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Holidays can be Particularly Challenging for the Newly Single



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Yesterday was Valentine’s Day.  If you’re in love then you probably had a great day.  If you are recently divorced or going through a divorce then you might have felt the sting more intensely than normal.  Holidays can be particularly challenging for the newly single.

I remember the first Christmas after I had separated from my ex-husband.  My roommate and I were putting up the Christmas tree.  Hanging all the ornaments that my husband and I had bought on various vacations was too much to handle and I truly understood why people kill themselves during the holidays.  The sadness I felt was overwhelming.

I took a break from our decorating, went into my room, had a good cry, and called a friend.  My self-imposed time out worked and I felt better an hour later.  Not whole, not 100%, but better.  I left those special ornaments off the tree and ended up giving them to my dad when my parent’s divorced a year later.  Seeing them on his tree doesn’t hurt.  They’re nice ornaments!

I think one of the reasons the holidays can be so hard when we’re alone is because we place such an emphasis on family and relationships during the holidays.  It’s easy to focus on what we are missing when we’re alone.  Instead of spending the days focused on what has gone wrong in life or belittling  yourself over your perceived relationship failures, use the time to make new memories.  The first year we didn’t spend Thanksgiving together as a family because my dad had a new girlfriend my mom and I went on vacation for the week.  We had a great time!

When the next holiday rolls around, if you find yourself feeling down, then do something for yourself or others.  Spend the day with friends, volunteer somewhere, go to a park and have a picnic, take a day trip, learn something new, the possibilities are endless!

This is YOUR life, YOUR adventure.  Make the most of it!

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Jennifer is a clinical social worker.  She can be reached through her website Serenity Counseling Online or on her Facebook page Serenity Counseling Online.



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