Surviving the Holidays

Dec 22, 2008

It is that time of the year again, the holidays are upon us. With all of the shopping, traveling, and party hosting or attending that we do, the holidays can be stressful. And holidays can be even more stressful for families in transition (be it an impending divorce, recent divorce, new child, or new marriage). So do what you can to reduce the stress.

  1. Take time for yourself and relax. If you spread yourself too thin, you won’t enjoy yourself and you won’t be any fun to be around. Take care of yourself.
  2. Put your children first. Whether your children are 3 or 33, don’t let your holiday blues stress your children. Keep your children out of the middle of any fighting. Reassure them that everything will be fine. Encourage them to enjoy their other holiday celebrations, be it with their other parent, a new stepparent, or new in-laws.
  3. Start something new.  Use this transition period to create new family rituals or traditions, incorporating some of the old. If you are a newly divorced parent, create a new special tradition for you and your children. If you are a newly married couple, incorporate traditions from each family while creating new traditions for your new family.
  4. Set a realistic schedule. Holidays don’t need to be dictated by the calendar. Don’t try to jam 48 hours of celebrating into the 25th. And don’t plan on eating 5 dinners. Arrange to do some celebrating the day before, the day after, or even the week after.
  5. Embrace the changes in your life. Life is about changes. This first holiday season as a newly divorced parent, a newly married couple, or parent with a recently grown child may be difficult, but over time it will become easier.

Have a wonderful holiday.