For many of us, the holidays can feel dark, lonely, and stressful – especially when we’re getting divorced or recovering from a divorce. And instead of looking forward to the beautiful decorations, the smell of baking cakes and Christmas carols on the radio, we may feel saddened.
Breaking up from the divorce and rebuilding our lives doesn’t mean we can’t enjoy the vacation.
Indeed, if we remember the following, we can make the holidays better than ever.
Manage your vacation expectations but stay optimistic.
For years we have been inundated with people telling us what the holidays should be like. You might see incredibly staged meals on cooking shows. It could be images we see in the media of the perfect holiday or family members saying, “But we always did it this way.” We have been taught to do anything that everyone else wants to do. Often times we have never learned to imagine what the holidays should be like for ourselves.
So it’s no wonder that we feel lonely or stressed when we spend the holidays alone!
These unrealistic expectations of perfect vacations and families have made us feel that we do not meet these standards. We feel that we are wrong and that we are not celebrating the holidays “right”.
You have worked too hard over the years and deserve more than let yourself into the idea that you are getting the vacation wrong. This year, it’s time to imagine what the best holiday season means to you, no matter where you are in your life.
When you’re alone, it’s still worth celebrating the season the way you want. A change in family circumstances doesn’t mean you will be doomed to feeling bad. It just means that now is your chance to choose what the holidays should be, regardless of what others think.
Learning to love the holidays again, even if you’re divorced, starts with throwing those unrealistic expectations on the curb and ignoring the selective memory that is playing tricks on you.
Your memory can be your worst enemy.
When we are alone, we often think of the times when the family was together, when the marriage was strong, and when the holidays were “perfect”. We are all guilty of remembering our past vacations when we were perfectly married. It’s easy to fall into this trap when we’re divorced. But what we forget are all the things that weren’t great on the vacation when we were married.
When we exclude those imperfect family vacation memories, we subconsciously prepare for failure. We cling our current vacation mood to an impossible ideal of selective memories that may not be accurate. We do this when we are feeling down and trying to imagine a happier time.
This mindset does not serve you because you are clinging to an ideal that is impossible to achieve. Feeling guilty or angry, or longing for the past is not going to serve you this holiday season. The only way to love the holidays again is to win them back to yourself … now.
Embrace the holiday season instead of dreading it.
During the holidays, especially when you were married or raised a family, you were probably so busy trying to please others. You almost certainly tried to make things so perfect that you never took the time.
Overlook your own needs now stops.
This vacation, especially if you are alone and worried about being lonely, will give you a unique gift. This season you can ask yourself and do something for yourself that you may never have had the opportunity to do before. You can choose the season yourself.
This is where the first steps in learning to love the holidays begin again.
Celebrating this chapter of your life begins by answering the following questions. Ask yourself:
What do you really wanna do
What will bring you joy this holiday season?
What steps will you take to get there?
That’s all you need to ask. These answers don’t have to be complicated. You don’t have to spend a lot of money on it.
Now is your chance to win back the holidays.
When you shake off your loneliness and take back the holidays, you will have to take care of yourself for a change. This is the year when you can say no to things from past vacations that you did not enjoy that are causing you stress, such as: B. Travel, see toxic family members, spend too much money.
This is also the year when you can choose the traditions you love and throw the rest away. This year is your free time to define what a happy season means to you and how to celebrate.
And learning to love the holidays again, even if you’re divorced, starts by throwing those unrealistic expectations on the curb and ignoring the selective memory that is playing tricks on you.
These new weeks may be the time of year when you finally realize you deserve vacation joy and happiness, and you have the power to define it on your own terms. Will you accept this gift