Even though many do not often view it as such, divorce is a loss similar in many respects to the loss of a loved one to death. Thus, it is very common for recently divorced individuals to experience emotions often experienced by those who have lost a loved one, such as grief, fear, anger, and resentment. During the holiday, these emotions may become even more prominent because the loss may be more apparent. Below are 5 tips that may be helpful for those coping with divorce during this holiday season.
- Be prepared. Seek the advice of an individual therapists or divorce coach for support during the holiday season. A qualified counselor can help you cultivate coping mechanisms to positively deal with the overwhelming emotions you may experience during the holidays. Specifically, save the phone numbers of your therapist, divorce coach, best friend, pastor, or other close friend or family member, and make a commitment to call someone if negative feelings begin to predominate. Often, speaking with someone who has your best interests at heart will help you refocus your thoughts.
- Visit with friends and family. Getting out and having fun with close friends and relatives will help you resist the feelings of isolation or loneliness you may feel post-divorce.
- Skip the spirits. Distance yourself from drugs and alcohol. Although it may be tempting to rely on these substances to numb any emotional distress, dependence on such substances often triggers greater feelings of depression, and may result in poor decision making.
- Set boundaries.Although family and friends may have your best intentions at heart, only you know what activities and individuals you are able to positively engage. So, don’t let other pressure you into taking on more than you can handle over the holiday season.
- Give back.Sometimes the best catharsis comes from helping others in need. Discovering how you can bring joy to the lives of others may be the best way to experience joy your self during the holiday season.