Why the Holidays Are a Great Time to Start Your Healing Journey These tips will help you get ahead so that once the holidays are over, you have already made a commitment to heal and can start diving into action to accomplish your goals
- Keeping busy and making plans during the holiday season will help you feel less lonely.
- Learning to spend and appreciate alone time will instill confidence and enable your new life planning.
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The holidays are challenging for many people because they can be lonely. Throw in recovering from a trauma — like divorce — and they instantly become even more difficult. It can be so bad that instead of focusing on recovering, the fear of being alone and lonely can lead one into unhealthy patterns like overeating, not taking care of oneself mentally, physically, spiritually or a combination of these and other issues.
Instead of viewing the holidays as a time for feeling down and choosing to become a victim, you can choose to make it a time for building a new and better life by starting your healing journey. There couldn't be a better time to do so. The holidays are such a great time to start the healing journey because there is typically more downtime, as many of us are off work or have reduced schedules.
Here are some ways to start the healing process during this often chaotic time of year so that you can feel like you are truly doing something to make your life better through healing and start the new year off focusing on a new you and a new beginning.
1. Plan your new life
With extra time, you can start planning how you want your new life to look. Write about this or make lists in a journal – this is a great way to track your healing journey and see how far you've come when you look back. It's normal for desires to change, so accept that and keep going. Start using visualization to see what the new life will look like. See it in bright colors with lots of details — what will it look, feel, taste, and smell like?
What will you wear and where will you spend your free time? If you have to move, imagine your new home and see the furniture, the color of the walls, the sunlight coming through the windows. See yourself there — cooking, cleaning, watching a movie, sleeping in the new bedroom. Learn how to meditate to find inner peace, focus on this new life, and use manifestation to bring it forward. By the time the holidays are over, you can build the plans to start acting upon them.
2. Get out and move daily
Make sure you are moving your body every day – there are so many ways to do this, and if you don't want to join a gym or class, you can simply walk – I walked my way through divorce, and it was my life support, physically, emotionally and spiritually. Not only is this good for the body, but it helps clear the mind, and the endorphins raise the spirits. Combined with a healthy diet, you will feel amazing.
3. Learn to enjoy time alone
This is one of the most important parts of healing from divorce. Being alone is one of the biggest fears of those going through a divorce, but it is necessary to learn to love yourself by spending time with yourself. You cannot love another until you heal your heart and love yourself (read that last sentence again). Find fun things to do, like hiking a fantastic trail, a solo spa day, going to a movie, reading a book on the beach, by a lake or somewhere that feels tranquil or dance to your favorite music and let it all go!
Avoid simply sitting at home alone — train your brain to enjoy doing things alone. There are so many ways to enjoy this time. Sometimes, even sitting silently with a cup of tea can be inspiring.
4. Make plans to spend with friends and family
Since ending a marriage often means limited contact with the former in-laws, it might feel very different and lonely, especially if you don't have family nearby. If the former spouse has the kids for the holidays, it may similarly leave you feeling alone. You must make plans. If you have family around, see if you can visit them or have them visit you, even briefly. Make plans with friends — take a walk, grab a coffee or quick meal, cook a meal, or go for a fun outing.
Do this often. If you don't have available friends, join a group and try something new, like Pickleball or art classes, which will give you an instant connection with others (at least when you are doing the activity) and hopefully create some friendships.
5. Plan fun ways for both you and your children to celebrate
If you have young or elementary-age kids, you can throw a holiday cookie party — have each kid bring a topping or glaze and have the dough ready, then let them have fun. Invite a parent for each kid and serve light appetizers and holiday drinks (alcoholic, non-alcoholic, or both) for the adults.
For older kids (middle and high school), have them help plan a movie, retro board game night, and cocoa party. Everyone can even bring a $10 gift for a fun gift exchange if desired. Again, the parents can enjoy adult libations in the kitchen. Taking the kids to help those less fortunate is also a great idea during the holidays – you can check local listings to find things to do. Baking is also a fun activity with kids, and you can hand out the holiday-wrapped treats to friends and neighbors.
Keeping busy and making plans during the holiday season will help you feel less lonely, and learning to spend and appreciate alone time will instill confidence and enable your new life planning. These tips will help you get ahead so that you have already committed to healing once the holidays are over and can start diving into action to accomplish your goals.