By Vanaja Ghose
Are you newly divorced or separated and struggling to put on a smile through the holiday season? If so, then take a few tips on how to survive with your dignity and sanity stronger than ever!
1. Center on your negative emotions and feel them fully and then let them go. You are justified in feeling whatever negative emotions are dragging you down, whether it is lingering anger, a sense of betrayal, overwhelming resentment or unresolved bitterness. Depending on the circumstances of your breakup, you may even have a sense of abandonment.
Take an afternoon or evening to really feel those emotions. Pour yourself a glass of wine or order pizza, then write out everything you are feeling. You may start out feeling silly, but eventually it will come pouring out and you will feel a release.
Then, drop it in the trash, bury it in the snow, or light it on fire in the bathtub...just get rid of it. Then move right along to the next tip.
2. Focus on bringing positive energy to everyone you come across. Even if you are not feeling merry and jolly, make a sincere effort every day to bring those sensations to others. Pay the coffee bill for the car behind you when you go through a coffee shop drive-thru. You might start a new family tradition with the kids. If you have always decorated the tree yourself, have a mini party with the kids and let them decorate it with you. Or, have a snowball fight! Just do something to spread joy and you will start to feel it within yourself as well.
Most important, pour the Christmas joy on your children and don't let every day be a reminder of the divorce or separation. They deserve a happy Christmas!
And this applies whether or not you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah or another religion - the rules are the same!
3. Lend a helping hand to those less fortunate. No matter how horrible your life seems at the moment, there are always others worse off. Take a selfless moment to focus on them and feel some gratitude for your personal blessings. Go through your closets and donate clothing, towels, linens and blankets to a local shelter. Volunteer at a soup kitchen. Get out there and lend a helping hand.
4. Think of a way to make your own dream come true. Do something for others and then do something special for yourself. Buy a new outfit that makes you feel smoking hot and confident or tackle a fitness goal to improve your body. Whatever it is that you felt you never had time to do for yourself...make it your gift to yourself this year.
5. Pick up hobbies or interests that were pushed to the side during your relationship. Most people feel they lose a part of themselves when making compromises in a relationship, but now is your time to fully embrace yourself and do what YOU want to do. If you don't have children, you are free as a bird to do whatever you please, so go back to those things you used to do prior to the relationship. If you will have some time alone while the kids spend time with your ex, then make that your time to reconnect with old friends, go golfing, or whatever it is that you really miss about your life before the relationship.
Use these holiday tips as a jumping off point for your own ideas. Don't focus on being alone or spend time thinking about what your ex is doing or who they are doing it with. That will only rob you of new memories that you should be making for yourself!
Vanaja Ghose (http://www.divorcedtodazzling.com/about-2) is a Professional Life Coach helping women who chose to leave their marriage or long term relationship and now want to powerfully recreate their lives. Download your FREE mp3 audio on "Nine Steps to Building a New Life After Divorce" and contact Vanaja for a free 30-minute strategy session at http://www.divorcedtodazzling.com.
© Vanaja Ghose 2009