By Danielle Barbereau
The following blog post is by author and Divorce Coach Danielle Barbereau.
Many people face their first Christmas after a break-up so here are some very good tips on how to get through your first Christmas alone.
If you are going through a breakup or are on your own, the festivities may be a testing prospect. The winter, its cold and short days are a time of hibernation (literally) when we can reflect, mend our sails and start thinking of what we really want in life. With the spring and its feeling of renewal and hope, the time will come to explore a new future.
If the thought of Christmas is filling you with dread, I hope that the following tips will help you a little.
- Do not believe the imagery of Christmas as seen in TV ads. The storybook version of the season is never how it really turns out and you know it.
- Do not waste your energy imagining what a good time your former partner may be having. Instead, focus on making your own festivities special, albeit in a small way, whatever form they take.
- Have a plan for what you will do over Christmas time. Where will you be on Christmas eve, Christmas day, boxing day? Don’t assume that you will be fine. Chances are that day will come when you don’t know what to do. This is when you may start feeling sorry for yourself. So, plan ahead.
- Do not necessarily do what is expected of you. Do not feel obliged to accept invitations when you may feel like a spare part. Give yourself permission to say no and to stay on your own if it is what you’d rather do.
- If you prefer being alone, do just that. Do what feels right for you. If you decide to go to the cinema with a friend or stay in to watch a DVD and then go for a walk on your own, let your family know. You need to take care of yourself first
- Make sure that you do things differently. If what you have always done what now fills you with dread, don’t do it. Do things differently. There are no rules. If you don’t want a tree, don’t get a tree. Challenge yourself to think about new traditions. Make this Christmas your own
- Look ahead and start planning a holiday. Use this time to think ahead to this time next year and all the holidays in between. In fact, you can go on holiday right now! Or volunteer: many charities are looking for volunteers over the Christmas period.
- Maintain safe boundaries. You do not have to explain to anyone why your relationship broke down. Establish in your mind what feels safe and create a sentence that you can have at the tip of your tongue if someone tries to be nosy.
- Start a gratitude journal. Research supports the fact that writing a gratitude journal, embellishing it with photos, has positive psychological and physical effects. Buy a notebook that you love. Once a week (more is a chore) write down one thing that you are grateful for. Throughout the week, you will find yourself thinking of what you will write next and that keeps you in a more positive frame of mind.
- Don’t behave like a victim. During a breakup, it is natural to feel that bad things are happening to us and that we have no control left. Well, we can choose to turn the tables and actively decide to take steps to stop others dictate our feelings.
- Get outside. Enjoy nature, savour the seasons. Walk, take some gentle exercise. This releases endorphins, the feel-good hormones.
- Finally, the festivities will soon pass. Christmas is only one day. Also, remember that whatever you feel, you are not on your own. Next year, it will be easier.
Danielle Barbereau is a divorce coach, author, and speaker.
She specialises in helping clients going through painful breakups or trying to decide if they wish to stay together. She works hand in hand with family/matrimonial solicitors. Her work is all about supporting clients coping with loss and preparing for rediscovery.
She supports clients during the immediate aftermath of the breakup or when they are going through court proceedings by helping them make sense of what has happened, regain a sense of control so they can deal with damaging emotions and prepare to move forward in a positive way.
If you would like more help then why not order Danielle’s book ‘After the Split’ – to find out more about Danielle and her book CLICK HERE