Divorces are unsettling for the parties year-round, but over the holidays it can feel especially brutal. Whether you have children, are childless or your children are now adults, it is imperative to practice good self-care at these times.
What that means can be different things to different people. Below are some ideas for maintaining self-care when divorcing over the winter holidays.
1. Free yourself by forgiving
Bearing a load of animosity, anger and other negative emotions against your ex-spouse harms only you. Letting go of that burden by forgiving your ex the transgressions that contributed to the end of your marriage benefits you as well. It also cracks the door open to a future civil relationship with them when your paths must cross.
2. Don’t engage in harmful behaviors
Drinking too much, taking drugs or overeating are all things that can harm you. Especially if you have children, you want to avoid any negative actions that could jeopardize your custody rights or your health in general. Find healthier ways to blow off steam this holiday season.
3. Set appropriate boundaries
If you are still in love with your ex, interacting with them can be excruciating. This is even more true if your ex-spouse has moved on romantically. Keep your contact with them focused on the children or any other pertinent topics, e.g., your property division.
4. Begin new holiday traditions
Trying to do the same things you did together as a couple or family can be too painful. So, find new holiday fun whether you have the kids with you or not. Take a cruise, head down to the Keys or visit friends and family who live out of state.
5. Ensure your own safety
If your soon-to-be ex has ever been violent with you in the past, you could be at risk now. Learn what you need to do to get a restraining order barring any contact between the two of you. It might not feel like it right now, but you can and will survive your divorce.