Navigating the Holiday Season Following a Divorce: Tips and Strategies to Help You Cope and Move Forward

Going through a divorce can be one of the most challenging experiences in life, and when it comes to the holiday season, it can become even more difficult. The holidays are supposed to be a time of joy and celebration, but for those who have recently gone through a divorce, they can be a source of stress and anxiety. The thought of navigating the holiday season alone or without the presence of your children can be overwhelming and intimidating. However, there are ways to cope with this difficult time and move forward. In this guide, we will provide you with tips and strategies on how to navigate the holiday season following a divorce while taking care of yourself and your loved ones.

1. Acknowledge Your Feelings

The first step in coping with the holidays after divorce is acknowledging your feelings. It’s normal to feel sad, angry, or resentful during this time. Allow yourself to grieve the loss of your marriage and feel all the emotions that come with it. It’s essential not to suppress your feelings or pretend that everything is okay.

You may also feel guilty about not being able to provide your children with the same holiday experience as before. Remember that it’s not about buying expensive gifts or decorating the house perfectly; it’s about spending quality time together.

It’s okay to take some time for yourself and process your emotions. You can journal, meditate, or talk to a therapist or trusted friend about how you’re feeling.

2. Create New Traditions

One of the most challenging things about going through a divorce is breaking away from old traditions that you shared with your ex-partner. However, creating new traditions can help you move forward and make new memories with your loved ones.

You can involve your children in creating new traditions that they will look forward to every year. You can bake cookies together, watch holiday movies, or go on a winter hike. The possibilities are endless, and it’s an opportunity to create new memories that you’ll cherish for years to come.

3. Communicate with Your Ex-Partner

If you have children, it’s essential to communicate with your ex-partner about holiday visitation and parenting plans. It’s crucial to be flexible and considerate of each other’s schedules and traditions.

You can also discuss gift-giving arrangements to avoid duplication or overspending. It’s important to keep the focus on the children and make sure that they feel loved and supported during this time.

4. Take Care of Yourself

The holiday season can be stressful, even without going through a divorce. It’s essential to take care of yourself both physically and mentally.

You can schedule some self-care activities such as getting a massage, taking a yoga class, or going for a walk in nature. Taking care of your body will help you feel more relaxed and energized during this busy time.

You can also practice mindfulness techniques such as meditation or deep breathing exercises to help manage stress and anxiety.

5. Surround Yourself with Supportive People

The holidays are a time for family and friends, but it’s important to surround yourself with supportive people who understand what you’re going through.

You can reach out to support groups or online communities where you can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences. You can also lean on your close friends and family members for emotional support during this time.

6. Embrace Being Solo

If you don’t have your children during the holidays, it may feel like you’re missing out on something. However, it’s an opportunity to embrace being solo and do things that you enjoy.

You can take a trip, go to a spa, or volunteer at a local charity. Doing something for yourself will help you feel empowered and fulfilled.

7. Co-Parenting During the Holidays

If you’re co-parenting during the holidays, it’s important to communicate with your ex-partner about the parenting plan. You can create a schedule that works for both of you and your children.

You can also involve your children in the planning process and ask them what they would like to do during the holidays. It’s essential to keep the focus on them and make sure that they feel loved and supported by both parents.

8. Blended Family Holidays

If you or your ex-partner has remarried, blended family holidays can be challenging. It’s essential to communicate with all parties involved and discuss how you want to celebrate the holidays together.

You can involve your children in creating new traditions that include both families. It’s important to be flexible and respectful of each other’s traditions and cultures.

9. Seek Professional Help

If you’re struggling to cope with the holidays after divorce, it’s okay to seek professional help. A therapist or counselor can provide you with tools and strategies on how to manage stress and anxiety during this time.

You can also consider joining a support group where you can connect with others who have gone through similar experiences.


The holiday season following a divorce can be challenging, but it’s also an opportunity for growth and healing. By acknowledging your feelings, creating new traditions, communicating with your ex-partner, taking care of yourself, surrounding yourself with supportive people, embracing being solo, co-parenting during the holidays, embracing blended family holidays, and seeking professional help, you can navigate this difficult time and move forward.

Remember that the holidays are about spending quality time with your loved ones. It’s not about buying expensive gifts or having a perfect holiday experience. By focusing on what’s truly important, you can create meaningful memories that will last a lifetime.