Whether your divorce was exactly what you wanted or the opposite, the holidays are often a moment of reflection, and with it, when grief arrives in full force.
It may even come on unexpectedly. Many times in our lives, we feel “fine” until the holidays - and then suddenly, things are not so fine. Maybe it's the memories of what once was, the closing out of a difficult year, or perhaps, looking ahead to a new year that already appears daunting and overwhelming from your current perspective.
Whatever it may be, it's important to know that these feelings are normal. We all get them at some point. Just because the divorce you wanted suddenly seems sad doesn't necessarily mean it was the wrong choice. Knowing that grief is a necessary process in any death - and divorce is, after all, a death - can allow you to have grace and kindness for yourself.
But maybe this divorce is not something you wanted. The grief process can be almost too much to bear, especially this season as you're surrounded by family, people who seem happy, and an almost nauseating pressure to feel joy when you certainly do not.
No matter the scenario or what you're facing this holiday season, it's vital that you take care of yourself. Here are a few coping mechanisms that might help:
Avoid what you need to avoid.
There will be a time to face your fears. This may not be it. Freshly divorced, considering divorce, or actively in the middle of one is an extremely delicate time. Maybe the healthiest thing you can do is not attend that function or visit that tree farm you went to as a family. Be okay with not this year.
Avoiding isn't the answer for everyone - sometimes it's getting involved and staying busy. Maybe it's spending time with family, going for a drive, or binging a new show. It may even be something unconventional for you - perhaps you need to get out of town and take a quick trip to the beach if that's something feasible. Think back to things that brought you comfort during other difficult times in your life.
Start your New Year's Resolutions early.
There's a quote somewhere out there that says “the best day to start was yesterday, and the second best day is today.” Get a jump start on the rest of the world and begin your resolutions early. The gym is probably at its emptiest this month, so why not have it all to yourself? :) Actively pursuing small, obtainable goals can give us a sense of accomplishment when we're struggling in other areas of our lives. It can be as simple as creating new daily habits, picking up a hobby, or working on a positive mindset.
Whatever you may be facing, we genuinely wish you the very best this holiday season.
If you have a family law matter or you're in need of a fierce criminal defense attorney, keep Worden & Carbitcher in mind for all of your legal needs as you enter a new year. As always, contact our office at 405.360.8036 to set up a consultation.