Getting Through Christmas If You’re Separated or Divorced

Person relaxing with a book at Christmas there are some candles and fairy lights

Getting through Christmas after separation or divorce can be difficult so in this article, we include 10 tips we hope will make it easier.

The festive season, especially Christmas, is often depicted as a time of joy, family togetherness, and celebration. However, for those who are separated or divorced, this time of year brings a unique set of challenges and emotions.

Coping with the changes in family dynamics and adjusting to a new normal can be particularly challenging. But there is hope, it is possible to find moments of joy and create new traditions. Here are some practical tips to navigate the season successfully:

1. Acknowledge Your Emotions
Recognising and accepting the range of emotions you may be experiencing can be really helpful. Whether it’s sadness, anger, or nostalgia, allow yourself to feel these emotions without judgment. It’s okay not to be okay, especially during a time that is traditionally associated with family unity.

2. Seek Support
Don’t hesitate to reach out to friends, family, or a therapist for support. Sharing your feelings and experiences with someone you trust can provide valuable perspective and comfort. If needed, consider joining support groups for individuals going through similar life changes. (Like Restored Lives!)

3. Focus on Self-Care
The festive season can be demanding, and it’s easy to neglect self-care. Take time for yourself to recharge, rejuvenate and avoid burn-out. Whether it’s a day off, a quiet evening with a book, or a walk in nature, prioritise activities that bring you comfort and relaxation.

4. Create New Traditions
You may really miss Christmas traditions from your relationship, creating new ones that align with your current situation. This could be anything from volunteering together as a family, trying out a different type of celebration, or spending quality time with friends and loved ones.

5. Establish Healthy Boundaries
Set clear boundaries to protect your emotional well-being. This may involve limiting contact with certain family members, avoiding sensitive topics, or politely declining invitations that may cause discomfort. It’s important to prioritise your own needs and mental health.

6. Communicate with Your Ex
If you have children, clear and open communication with your ex-spouse is crucial during this busy time of year. Discuss plans, coordinate schedules, and prioritise your children’s well-being. This doesn’t have to be in person, choose a mode of communication that works for you both. Family apps, messaging and emails can help keep unhelpful emotions out of these communications.

7. Try Journalling
Writing down your feelings can help you make sense of everything that is going on. It also creates a safe space to vent and decide how you feel. Grab a notebook and just try writing whatever comes into your mind for 5 minutes and see if it is helpful.

8. Focus on Gratitude
Despite the challenges, take time to reflect on the positive aspects of your life. Expressing gratitude can shift your mindset and help you appreciate the good things, no matter how small, that still exist.

9. Celebrate Your Independence
Use the Christmas season as an opportunity to celebrate your newfound independence and personal growth. Acknowledge the strengths and resilience that have emerged from the challenges you’ve faced. Treat yourself with kindness and compassion.

10. Plan for the Future
Look ahead to the future with optimism. Consider setting goals or making plans for the coming year. Having a sense of purpose and direction can provide a positive focus and help you navigate Christmas.

Remember that healing is a process, and it’s okay to take things one step at a time. Christmas is just one day. By implementing these strategies, you can not only get through Christmas after separation or divorce but also find ways to make the season meaningful and fulfilling in its own unique way.