6 Steps For Handling the Holidays

Young happy man having video call over laptop and toasting with Champagne while celebrating Christmas alone at home.

As the holiday season rolls around, many people scramble to get themselves prepared. There are events to attend, family gatherings, meals to plan, and surprises in store for children. Hectic schedules like this don’t offer a lot of time to think about what is happening in your life. However, sometimes things happen that alter the trajectory of your holiday season with family.

Divorce and dealing with all that comes along with that process is a huge stressor. Mix that with the holiday season, and well, it can be challenging to handle everything that is presented before you. If it is your first holiday after divorce, you might find yourself wondering how you can move forward with your life during this time of year.

Horton & Associates, LLC can help you navigate through your holiday season. There are steps to take to encourage a positive outlook on this time of year.

1. Rally Support

When experiencing tough emotions, it is easy to self isolate and avoid others. You may feel as though others won’t understand how you feel or are a burden with your emotions. However, it is critical that you have people around you that can provide the necessary support. After navigating divorce, reach out to your family members or friends to gauge their plans for the holidays. If you don’t have children, let them know that you need support and company during the season.

If you have children and they are with you at some point over the holidays, you can still involve them with your support system. You could spend the day at their grandparent’s house or bring them along to kid-friendly events and activities.

2. Process Emotions

As the holiday season approaches and the days count down, do some necessary emotional processing. For example, you can take time to seek comfort from a therapist or support group. Your support systems, such as friends and family, can also provide you with a space to vent pent-up negative feelings as well. If you feel you cannot reach out to anyone, consider journaling or writing out your emotions.

Avoid pushing your emotions down. With the added stress of the holiday season, it can contribute to an explosion of feelings. This could cause you to place your emotions onto someone else inappropriately.

3. Physical Activity

With additional pent-up emotions and feelings, it is crucial to find healthy ways to get rid of excess energy. Exercise of any type has been shown to improve an individual’s mental well-being, decreasing stress, anxiety, and feelings of depression. The type of exercise you engage in does not matter if it is manageable and brings you joy. However, when experiencing strong emotions, it may be challenging to get a start on physical activity.

Start by setting small, achievable goals for yourself. For example, you could just take a walk around your street, follow an online stretching routine, or dance in the living room. These are all simple forms of exercise that can aid in creating a positive mindset.

4. Create New Habits

Individuals typically get into a set routine around the holiday season. Knowing what steps to take next can be challenging when you no longer have these same habits or routines available. View this as an opportunity to create new practices for the holidays, shifting negative thoughts into a positive way of thinking.

If you have kids, consider this as a perfect time to get them involved. Survey what activities they would like to participate in. For example, you could start taking them to light shows or institute PJs and hot chocolate nights.

5. Stay Present

Divorce is a time and thought-consuming process. During the holidays, you might find your mind wandering, thinking about everything you have experienced. When your mind wanders, you might find it more difficult to remain present in the moment, preventing you from enjoying friends, family, and making happy memories.

To stay present, ground yourself in the moment. Look around you and actively appreciate what is offered to you. If you have children, stay engaged with their holiday experience. Focus on what will make them happy.

6. Change Your Outlook

These steps can do a lot in changing your outlook for this time of year after a divorce. Place your energy into things that will make positive changes in your life. By having a support system, processing emotions, and engaging in beneficial habits, you can change the way you view this time of year.

Horton & Associates, LLC: We Can Help

At Horton & Associates, LLC we understand how difficult the divorce process can be. That’s why we provided steps to facing the holiday season after this challenging time. If you feel as though you need additional support and representation, know that our team is here to help.