If you have separated or divorced in 2021 or are going through the difficult process right now, you may be looking ahead to holidays like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah, and Christmas with uncertainty, dread, anxiety and sadness. This is absolutely normal. Even if you were unhappy in your marriage, holidays were likely spent as a family unit. This year is going to feel different – no doubt about that. One thing that you can do to help your entire family cope is spending time now planning ahead.
Plan Ahead this Holiday Season
Holidays are rooted in tradition; you think back to holidays in your past and you look forward to holidays in an uncertain future. No matter what holiday you celebrate, you have likely been celebrating that since you can remember. Holidays stir emotion, mostly joy, but also a yearning for things that have changed, or you may have lost. The best way to navigate the years around your divorce in a healthy way for you and your family is to think ahead about schedules, important traditions and how your kids will spend their time. Knowing ahead of time exactly what the schedule will be will allow you to plan other things when you are not with your kids and lower the overall expectation of a “perfect” holiday season.
Here Are Some Tips For Planning For The Holiday Season:
1. Think about the traditions that you love and plan to honor them when you have the kids with you. Even if that is not on the actual holiday.
2. When your kids are with your ex, plan other things with family and friends to keep you busy and from focusing on the time you are missing with your kids.
3. Encourage your kids: This is a hard thing for your kids too and they may not be able to articulate why. Talk to them about it and ask them what holiday traditions they want to honor.
4. Lower your expectations: In truth, no holiday season is perfect. Try not to idealize the past and focus on the fact that you are moving forward in a healthy way.
5. Practice self-care: Take care of yourself especially when your kids are not with you. Talk walks, get a massage, exercise, drink your favorite coffee. Do what you can to soothe your soul.
6. Get support: Whether you are looking for professional support from a therapist, a member of the clergy or personal support from a loved one, make sure that you ask for the support that you think you will need. Frequent calls and texts can help you feel less lonely.
Divorce Mediation Services in Minnesota
If you are looking toward the holidays and are still unsure how best to divide your children’s’ time between you and your ex, mediation can help. AMS Mediation can help you develop a parenting plan that outlines exactly how the holidays will unfold for your family. For more information, call us at 952-252-1492 to schedule a free consultation.