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Enjoying Holidays after divorceExperiencing divorce during holidays can create a mixed bag of emotions, leaving one to have less holiday cheer. Individuals often find themselves searching for rituals that were shared when married and now that separation/divorce has occurred, how can fireworks of happiness be ignited?

Five ways to celebrate the Fourth of July holiday:

1. As one faces a holiday and divorce, feelings of isolation and depression may develop. In order to reduce depression, take this time to enjoy the company of others as family and friends who can be a great source of encouragement during this transitional time. Close family members and friends can become your healing support system and a source of comfort. Learning to immerse yourself with others can be an outlet to create conversation and activity that often elevates feelings of loneliness. Ignore the temptation to isolate and join friends and family celebrating the independence of our country and your new life which has begun.

2. If children are involved, there were holiday traditions that were celebrated during marriage and it is certainly acceptable to continue family traditions although creating new traditions may also be helpful. This holiday, why not make homemade ice cream that will include everyone’s favorite toppings, take pictures while enjoying the festivities and decorate a photo album to remember the holiday in future years. Some families make the choice to abandon past rituals and only favor new rituals that they create. This is a personal choice and usually depends on the phase of the divorce process that your family is currently facing. Allowing the children to understand that memories of family holiday celebrations do not need to be forgotten but new memories can be made with each parent may lessen anxiety as they too move forward after divorce.

3. Create something new for the holiday. This may include planting flowers to create a container garden or an entire flower bed of beautiful colors which aids in creating a nurturing environment. Another idea may be to shop for new summer décor for your home. Most items in your home may be items that were purchased during the marriage. Give yourself permission to purchase new items that reflect your personal taste.

4. Give yourself the permission to enjoy the day by creating realistic expectations. Holidays often have memories and expectations attached that one often feels must be met and even exceeded. Enjoy one holiday at a time allowing emotions to stay intact.

5. Plan ahead for ways to create fun, relaxation and ways to create lasting memories. Most memories include planning for the special event and not leaving it chance hoping to have a nice day. Create a list of activities that you would like to include in your celebration yet realizing that all may not be met. Learning to plan ahead is helpful to create a sense of control during an emotional time when life seems out of control.

Holidays can bring about past memories but with the realization that new memories can be created for the future is helpful. You can control your emotions through planning and setting realistic expectations. Holidays often bring additional stressors to each family member, Divorce Tool Box understands that during separation and divorce is emotional and learning to navigate through and beyond divorce is a must. Visit our website today atwww.DivorceToolBox.com to learn how we can help you.

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