As we walk into the holiday season, we at Ballew Hazen Bryd are conscientious that it isn’t an easy time of year for our clients.  While we recognize that dealing with a divorce is difficult no matter the time of year, dealing with divorce over the holidays is even harder.   It means new traditions, missing traditions you might love, time with family who may or may not be on board with this significant change in your life, and time away from your children.  While it will get easier, the first holiday season either during and/or just following your separation/divorce is by far the hardest.

Here are some tips to help you power through and enjoy your holiday season:

1. Do Something Nice for Yourself-  Over the holidays, we often think more of others than ourselves.  But self-care is important in handling the stress of the divorce and holidays.  So do something nice for yourself… plan a night out with friends, create a spa night at home for yourself (including take-out and Hallmark),  or get a massage/pedicure. I know money can be tight during a divorce, but you don’t have to spend lots of money to do something nice for yourself.

2. Create your “Elevator Speech” for friends and family over the holidays-  Decide how you are going to discuss your divorce before the topic arises. It is important for you to know your audience and be thoughtful about how much it makes sense to share. It’s fair to assume that whatever you do say will get back to your ex, and may be repeated in front of your children. While that may not be the case, it might make you think twice about what you say or how you say it.

3. Celebrate New Traditions – Flexibility is critical, especially if there are children involved. Remember that children want to spend time with both parents and want to create new traditions with you! If you aren’t with your kids on the 25th, plan a “Special Christmas” when you will be. There is no reason to give up anything, just rearrange.  Your children don’t care about when, they just care about enjoying special time with you!  If you don’t have children, sometimes divorce means you are divorcing friends. Remember, you’re in the driver’s seat here, create new traditions with people who support and care for you.

4. Don’t be “Home Alone”-   While the move is a time honored tradition to watch over the holidays, do not bury yourself under the bed covers! With all of the changes you are experiencing right now, reach out to people who care about you and will be supportive. Enjoy the time away from the office/work. Take time to say “YES” to adult time and embrace the time without the responsibility of the normal daily grind.

A little lawyerly advice… Don’t let your emotions get the best of you. It is reasonable to have some emotional ups and downs; you are still in the grieving process. Don’t let your emotions drive you into emotional decision making!  Before speaking with your soon-to-be ex or making decisions that can affect the outcome of your divorce, don’t hesitate reaching out to your attorney to talk with him/her about any thoughts or feelings you are having surrounding the legal aspects of your divorce.

During this season do your best to think about creating your new path, and don’t look back.  Are there activities that you’ve always wanted to try but never had the time? If so, MAKE IT HAPPEN!  Remember that you are not alone during this holiday season, reach out if we can help.

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