Families across West Michigan recently spent a long weekend celebrating the Fourth of July. Independence Day is one of the American traditions most deeply rooted in family, friends and celebration.
For those that have gone through a divorce, the idea of celebrating with friends and family can be difficult. Navigating holiday seasons following a divorce is one of many things that only gets easier with time as you grow and find strength in the next chapter of your life. If you found yourself having a hard time during the holiday, these tips can help you prepare for the next celebration or family gathering.
Any holiday dynamic will be different, so take the opportunity to start completely from scratch. You likely have a friend or relative who has always invited you to join their holiday celebration; make this the first year you accept the invitation. You can also start a new tradition focused on improving yourself: volunteer at a VA hospital, visit new state parks or national monuments, or get engaged planning your community celebration.
This is particularly important if you have children, but it also holds true for those who do not. If you do not have kids, plan a weekend of activities with people and you know will make you feel comfortable and supported. With children, focus on building a memorable holiday celebration for them. If you are on good speaking terms with your ex, collaborate on a holiday plan that is good for everyone..
Once a holiday has passed, most people will end up discussing how busy, stressful or draining it was, no matter how joyous the celebration. It is common to feel emotionally and physically drained just from the sheer nature of having an activity-packed weekend. Be realistic in your scheduling and try to allow enough down time to let yourself recharge. Many holidays are also notably celebrated with a large serving of food followed by a few too many drinks; watching your intake can also help reduce the stress and anxiety of celebrating the holiday post-divorce.
Whether you opted for a quiet celebration at home with close friends and family or traveled to a destination with a large group, we hope your Fourth of July holiday was a memorable experience. We have dedicated our careers to helping families in Grand Rapids through divorce, and know how a Collaborative Divorce can make future holidays easier to handle. If you are interested in learning more about how it could work for you, schedule a consultation with us today!