While often considered a joyous and happy time of year, the holiday season can be a difficult time for individuals who are going through or who were recently separated or divorced. This is often especially true when shared children are involved. For individuals in facing this situation, it’s wise to take steps to mentally and emotionally prepare for the holiday season.
Many parents frequently put aside their own needs to attend to those of their children. While in some circumstances this is appropriate, failing to provide for one’s own emotional health can have serious and far-reaching consequences.
Divorce often stirs up many negative emotions and it’s important to acknowledge and address emotions like stress, anxiety, anger and sadness. Failing to do so can negatively impact an individual’s mental, emotional and even physical health. Getting in tune with one’s feelings, getting plenty of sleep and exercise and spending time with friends are all healthy ways to cope with negative emotions.
For divorcing or divorced parents, taking time to focus on one’s own needs will also benefit one’s child. A parent who is in touch with his or her feelings is better able to provide a child with the attention and emotional support he or she needs.
When it comes to divorce, at times, even the most well-adjusted individual is bound to feel annoyed, angry or resentful towards an ex-spouse. However, for one’s own sanity and wellbeing, it’s wise to avoid arguing or any form of conflict during what may already be a difficult time of the year.
Staying positive and resolving not to allow an ex to push one’s buttons is incredibly empowering and will benefit an individual and his or her children as new holiday memories and traditions are made.
Source: The Huffington Post, “The 4 Rules of Thumb for Divorced Parents to Best Handle the Holidays Season,” Michelle Rozen, Nov. 6, 2014