Divorce is not easy to begin with, and when Christmas comes roaring at you with full force, it can be overwhelming. If you experienced a break-up of a significant relationship or a marriage this year and are facing how to deal with your first Christmas as a new single, here are some tips:
- Make new traditions. If you had Christmas traditions as a couple or family, let them go. Take the opportunity to create new traditions. If you have children, involve them in designing new things they can do with you. It can be as simple as baking or visiting Christmas light displays.
- Always attempt to work cooperatively with your ex. I know that most divorced couples do argue, but even if you do, it is best to take a cooperative approach. Try to put aside any judgments you have, especially if children are involved.
- Do not wonder what your ex is doing. Your monkey mind will go crazy if you allow yourself to be curious what your ex is doing over the holidays and who your ex might be spending time with. So ease your mind by making a decision not to spend time thinking about this. Instead, spend time creating your own desired experience.
- If you’re lonely, throw a party! If you’re not getting invited enough gatherings, why not arrange your own gathering? It doesn’t have to be grand, and it could be an opportunity to cultivate new friendships.
- Be good to yourself. Don’t let Christmas stress you out. Simply just ‘be’. Maybe treat yourself to something special, like a massage or doing something meaningful that re-energizes you. Who says Christmas can’t be spent in a bubble bath or reading a book?
- Be mindful. Mindfulness includes being aware of your thoughts and emotions, without judgment of yourself. If you feel sad, lonely, angry, lost, happy, giddy or confused, it’s all OK. Allow yourself to have these emotions – think of emotions as visitors – they come and go and are not permanent. Knowing their impermanence helps you cope.
Enjoy the holiday season. Please make it your own. Create it!