Your first post-divorce Thanksgiving can be a particularly heart-wrenching experience. Last year, your family was together around the table, but this year, everything is different. Here’s how you can keep your sanity and survive the holiday season this year.
- Don’t think about how thing were. Instead, think of how you’d like things to be now, and take steps to make sure that happens. It will be difficult, and you’ll find yourself feeling sad as you think about memories from previous years. This can be painful, but instead of thinking about your pre-divorce Thanksgiving traditions, start making new ones. Spend time with your family, your friends, or volunteer in a soup kitchen. Now is a time for new traditions.
- Surround yourself with support. Whether it’s friends or family, find the people you don’t have to worry about being a Debbie Downer with. But don’t spend the entire holiday weekend moping around feeling bitter either! Find a shoulder to lean on, if you need it, and focus on getting in the holiday mood. The support of your loved ones will show you this isn’t the end of the world.
- Release your bitterness. If you have children, it can be hard to spend your first post-divorce Thanksgiving working out the scheduling. But, whatever you do, don’t let your ex make you angry. And don’t complain about them — especially not to or in front of your children. That’s still their parent, and you don’t want to make them feel unnecessary guilt for having to divide their time between the two of you. Bitterness will only hold you back.
- Give thanks. It’s so easy, as you’re going through a divorce, to only focus on the negative. But that’s not what Thanksgiving is about! Make a list of the things you’re thankful for — whether they’re serious or silly, write them all out. It’ll probably be a longer list than you expected. Seeing everything you have in your life that you’re thankful for will help you stay positive throughout your first post-divorce Thanksgiving, and the rest of the holiday season.