Are you experiencing your first holidays since your divorce started?
High expectations for the Holiday Season along with the uncertainty about what the New Year will bring often combine to create frustration and pressure to make Christmas even better than the way you celebrated it before the divorce began. However, this is usually a recipe for disaster. The huge emotional drain of energy you are experiencing during your divorce along with too much holiday activity can lead to exhaustion and blaming yourself that things are not going as you had planned.
On the other hand, maybe you would just like to cancel the holidays this year and not even deal with it. Although this idea may hold a lot of appeal, burying our feelings of loneliness, envy and anxiety often leads to even greater levels of anxiety and depression. Suppressing our strongest emotions can cause harmful effects to both our emotional and physical well-being.
One strategy that can help is to reassess what our expectations are for the season. Adjusting our expectations to align with our new reality can ease the unreasonable pressures we put upon ourselves. Instead of following the same holiday traditions we did before the divorce started, it helps to start thinking of new and simpler ways to experience our holidays. If you have children, this is a great time to have a heart-to- heart talk with them about their concerns and come up with new and easier ideas so that you can enjoy your time together.