Dealing with Grief During the Holidays

The holidays can be a trying time for women who are separated, divorced, or going through a divorce.  Remember, this too shall pass.  This may be the first time you are spending the holidays separate from your ex or soon to be ex.  Try to stay positive.  Take advantage of Zoom and call on friends and relatives.  Focus on you.  Set new goals for the new year.  What do you want to do with your life?  Are there new hobbies you would like to try or a class you have always wanted to take?  Perhaps you want to start eating healthier and exercising.  Think of the new wardrobe you will have to buy when you lose those last 20 or 30 pounds.  Your blood pressure and/or cholesterol will probably benefit from healthier eating habits.  Try to make your life as stress-free as possible.  I remember my first Christmas without my ex.  I didn’t feel like putting up a Christmas tree.  I usually put up and decorated a fairly large tree with the help of my family.  I was going through a lot of grief.  A friend of mine talked me into getting a tree.  I purchased a small 24-inch tree equipped with lights.  I only had to buy tiny ornaments and a bow for the top.  It was so small I could store it in a bag after the holidays.  This will be the third Christmas I have used it.  I have added candy canes this year.  I have grown to love my tiny tree.  It sits on a tiny table.

Try to simplify your life.  If you are not in the mood to cook, order from a local restaurant.  I have become good at ordering.  You can always cook a portion of the meal and order the rest.  Ask around to see which restaurants sell the best holiday meals.  Large family gatherings are discouraged this holiday season.  Make new traditions.  It’s all about you.  Be a little selfish.  As a seasoned woman, your kids are probably grown and should understand.  When you make your New Year goals, assign realistic dates to them.  For example, if you want to start eating healthier, began by cutting back on fried food with the goal date of three months to stop eating fried food.  I remember buying a book titled “Six Ingredients or Less” by Carlean Johnson.  It had fast easy recipes.  I didn’t realize at first that it was a diabetic book.  The words six ingredients or less caught my eye.  I ended up loving this book.  Listen to motivational videos on YouTube.  I do this on a regular basis.  My favorites are Steve Harvey and Myles Munroe.  They both have a funny side and humor tends to lift your spirit.  Find one that you like and listen to him/her.  Make a list of the things you are grateful for and read this list each morning when you wake up.  When you were married, you focused on us.  Now it’s time to focus on you.

By Emmerstine Mackie

Divorce Coach for the Seasoned Woman