Christmas can be such a tough time when you are separated or divorced. Every advert seems to be about the “ideal” family and the pressure to create the perfect Christmas feels huge, especially if you have children.
Perhaps you are facing your first Christmas alone or without your children for the first time or maybe facing the prospect of having to spend at least part of the day with your ex? Here are some simple tips to help you get through:
1) Take the pressure off yourself and give yourself permission to only do what is manageable.
2) Remember it is just one day, it will pass.
3) Plan to do something different, volunteer for a homeless shelter, organise a friends Christmas and cook something different or book into a hotel for a few days.
4) Create some new traditions – this is great especially if you have children. Create new ways to celebrate that are unconnected to your past to breathe new life into the celebrations and make it feel different in a good way.
5) Get some support – if you have been on the course why not reach out to some of your small group members and arrange to meet up? Talk to friends and family let them know you are finding it tough.
6) Treat yourself with a “to me, from me” Christmas gift – best of all if you can make it something fun for the new year that you can look forward to like tickets for a show or gig, or membership fees for a new group or club.
7) If you start to feel low go back to basics making sure you are looking after yourself in terms of eating healthily, sleeping well and getting some exercise. If you think you are depressed make an appointment to see your GP.
8) Avoid watching romantic films or reading romantic books, they will often make you feel worse.
9) Make positive plans for the new year so you have things to look forward to… like planning a great holiday or taking up a new hobby.
10) Be thankful for and enjoy the small things… like a great cup of coffee or taking time with a favourite book.