How Do I Navigate Thanksgiving After a Divorce?

Thanksgiving is a time to reflect on all of the things that we have to be thankful for and enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving feast with family and friends. However, if you have recently gone through a divorce, the holidays can be a difficult time, particularly if you have children and must navigate shared parenting time with your former spouse. While this can be a challenging adjustment for everyone, there are things you can do to shift your attitude so that you can survive and maybe even enjoy the Thanksgiving holiday. If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, do not hesitate to contact a skilled divorce lawyer. 

What Tips Can Help Me Get Through the Holidays?

If you are in the process of picking up the pieces following a divorce, you may not be feeling particularly thankful as we head into the holiday season. Rather than focusing on the things that you do have to be thankful for, like your children, your health, and friends and family who are there to help you cope with the aftermath of the divorce, you may find yourself dwelling on the things that you lost, like companionship, financial stability, and a parenting partner.

  • Acknowledge your children’s feelings. It is completely normal for your children to experience a range of emotions following a divorce. Oftentimes, holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas can be particularly difficult if the children have to split their time with you and your ex-spouse. Talk to your children about the divorce and allow them to be open and honest about their feelings. If they feel heard and understood, and their feelings are validated, they are more likely to continue to talk to you about how the divorce is affecting them and what you can do to help make the adjustment easier.
  • Practice gratitude. This may be easier said than done when you are coping with the aftermath of a divorce. However, Thanksgiving is a great reminder to focus on what is really important, including the relationships that you have with your children and other family members, the supporting friends that you can depend on to cheer you up, and good health. Take some time to make a list of things that you are thankful for, including everything from a recent promotion you got at work to a glowing report card that your child brought home.
  • Continue with established traditions and create new ones. Just because you are no longer a family unit does not mean that you cannot continue to celebrate the traditions that you established years ago. However, it does mean that you may need to make some adjustments and create some new traditions and rituals that reflect your new family dynamic.  Get creative and encourage the children to come up with new family traditions so that you can incorporate them this Thanksgiving.
  • Be productive, respectful co-parents. One of the best things you can do for your children, particularly as you head into the holidays, is to make your children the top priority, and maintain a civil, flexible, and respectful relationship with your ex.
  • Practice self-care. If your children are spending Thanksgiving with your ex, figure out how you want to spend that time. Whether you prefer to be surrounded by people you know and love, and you are someone who enjoys solitude, taking care of your own physical and mental health is important.

Freehold Divorce Lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. Help Clients Navigate the Divorce Process

If you have decided to file for divorce, contact our skilled Freehold divorce lawyers at Lyons & Associates, P.C. at your earliest convenience. We understand how difficult this can be, particularly as we are heading into the holidays. However, our experienced and dedicated legal team will assist you with every step of the divorce process. To schedule a confidential consultation, call us today at 908-575-9777 or contact us online. From our offices in Somerville, Morristown, and Freehold New Jersey, we serve clients in Woodbridge, Parsippany, Rockaway, Short Hills, Chatham, Randolph, Madison, Morris Plains, and throughout the state.