Coping with Divorce at Christmas

Christmas can be both stressful and rewarding. Typically, the festive period ids meant to be a time where family, friends and loved ones unite and are fully appreciated throughout the holiday season. However the stress involved with organising such a date can be immense. Presents need to be purchased, food needs to be cooked and the home needs decorating. The pressure involved in ‘getting it right’ is huge and, sometimes, personal preferences and desires can take a back seat.

Going through a divorce is an exhausting and gruelling process for anyone and can sometimes take months, even years in some cases. For a long period of time it will be the only thing on your mind so the thought of Christmas cheer doesn’t sound too appealing. However, there are ways of making this Christmas easier for both you and your family:

Relax

Be careful not to overload on alcohol and food over the festive period. Although it is traditional for families to drink, be aware of your mind set and mood. It is important to look after yourself mentally as well as physically and avoid situations where you may regret your behaviour and outbursts in the morning. By taking it easy, you may even find that you enjoy Christmas time.

Don’t kid yourself

Don’t pressure yourself into creating the perfect Christmas. There’s no such thing as perfect and you can’t be expected to entertain an exaggerated ideal. Try not to cling onto family traditions. Life changes, people change and circumstances change. It is important not to overwhelm yourself with others expectations. As long as everyone’s together, does it really matter that you made the wrong stuffing?

Don’t do it all yourself

Don’t feel like you’re in this alone. Christmas is the time when families rally around to help each other but the hardest thing can be asking for it. Invite close and trusted friends around for a chat, ask family members for help with the decorating. You may even find that they want to help. By spending time with the people who truly care for you, confidence can be restored, both in yourself and your future.

Schedule

Plan your Christmas Eve, day and Boxing Day well ahead. This way you won’t be left lonely and at a loose end. By making arrangements, you are forced to keep busy and be reminded of the great support group you have around you.

Put the children first

Make sure the children are having a good time and are happy with the arrangements. It is important to remember that your kids are also living through the same ordeal. Make plans well ahead of time regarding who will spend what part of what day with the children. By remaining calm and collective with your ex in front of the kids will also make them see that this arrangement can work. If your children have a smile on their face, it won’t be long till you have as well.

This is a guest post by Nicola Winters on behalf of Panonne, the divorce solicitors and family law specialists and family law specialists.

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