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Eight Tips for Recently Divorced Parents During the Holidays

Posted on in Divorce

IL divorce lawyerDid you know that divorce is consistently ranked as one of the most stressful life events a person can go through? The Holmes-Rahe Stress Inventory ranks divorce as second on its list of stressful experiences – just under the death of a spouse. Getting divorced or separated during the winter holiday season can be especially difficult for parents as well as adults. If you are a parent who is recently separated or divorced, read on to learn strategies for reducing stress and increasing holiday cheer.

Reducing Stress this Holiday Season

The first holiday season after a separation or divorce will be painful. There is simply no way to completely eradicate the heartbreak, regret, anger, and other difficult emotions associated with divorce. However, divorce is also an opportunity for renewal and hope. As you and your children navigate your first Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, or New Year after the split, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Remember that “different” does not necessarily mean “worse.” This holiday season will most likely be much different than years previous. Instead of focusing on what is different, try to focus on how your life has improved since the split and start planning for a bright post-divorce future.
  • Avoid “one-upping” the other parent. Sometimes, recently divorced parents engage in a battle of, “Who can buy the most expensive gifts?” While the temptation to shower your children in expensive gifts is understandable, doing so may backfire.
  • Lean on family and friends. You do not have to face this alone. Reach out to trusted loved ones for help when you need to.
  • Take care of your health. As a parent, it can be easy to forget about your own needs while caring for your children’s needs. Try to get adequate sleep and eat regular meals. Take time off of work if you need a “mental health day.”
  • Give yourself a break. Your house does not need to look like the cover of a magazine for your children to have a great holiday season. Avoid overdoing it this year and keep things simple.
  • Accept your feelings. Some recently divorced people are overwhelmed by confusing and hard-to-predict emotions. You may find yourself feeling lonely, joyous, infuriated, and hopeful all in the span of an hour. Mental health experts report that this type of emotional volatility is completely normal after a major life change.
  • Do not disparage the other parent around your kids. It can be hard not to bad-talk your ex – especially if the divorce is his or her fault. However, criticizing your ex can make you and your children feel even worse.
  • Consider professional help. Getting divorced during the holidays and in the midst of a pandemic is extremely challenging. Do not hesitate to contact a therapist, divorce coach, or other professional for help.

Contact a Warrenville Divorce Lawyer

If you are ready to end your marriage, contact Wheaton divorce attorney Jessica Sendek for dependable legal guidance and representation. At Hensley Sendek Law, we recognize that divorce during the holidays is especially hard, and we are prepared to help. Call 630-358-9029 for a free consultation.




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