The holiday season is in full swing: Thanksgiving festivities have passed, and Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanza and New Year’s Eve are just around the corner. For most families, this is a time for celebration and closeness. However, for families who are divorcing, the season is often not a happy time and instead it is often painful.
If you are going through a divorce during the holidays, you could no doubt use some guidance for navigating through this difficult time. There are a few common mistakes that you can avoid this season, if you know about them in advance.
Procrastinating until after the holidays
To finalize your divorce as quickly as possible, try to address any pressing issues now, rather than addressing them after the holidays. It is tempting to focus solely on holiday planning and put divorce matters aside until the holiday season is over. However, the sooner you handle these issues, the faster you can resolve your divorce.
What to do instead: With your attorney, confront any issues that develop head-on. If necessary, you can tackle a few small issues now and address the large ones later.
Giving in to your emotions
Divorce can be emotional. The holidays can be emotional. Put them together? You have a situation that can seem emotionally overwhelming. This can be problematic because decisions based on emotion are often not the best decisions.
What to do instead: Try not to let strong feelings control your decisions right now. Remain calm, and take the time to consider your situation thoughtfully. Maintain a cool head so that you can make rational decisions regarding your divorce.
Arguing over divorce issues
Similarly, do not lose control of your temper and argue over the divorce with your former spouse or other family members. While there are many aspects of a divorce that you may feel angry about or disagree over, getting into an argument will not be productive.
What to do instead: Work with your divorce attorney to communicate with your ex and their lawyer. Figure out the method of communication that is most amicable: For example, if you and your spouse tend to argue in person, communicate via email or text.
Failing to manage your stress
Without a doubt, the holidays can be very stressful. Add a divorce into the mix, and your stress levels may be through the roof. If you do not proactively manage your stress, you may experience adverse health effects.
What to do instead: There are several healthy ways to cope with stress. Try journaling, exercise or meditation. You can also confide in a family member, friend, mental health professional or religious leader.