To the newly divorced woman, vacation and holiday season can be especially difficult. With all the focus around family, being together, love and happiness, it sometimes feels as if the world is literally celebrating around your loss. While vacation is something that we are expected to look forward to, experiencing it on your own again takes some getting used to. It can be lonely, and hard to find things to do. BUT, we can get through it. And how do I know that? Because we always do.
And here are a few ideas to help you along the way:
- SAY IT LOUD AND PROUD. It’s hard enough feeling like you’re the only who’s not having fun during the holidays, but what makes it harder, is that people really love to ask what you’re doing. ”Any plans for the holidays?” “What are you doing over the break?” “Going anywhere special?” – Uhm, no. Nothing. And, no. These conversations can be uncomfortable and awkward, and have a definite effect on your overall mood. So, the next time the conversation turns to holiday plans, remember this special tip: you can make anything sound exciting if you say it with confidence and spirit.
“I am actually REALLY looking forward to having some time for myself to relax. I’ll just see how things go!”
If you’re lucky, you may even be rewarded with a few sighs of envy in response to your spontaneous life. Which leads me to my next tip.
- DON’T FORGET THE TRUTH BEHIND THE PERFECT FAMILY PICTURES IN MATCHING PAJAMAS. While it’s true that families can be wonderful and happy, those beautiful pics on Facebook show snapshots of only the best moments. No one knows better than you that there is a lot more to it behind closed doors. When you’re listening to someone tell you about the fabulous ski trip they have planned, or see the endless scroll of smiling faces on social media, remember this : knowing someone’s plans and seeing pictures on social media does not measure how happy they are. Their plans have nothing to do with you and your happiness.
‘Tis the season for giving and making a fresh start. And for now, you are giving yourself time, peace, and a new beginning. And THAT is truly a beautiful way to spend the holidays.
- DO SOMETHING. YES. ANYTHING. I always found this one difficult, but it works, so try it. Pick a project and get busy. Clean a closet, make a photo album, knit something, move furniture…do something that occupies your brain and hands, and when you’re done, you can actually see your accomplishment. You will get a positive lift every time you see your work for at least a couple of days.
- JUST SAY “YES” to every invite. A friend invites you to join her for a “jewelry / Tupperware / handbag” party? “Yes”. You get a mass invite to a holiday party at the local community center? Bingo and punch? “Yes. Why not?” Think of it like this, worst case you feel uncomfortable and you come home. Best case, you meet some interesting people and come home with a few stories to tell. Remember, this is YOU time. Challenge yourself to try doing one thing you wouldn’t normally do even if it feels uncomfortable. Which brings me to my last point.
- YOUR FEELINGS CAN’T HURT YOU THEY JUST DON’T FEEL GOOD. It’s important to remember that nothing bad happens just because you’re sad, or lonely, or any number of feelings you may have. But more importantly, given everything you’ve been through, the loss, the changes, the time of year, and really-any time of year-it’s totally understandable to feel that way. So be kind to yourself and repeat after me. “However I feel, wherever I am, whatever I’m doing-is exactly where I’m supposed to be.” And if you’re still not sure, call me. I’ll be organizing my closet and eating Chinese food.
What are some things that have helped you get through the holidays?