• Laura L. Van Tassel, Esq.

Tips to De-Stress During the Holidays after Divorce.



The holiday season is right around the corner. And although it can be a wonderful time of the year, but also a stressful one especially after divorce. Parents sometimes overcompensate, overindulge, and overreact. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

To help you enjoy this holiday season instead of dreading it, here are some tips to

de-stress during the holidays after divorce:



Put your children first.

Kids pick up on a lot of tension at transfers and will enjoy their holidays much more if things are as calm as possible. Make a conscious choice to avoid conflict with your ex, and instead, focus on fostering a happy, loving environment. Put your children first. That’s the best gift you can give them.



Go easy on yourself.

Children come first, but you’re not far behind. It’s important to take care of your health. Divorce, holidays, and stress do not make a good combination. These ingredients can wreak havoc on your health and you need to stay strong for your children. Kids can feel stress. That’s why is extremely important to focus on getting plenty of rest, eating well, and exercising. Avoid binge eating or overindulging in alcohol. Numbing emotional distress with chemicals creates more depression. Try the stress busters instead.

Practice gratitude.

Think of the things in your life that are good and right: health, shelter, food, children, family, friends, pets, a job, freedom, safety, self-esteem, new beginnings, and the beauty that surrounds us.



Focus on making the most of what you have.

With a divorce, so many things change. I know it is easy to spend the holidays thinking about how the divorce has changed your life and your child's life. Although it’s common for you to want things to be exactly the same as your kids remember them, instead, focus on enjoying and celebrating what you and your child do have. You can take old traditions and fit them into your life in a new way. Keep things that are familiar and beloved, but build on them in new ways so that you can gradually create new traditions for your new family. Remember some of these changes are good and might even be fun. Focus on what new family tradition can you introduce this holiday season to keep things fun.



Coordinate and cooperate with your ex.

If you are co-parenting, the need for coordination, communication, and cooperation increases around the holidays. Be flexible and reasonable. Work with each other on possession arrangements that are in the best interest of the children. The smile on your kids’ faces will be worth it.



Accentuate the positive eliminate the negative.

It’s so easy to focus on the negatives and everything that is different this holiday season. It is not productive. Turn that negativity off. Think how great it is that you get to do exactly what you want to do during the holidays. No more fights, failures, and disappointments. Remember, there is no wrong way to celebrate the holidays, spend your time enjoying them with your kids the best way you know-how and above all stay positive.

Make plans for time alone.

It's likely that your child will spend part of the holiday with the other parent. Be sure you don't make your child feel guilty for leaving you to be with the other parent. Instead use this time to do something wonderful for yourself, or to make plans for the next time your child is with you.



Buy yourself a gift.

In the past, you may have relied upon your spouse to put some presents under the tree for you. The end of your relationship does not mean you don't deserve gifts. This year, it's up to you. Wrap them if you feel like it and feel free to tell your child they came from Santa.




Finals Thoughts:

Yes, surviving the holidays can be stressful after divorce, especially when you're dealing with left-over emotions and your children's expectations. But it helps if you can cut yourself some slack and let go of trying to create a perfect Christmas.


Look, you survived the worst pandemic in history, you will survive the holidays. A new year is just around the corner. Begin doing things differently. Try on new activities. Engage in new ways. Stay in action! It is the small, actionable steps that lead to empowerment and positive change.



Reach Out

Family matters are often emotionally charged and contentious. At Van Tassel Law, I believe in a kinder approach to life's legal issues. My goal is to get you to a better place. Being sensitive to the emotional impact of the divorce process on both you and your family. If you need help with a family law matter, contact me today for a free consultation at (201) 664-8566