and enjoy the festivities. Spend some time with friends and family. Accept those invitations that come your way and surround yourself with upbeat, positive friends. If you have friends that are downers or only want to talk about your ex, politely decline those invitations. This is not the time to be around people who bring you down.
- Be flexible in traditions- Traditions are what hold a family together and help create special memories that last a lifetime. Divorce can throw a monkey wrench in those traditions but it’s important to be flexible. Just because something isn’t going to be done exactly the same way it was done when you were married does not mean it cannot be done. You just need to create new ways of enjoying those traditions. Celebrations may need to take place on a different day, at a different place, or with different people. This is also the perfect time for creating new traditions that can continue on in the next chapter of your life.
Remember that there is no time limit on grieving your lost relationship. No matter how long you have been separated, it’s normal to still have feelings of loss or longing during the holidays. If you feel like your depression is getting the better of you, don’t be afraid to seek the advice and assistance of a professional. Holiday depression does not have to get you down. Embrace being single and find ways to enjoy yourself this year!