The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


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Surviving the Holidays After a Divorce

 Posted on December 12,2023 in Allocation of Parental Responsibilities

Blog ImageFollowing a divorce, the holidays may not feel as merry as they once did. While everyone around you seems so cheery, internally you may be struggling with the change and how best to cope.

Recovering from a loss during the holidays can seem impossible. It may even feel like you are going backward rather than moving forward and, if you let it, could seriously throw your life off track. Thankfully, there are some things you can do to help you stay focused and get through the holidays relatively unscathed.

You can always turn to your lawyer for additional tips following a divorce. They have likely helped countless clients with the same struggles, and their advice could be invaluable to your situation.

Embrace Your Reality

Do not waste time pretending that the holidays are not more difficult this year. Valuing your feelings and understanding that you can get through it is okay. Even while others may enjoy themselves, you do not have to participate if it worsens things. You can choose to completely ignore the holidays if possible. Or you can decide to go all out for the holidays, ringing in the new year with a new you. Just do not allow the thoughts of what once were and will no longer haunt your holidays this season. Instead, allow the ghosts of past, present, and future to be someone else’s problems.

Establish Healthy Boundaries

Share your holiday preferences with friends and family to maintain your emotional health. Let them know that you may or may not be attending specific gatherings this year. There may be topics you do not wish them to bring up at the gatherings you do attend. Perhaps you would like to avoid your extended family from inviting your ex to dinner. Ensure that these boundaries are established beforehand so that you can come out of these social functions more intact.

Love Yourself

It would not be a problem to treat yourself better this holiday season so long as it provides the pleasure and emotional support you require. Even something as small as sleeping in for the day can change your entire mood to a more positive one. Purchase that new espresso maker, attend those dancing classes the ex never had time to take with you and take your children to an event to capture new memories – You are free to love yourself and remember exactly how it feels.

Focus On Your Children

Children have a way of not allowing you to write off the holidays completely. However, you may not have the resources to provide for them as you once did in a two-parent household. Refrain from overcompensating by overloading them with gifts that are outside of your financial capacity. Do not compete with your ex with gifts. Instead, create new traditions together. Make lasting memories that will lift spirits and can be enjoyed for years to come. Stay present with your children as they too may be going through exactly what you are, only harder. Make their holidays just a little bit brighter this year, and perhaps some of that light will find its way to you.

Start New Traditions

Create something comforting and familiar that is engaging and enjoyable for your family. Leave old traditions that can serve as painful reminders of the divorce in the past. Use the new time with your children, family, and friends to establish a new reason for celebrating the holidays you may have otherwise been unable to do while married.

Remember To Breathe

Take a moment to relax and know that everything will eventually get easier. Holidays and anniversaries are some of the worst times after a divorce, and it is in your best interest to remind yourself that it does get easier. Even a few years down the road could see old feelings of pain and regret resurface. Do not allow the grief to sideline you from enjoying your life. Be kind to yourself, and remember to breathe.

Consult a Kane County, IL Divorce Attorney

The holidays can be especially difficult after a divorce. There may be too many reminders of what you lost, and the situation can feel overwhelming. Divorce does not have to define who you are before or after it occurs. A St. Charles, IL, family law and divorce lawyer can offer sound advice to help you understand life after divorce better. The The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C. has years of experience concerning divorce and other legal family matters. Contact the office today to schedule an appointment at 630-409-8184.

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The Law Office of Matthew M. Williams, P.C.


1444 North Farnsworth Avenue, Suite 307, Aurora, IL 60505

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