It can be difficult facing the holiday season when still recovering from divorce.
Reliving the past can make the season be less merry.
Your life may seem like the subject of Elvis’s Blue Christmas song:
I’ll have a Blue Christmas without you
I’ll be so blue just thinking about you
Decorations of red on a green Christmas tree
Won’t be the same dear, if you’re not here with me
Acknowledge your emotions such as sadness.
Burying them does not make them go away, but rather backfires when they surface at inopportune times. Recognize that you are facing a loss and are still grieving when the rest of the world seems caught up in the frivolities of the season.
What helped me was watching comedies and reading humorous stories. Laughing a lot lessened any pain. Do what works best for you.
Many have mentioned that taking a break from their surroundings helped speed them along in healing.
Not going to where they celebrated Christmas Eve dinner or to other places that they went as a couple, reduced dwelling in the past. Skipping some holiday rituals that were done when married, contributed to being able to move on.
You are making a break from your old life this holiday season and embarking on a new adventure. One way is by taking a trip – whether to the heart of Europe or discovering new sights in the UK. There is something mystical about the Highlands for me.
When I was in Australia and New Zealand for two holiday periods with my sons, people did not seem to be depressed.
They were busy going to the beach, hiking and enjoying the various outdoor pursuits. The sunshine was a mood lifter during the holidays. The Aussies’ Christmas cheer was contagious during this extended daylight.
A divorced friend took a small packaged tour to Asia and had the same experience. She also enjoyed the camaraderie of the other travellers over the holidays along with the sun.
In the Northern Hemisphere our holiday season falls in the height of darkness. The perpetual clouds can add to the gloom one may be experiencing post-divorce.
The Seasonal Affective Disorder Association (SADA) charity estimates that 21% of UK residents have Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) to some degree, which surfaces during the winter months. The symptoms for SAD are: feeling lonely, lethargic, moody, sleep disturbances and finding it harder to be with people. These are also what people can experience after a break-up.
It can be extra challenging when someone has the double whammy of having SAD during winters, with a divorce on top or that. Treatment for SAD includes a lightbox with a full spectrum, homeopathic remedies and so forth. I met various people in Alaska who make an annual journey to Hawaii. Consider an escape to a sunny climate.
Whether having the Break up Blues separately or in conjunction with SAD, nurture yourself.
If not feeling sociable, then do not push yourself to be the life of the party. Take a solitary walk amidst the Christmas lights. Pick the most important holiday gatherings that you want to attend and decline the rest.
If lonely, this may be the time to adopt an animal friend for loving, non-judgmental company. Sometimes just having a cat or dog around keeps your flat from seeming empty or depressing. My four cats are lively and are great housemates.
If feeling like you are falling into a black hole, then a divorce coach can help you climb out of it. A social network is another way to help you spring back from divorce this holiday season.
Wendi Schuller is a nurse, hypnotherapist and is certified in Neuro-linguistic Programing (NLP).
Her most recent book is The Global Guide to Divorce and she has over 200 published articles.
She is a guest on radio programs in the US and UK. Her website is globalguidetodivorce.com.