The holiday season can be tough and emotional following a breakup, especially as we tend to think of it as a time of love and coming together. As that time of the year approaches, it is important to think of wa...
Thanksgiving after DivorceNovember 22, 2017 - Relationship Articles
Here are 8 ways to deal with Thanksgiving this year:
- Be Kind to yourself
- Consider your Children
- Be Flexible
- Get Emotional Support
- Don’t Dwell on the Past
- Stay Busy if Alone
- Write What You Are Thankful for
- Be Proud
1. Be Kind to yourself
As you are transitioning into your new life, it is important to be gentle with yourself. Divorce is never easy and each divorce comes with its own obstacles. Allow yourself to go through this healing process and experience the emotions as they come. Remember to take care of your health since it is very easy to get sick during this chilly season. Make sure that you stay bundled up, eat well, and get plenty of rest.
2. Consider your Children
If you have children, understand that they are also going through a difficult transition. Just as you are healing after the divorce, they are too. If you have young children, you might need to help them understand that their parents will not be together for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. Acknowledge your children’s feelings if they are having a difficult time with these changes. Dismissing their emotions can make them worse. Do not insult your ex-partner in front of your children because it can make them feel uncomfortable as they likely love their other parent.
Do not feel guilty that their holiday will be different, talk with your children to figure out what it was about previous Thanksgivings that put them in the holiday spirit. For your children, Thanksgiving might have been more than just eating a big dinner, they could have enjoyed the holiday for watching the parade, playing board games all day, seeing extended family or helping to prepare food. Now is the perfect time to make new traditions with your children that everyone will love.
3. Be Flexible
If you and your ex-partner both want to have the children for Thanksgiving this can easily cause an argument. For your children’s sake, try to work cooperatively with your ex and plan ahead so there is no last minute struggle. Since your children will likely want to spend the holiday with both of their parents, be open with them about your plans for the holiday season.
You and your ex-partner can determine who has the children for Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays. Try to compromise on a solution, such as deciding if a parent gets certain holidays, allowing one parent to have the children for the first half of the day and the other parent the second half or to give the children two Thanksgiving celebrations with each parent on separate days.
4. Get Emotional Support
Try to reach out to friends and family for emotional support. Thanksgiving is the perfect time reconnect with loved ones if you had been too busy before. If you know someone who has gone through a divorce, ask them for ask them for advice and what resources that helped them. There are many online communities you can join to speak with others in your situation. You can also meet with a licensed therapist who can listen to your issues and provide you with tailored resources.
Before Thanksgiving comes, plan with your group to see how you can help with preparations whether it is by making food, decorating, or just catching up on old times. You will feel better by being with the people you love and celebrating what everyone is grateful for in their lives.
5. Don’t Dwell on the Past
Prepare yourself for coping with nostalgia as you are likely to remember previous Thanksgivings with your ex-partner. Living in the past will only hold you back from moving on with your life. Separate yourself from anything that reminds you of the relationship to make the healing process easier.
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6. Stay Busy if Alone
If you cannot leave your home or be with others for Thanksgiving, that is okay. Just do things that make you feel comfortable and allow yourself to continue to heal. By keeping yourself busy you can starve off any feelings of depression and isolation. You can get started on preparing gifts for your loved ones. If you are crafty then this is the perfect time to start making personalized gifts such as hand knit scarf or crocheted blanket.
7. Write What You Are Thankful for
Thanksgiving is all about celebrating what we are thankful for. Even though divorce is difficult, we have many things in our lives that we can be celebrate. Writing what you are thankful for will help you feel positive and be more mindful about the blessings in your life.
Your list might include:
- A loving family
- Being a parent
- Supportive friends
- A wonderful pet
- Good health
- A great job
8. Be Proud
Feel proud of yourself for getting through this new chapter of your life. No matter how difficult things seem now, they will get better. Allow yourself time to heal and embrace the happy moments as they come. By recognizing all of your accomplishments for successfully getting through Thanksgiving, you will be even better prepared to enjoy the upcoming holidays.