For many families, especially those with children, the holidays are a magical time of year. With the rush of visits to Santa, holiday parties, school vacation, and family get-togethers, life gets hectic and busy. However, when you’re going through a divorce, “normal” life gets disrupted and you may be dreading the traditional hustle and bustle.
Remember, you’re not alone. Many people are going through the same experience. In our years of practicing family law here in Knoxville, we’ve been able to put together some tips to help make the holidays easier during a divorce.
- Create new family traditions. Whether or not you have kids, things change during and after a split. But it’s especially important to try to blend in new family traditions with old ones. It can be something as small as watching a special television show or movie the night before Thanksgiving or as big as doing charity work together – as long as you have something special to share in the years ahead.
- Keep your children’s best interests in mind. You and your ex should both have the same priorities for your kids – to enjoy the holidays, their school break, and time with family and friends. Ensure they get to see the people they love and make the most of the holidays you spend together, and do your best to cooperate and work with your ex-spouse.
- Avoid spending the holidays alone. One of the worst things you can do during your first holidays post-divorce is spend them alone. Make plans with people you care about, whether they’re your children or friends or family. Host a get-together, find a support group, volunteer at a shelter or church, or do something else to give back. Any of these will help you avoid being alone with negative thoughts, and others will appreciate your presence.
- Focus on what you love about this time of year. Take a break from the stress of your split. Don’t let your divorce stop you from enjoying the holidays, especially if you have kids. They’ll feel torn about having a good time. What’s your favorite part of the holidays? Everyone loves something about this time of year – something that puts them in a nice mood. It doesn’t have to be lavish gifts. Think about decorating, holiday music, cookies, games, or the smell of a pine tree. Find what you enjoy and celebrate it!
- Think about taking a social media break. Studies have shown that when we’re already feeling down, comparing ourselves to other people on Facebook or Instagram can make us feel worse. Consider deleting the app from your phone for a while and skip the stream of staged photos. You may find it quite freeing.
The Knoxville family law attorneys at LaFevor & Slaughter wish you the very best this holiday season. Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us if you have any questions about divorce, child custody and support, alimony, or other matters of family law. Call us at 865.272.4454 or complete our contact form to schedule a consultation.