Whether you are divorced, separated or widowed, you may feel less than festive about the holidays. The life changes you are experiencing can make you feel like you are on the outside looking in at everyone else’s ‘perfect’ Christmas. Even though you know that the ‘snow globe’ vision is not as picture perfect as it seems.
So, how can you ‘thrive’ during the holidays and not just survive? It may take some doing on your part, but you can focus on doing what you choose instead of the crazy-making list of your usual Christmas must-do’s.
So you’ve worked yourself into a real humbug state of mind. You’ve been avoiding or declining invitations because you don’t want to go alone, or make small talk, or answer questions about your life. Don’t wallow, get out there.
Usually it’s taking the first step out of the house that’s the hardest. How many times have you gone to an event expecting mind-numbing pleasantries, only to say, “Hey, what a great time. Great people.” So, accept those invitations, make phone calls to long-distance family members and old friends. Sometimes just recalling good times with old friends can lift your spirits and chase the lonelies away.
You are no longer bound by ‘have-to-do’ lists – figuring out whose house to have dinner at, finding the perfect presents or going to the same Christmas tree lighting ceremony every year. You can do something you’ve always wanted to do. Maybe you’ve secretly wanted to go to a movie and eat Chinese on Christmas Day. Maybe you wanted to spend a few nights at a picturesque B&B and read by a fireplace. Or volunteer at a soup kitchen, community dinner event or pet shelters. They are in desperate need during the holidays.
Traditionally, the Christmas season is about regeneration of the spirit. Take a look at what you have accomplished in the past year. Lift a glass of wine and toast yourself. No one has 365 days of disappointments or failures. Make a plan for what you want to do, learn, participate in during the coming months. Think of the holidays as a bridge to your future.
Several resources offer more ideas for crafting a personal holiday. Try these links:
©2017 Alpha Center for Divorce Mediation