A Divorced Woman Guide to Surviving The Holidays: 5 Simple Strategies

A Divorced Woman Guide to Surviving the Holidays: 5 Simple Strategies

To all those single parents (especially you women out there) who are not with their kids this Christmas; I want to give you a simple guide that may help you make it through.  These are things that may seem simple, but they provide a massive impact when you are in the thick of these big triggers and emotions.

Here are five things I wish I had done sooner. 

 1. Have compassion your yourself.  

Everything you are feeling is valid.  All of it. No one else is you and no one else can judge how you feel.  But try your best not to stuff your emotions.  Divorce is f’ing hard and deeply rooted issues *may come up.  Things you didn't even realize were an issue before may appear out of nowhere.  Please, please have compassion for yourself.

 Instead isolating or stuffing your feelings try these things:

  • Book a session with your licensed therapist right away.  On the weeks leading up to a holiday book a few sessions with your therapist so you can work through what is going on inside your mind and body before the big day of exchange.  A therapist is skilled to hold space for you in a way that your friends and family cannot.  A therapist can give you other resources and referrals to other clinicians if you need it. 
  • Journal or write. Start a journal and write about out how you feel.  What is coming up for you? What hurts the most?  How will you celebrate next year? What new rituals can you incorporate in your life on the holidays you won't have your children?  Write in down, get it all out. 

2. Love on Yourself.  

  • Practice the most self-care that you possibly can. 
    • Get out of your head and into your body. i.e. gentle yoga stretching or even a more intense vinyasa practice can work wonders.
    • Go get a massage or do self-massage.
    • Go for a run, jog or walk in nature. 
    • Dance it out! Turn up the feel-good music and feel good in your body,
    • Breathe and meditate daily. Get centered and grounded!

3. Replenish your feminine energy and nurture her needs and desires.  

  • Let’s face it, you might be exhausted in mind, body and spirit. Restore your beautiful feminine self and take care of her needs. It is time for you to RECEIVE! 
    • Take a bubble bath and relax. 
    • Get a professional massage to release any stored toxins in your body. 
    • Get that pedicure you've been putting off or give yourself one.
    • Buy some new sheets or a special something like a new sweater or robe. Wrap yourself up in it.
    • Make a delicious meal and savor it.
    • Book a flight and go on a solo adventure to a new place. Get curious again.
    • Hydrate versus drinking alcohol 
    • Practice self-pleasure. Yes girl, masturbate!

4. Get in touch with your tribe & community.

  • Speak up about the fact that you need a place to go for the holiday. This is hard (trust me, I know). But people are busy and are totally absorbed with their own lives. You must speak up.
    • Make plans early for the actual holiday. Don't wait until the last minute. Many people are open to having you at their home and may not realize you are alone.  I had a lot of shame around being alone. I had just moved to a new state and did not know very many people and it was financially impossible for me to travel.
    • If you are spiritual, attend mass or volunteer your time with your favorite non-profit organization.   

5. Balance your feminine needs with masculine ones. 

I put this strategy last because I feel the others should come first.  In some cases we can get too focused on being productive instead of nurturing ourselves. Focus on steps 1-4 first. 

  • Do some master planning for the new year.
  • Work on completing a project you haven't finished.
  • Take an online class that interest you.
  • Listen to a podcast.
  • Organize your closet or do some purging. It may feel good to get rid of things.
  • Organize the photos of your children or make a new keepsake album. 

There are so many other things you can do to nurture yourself during this sensitive transition. This list is a great place to start I know that none of these things can take away the deep ache you may feel from being away from your little ones. But you can soften the intensity by doing some things that make you feel less on edge and more grounded in self. You deserve to be cared for and nurtured. Take this time to ask yourself what you need. 

 I see you. I support you. 

 -Liz