Newly Divorced? Four Ways Thanksgiving Can Help You Move Forward

Don’t let divorce get you down; find things to be thankful for this holiday season. The holidays can be a stressful and emotional time for a lot of people, but for anyone who’s recently experienced some type of loss, like a divorce, this stress and emotion can be amplified. While Thanksgiving might be a difficult time, it can actually lay the groundwork for the acceptance, healing and hope needed for you to move forward with your life. If you’re going through a divorce or other loss this holiday season, try these four tips to help you heal.

1. Accept change and acknowledge the loss. Integrating the changes involved in holiday celebrations after divorce becomes easier as years go by, but until then, it is not helpful to pretend that all is well if you don’t really feel that way. Acknowledging your feelings is a necessary step in the healing process. At the same time, managing this expression of your feelings and expressions to some extent, especially in front of children, is important. Some expression of sadness or frustration is acceptable for children to see, as it gives them permission to feel and express their feelings as well. Just remember to not disparage or blame the other parent in front of the children and not to burden your children with the responsibility of being your caregiver instead of your child.

2. Accept support. Whether you celebrate the holidays with friends or family, utilizing them as resources is critical at this time. Sometimes they don’t know what to do to be helpful, and most will feel not only useful but even grateful if you reach out and ask specifically for what you need.

3. Be grateful for the things that go right every day that you don’t even realize. Instead of focusing on what is wrong right now, try to realize how much is going right. An unhappy relationship and marriage is now behind you. If you think about it, even if the divorce wasn’t your choice, you are better off now than you were in a destructive marriage. You are on your way to a better life with all the possibilities that can bring, whereas when you were still together, you were not.

4. Create new Thanksgiving traditions. One of the hardest things about surviving the holidays post-divorce is facing the changes in your celebration. If you have always hosted a large extended family dinner at your house, you might not feel up to it this year. If you always traveled to your in-laws’, now is your chance to think of something different that you might enjoy. Instead, think about getting together with the friends or family who support you and care for you.

Think of the change in your life as an opportunity to make this holiday your own in a new way that will feel good to you and always remember to include some expression of what you are thankful for this year. There is always something to appreciate, no matter how difficult our challenges. And remember – life never gives us more than we can handle.

If you are in need of an attorney to help you with any problems that may have arisen since your divorce and would like to discuss your options with one of our experienced family law attorneys, contact Owens & Perkins at 480.994.8824 for a complimentary ½ hour consultation.From all of us at Owens & Perkins, we wish you a very happy Thanksgiving.