The holidays are fast approaching and no matter how hard we might try, it seems like for many people, organizing our end-of-year plans and get-togethers tends to catch us off guard. For those who are separated or recently divorced and are celebrating the holiday season in different households, we want to provide you with some tips on surviving custody or visitation exchanges in the coming weeks. We hope this article provides important points to consider as well as some helpful suggestions you may want to try.
Keep the Peace
It’s important to provide a welcoming and stress-free environment for your kids. This practice produces as much of a benefit to your children as it does for your own personal well-being, so refrain from getting into any disagreements with your significant other or ex. Re-focus your attention away from any negative feelings or resentment that you are harboring, and channel that into creating an atmosphere filled with joy and love.
If you find yourself having trouble keeping the peace, turn your attention to your devotion to your kids—that should help shift your mindset and reinforce your “why” when it gets difficult to push forward. Remember that your kids may or may not understand the intricacies of your divorce or separation but they can feel and see how it affects you. By being open about your challenges and showing them that you are equipped to deal with it sets a good example and helps them better understand how to cope with difficulties in a healthy manner.
Make Some Holiday Memories
During your planned custody or visitation time with the kids this holiday season, make sure to take the opportunity to create some new memories together. Do you happen to have a unique family tradition that you usually partake in? Your kids will appreciate your effort to keep up with any time-honored traditions such as trimming the tree, baking holiday cookies while watching classic movies like “A Christmas Story” and “It’s a Wonderful Life,” or whatever is routine for you around the holidays.
If you and your kids don’t have any sort of holiday activities that you traditionally do this time of year, then it is the perfect time to start! If the kids are interested in something active, try heading out for ice skating followed by a hot cocoa treat – or if you’re more into a low-key night indoors, have yourself a gingerbread house decorating contest.
Take Time for Yourself
During the holidays, many people find themselves busy running around from party to party trying to make good on commitments. Sometimes in trying to please everyone we often forget to take time out to care for ourselves. Check in with yourself to assess your moods and pinpoint your stressors, and if necessary create some rituals for yourself to get you through the season. You can choose to partake in more solo thought-clearing practices such as journaling or hiking, or schedule some time to grab coffee or brunch with a friend who knows you well and will help to keep you grounded. Make a list of the top three practices that help to nourish your well-being—especially the ones that you haven’t made the time for recently—and make it a point to accomplish at least one item from your list before the new year.
It also goes without saying that it’s essential that you stick to your self-care habits, whether that’s a daily yoga or meditation practice, some other form of physical exercise, or a weekly massage. Be sure to address your immediate concerns so that you can have peace of mind and be fully present when spending time with your kids and loved ones.
Whether you expect to spend the holidays with your kids, or your significant other has arranged for the extra quality time with them, all of these principles can still apply. Regardless of what your circumstances may be this holiday season, we hope that yours is extra special and that you’re able to create many unforgettable memories to close the chapter on 2016 with a happy heart.
We understand that navigating legal family issues is often a painful and emotionally draining experience. Staying informed is the best way to improve your chances in any legal battle. Begin the process today—call the Law Offices of Silky Sahnan at 1-877-88-DIVORCE to schedule a confidential consultation at our Brentwood office.
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