Newly Divorced? A Guide to Avoiding Loneliness During the Holiday Season

Celebrating holidays when you are newly divorced can be quite a stressful time — but it doesn’t have to be. If you are without your children or family at a time when you traditionally celebrated the holidays with them, it can be a sad and lonely experience for you. Who says you can only have fun by following the traditional route or by being married? If you find yourself alone, you can still make the most of this holiday season and enjoy it on your own terms.

Here is a guide to help you avoid loneliness during the holidays.

Create new traditions. If the old traditions remind you of old days, let them go. Instead of re-creating the past, focus on creating a positive future. Throw a party, and invite your friends and family.

Take care of yourself. Physically and emotionally, both. Avoid drowning your sorrows by consuming too much alcohol or food. Over-indulging in anything especially when you are sad or worried is never a smart move.

Pamper yourself. Go for a manicure or a spa, buy a DVD, catch up on your favorite hobby. Pamper yourself the way you would want your good friend or your family member to be pampered.

Plan ahead. If you think you are going to be all by yourself, find an interesting activity or a place to travel so you can be around other people. It is nice to be surrounded with people, whether from your family or your support network.

Write. Plan how you would like to see your life post-divorce and write down the things you need to do to get there. Start doing those things now. Just keep in mind to stay in control while writing these things that you need to do.

Make use of alone time. Use your alone time do the things you’ve been putting off. Catch up on sleep, read that great book that’s been sitting on the shelf for weeks or months, call a friend you’ve been planning to meet from a long time – anything that gives you ‘me’ time.

Do something for your children. Continue making the holidays special for your children. Have them involved in developing new traditions. Plan ahead of time how you would want your children to spend their holidays.

Be flexible. If your children are unable to celebrate the holidays with you because they are going to be with their other parent, give them a phone call and wish them a happy holiday. Don’t make the children feel that they have to be with you during this special time. Let them know that you want them to enjoy themselves.

Seek help. If you can’t help feel overwhelmed and vulnerable, speak with a therapist or someone in your support group.

Wishing everyone Happy Holidays!