No matter the circumstances, divorce is one of the most traumatic events you can go through in life. The impact it can have on your well-being during the holidays – especially if it is your first holiday season following your divorce or separation – can be extreme. However, with a few proactive measures and a little change in your perspective- you can not only surive the holidays post-divorce but thrive.

With these 5 tips, I am sharing with you my best advice, not just as a divorce attorney, but as a mom who went through my own divorce 12 years ago.

  1. Stay in the moment: breathe.

It is so easy to allow yourself to feel overwhelmed with all that your have going on. But trying to tackle it all at once will just make your feel worse. Take it day by day, moment by moment. Slow down and breathe. Trust you will make it through this season. This too shall pass.Give yourself grace and space to feel all your feelings.

2. Give your self grace and space to feel all your feelings

You don’t have to put on a brave face all the time. When you need to take a break to go and cry it out, give yourself the time and space to do that. That might mean not overscheduling or attending every party this year. (With COVID 19 that might be easier this year). Remember – you don’t have to do this perfectly. It’s going to be messy, and that’s okay.

3. Start New Traditions

This is one of the biggeset peices of advice I give my clients. My ex-husband takes our kids to the beach after Christmas every year, He even has the hotel put up a little Christmas tree in their room to make it extra special, and it has become one of the kids’ favorite traditions.

4. Focus on the New Life you are Creating with your Children

Instead of focusing on what has been lost or damaged, focus on what is new! You are now a new family unit, and that deserves to be celebrated! Its okay to be sad – this doesn’t mean you pretend to be happy, but to find places of new opportunity to place your focus.

5. Let go of expectations but do have a plan

Setting realistic expecations is key. This is going to be tough- espeically if it the first couple of holidays after your divorce. You do not have to create the most magical, picture perfect experience for your kids. Remember, this is going to be very hard for them too at times, and just being present for them will be more important than pretending everything is ok. Be intentional, and work out your holiday plans ahead of time with your ex so there won’t be any surprises or disagreements in the midst of the holidays.

I hope these few tips will help you get on track to not only surving the holidays after your divorce, but also thriving. If you have any questions on how to structure a parenting plan around the holidays, please contact my office for a consultation. I have years of experience on how to make the holidays run smoothly from a co-parenting perspective.