The holidays are perhaps one of the most stressful times of the year for many people. With the added stress of a looming divorce, the “happiest time of the year” can be downright miserable for some. However, there are some basic principles one can follow to make it easier getting through the holidays.
1) Plan Ahead. One of the first things you want to do is to plan out the holiday season. Plan what you are going to do and when. If you have children, make sure you plan how you are going to celebrate with them and when. Let them know what the plans are. In addition, plan out activities for you to do either with family and friends or by yourself. Making a schedule of activities and events will help you feel a little more in control and will help distract you from the day to day.
2) Reconnect – The holidays provide a good time to reconnect with family and friends that you may have lost touch of over the year/years. This will allow you to build up your support network on which you can rely on when you are feeling isolated, lonely or depressed.
3) Take Care of Yourself – Make sure you are getting enough sleep and exercise. It has been proven that exercise and sleep help to reduce stress. While the holidays are a time to enjoy foods and treats don’t overindulge.
4) Go to Church – In addition to providing a support network, it can help you redirect your focus from the societal expectations of the holiday season to the real meaning of Christmas.
5) Volunteer – Take some time to volunteer at your church or local charity. Helping the less fortunate may help give you a unique perspective on the challenges you are facing in your life.
6) Take One Day at a Time -It will get easier, it will get better, it will hurt less. Right now just concentrate on one day at a time. If things get overwhelming or you get anxious depressed or stuck, get professional help.