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Mother sitting by Christmas Tree with Children and Dog

How to Prepare for the Holidays in the Midst of a Divorce

While the holiday season brings a lot of cheer, celebrations, and family time with loved ones, it is not an easy time for everyone. Parties and social events can be an extra stressful time for those going through a divorce.

Challenges of Divorce Combined with Holidays

Parents tend to put stress on themselves to make the holidays “perfect” for their children. They want to get them everything they ask for, host the perfect holiday dinner, and make the season cheerful, warm, and memorable. Setting these high expectations, along with navigating divorce can and often does actually backfire. Instead of making the season that much brighter for everyone, the result is added stress and lessened enjoyment for everyone.

How Can You Manage the Situation?

The most important thing you can do during the holidays is to manage your expectations. If you insist on perfection, then you will likely set yourself up for failure. After all, perfection is impossible, and you could get stuck in a loop of constantly trying to improve something “imperfect” without noticing that it has already wowed everyone else in your life.

Positive self-talk, along with an optimistic outlook will go a long way to clear your mind and allow you to move through the holidays and check off all of your plans for the season. Reminding yourself that not everything may go as you intended can protect you from disappointment and frustrations. The underlying mantra here is to be good to yourself!

Improving Your Outlook Goes a Long Way

Despite the challenges you face, the holiday season is the best time to change your outlook and think beyond your own situation. You might do kind things for others because it is the season of giving. You could volunteer in charity work and help at a shelter or buy gifts for children in need. Directing your efforts outward to others can be very fulfilling and raise your level of cheer.

It is also helpful to plan ahead and think about how you are going to approach the holidays. Make your calendar for the next month so you do not feel like you are cramming in unnecessary events and activities. Create a gift list in advance, so you don’t have to think about it as time gets closer. Plan when you are going to go gift shopping.

Try reducing the number of people at holiday parties to reduce stress. Of course, with the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, strictly limiting holiday guests is a smart safety choice, too. Stay connected with those who live far away by using online video chats or maybe even plan an online party or gift opening. Planning in advance like this for the holiday goes a long way to keeping things orderly and lowering stress.

Don’t Forget to Give Yourself Some Holiday Cheer

Holidays can bring out the best and worst in us. We see people being more generous than ever and spreading holiday cheer, but we also see many who take on more than they can manage. Make time this holiday season for relaxation. Make a plan to stop shopping, gift wrapping, etc. at a certain time and relax and get a good night’s sleep. Take time to exercise, even to take a walk and ease some stress.

And most importantly, the best thing you can and must plan for is some time for yourself. If you can, take some time off from work and do something for yourself. That could be pampering yourself or just watching a popular Netflix show you’ve been meaning to see. If you are happy and clearheaded, you will be more likely to enjoy the holidays and bring more joy to others as well.

From all of us at Wisselman, Harounian & Associates, P.C., we wish you and your family the happiest and least stressful holidays this year! We hope you take the time to make the most of the season for not just your family but also for yourself so that you can set aside some of the worries you might be feeling due to your divorce. If you need help managing your divorce and other family law concerns, you can talk to our Long Island lawyers by calling (516) 773-8300 or contacting us online for a free consultation.

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