Going through a divorce is always going to be messy. But during the holiday season, a divorce can take its toll on a family. Though holidays should be relaxing and enjoyable, the combination of holiday shopping, financial struggles, and extended family visits can become overwhelming.
Dealing with a recent divorce will only add to the stress because they affect not only the husband and wife, but also any children that are involved. Families sometimes have to go through child custody battles that leave all parties emotionally drained. This can add to the holiday season stress.
Are You Stressed?
There are a few ways to tell if you are stressed out. There are physical symptoms to watch for, like sleepiness. If you are tired all the time, that probably means you are not getting enough sleep, often because there are too many tasks you need to get done.
Additionally, if your back is hurting that can also indicate stress. For some people, back and shoulder muscles will tighten when the individual is tense. Weight gain is sometimes an indicator as well. During busy times, people don't have as much time to hit the gym or make healthy meals. Even a little weight gain can add stress.
Combat Holiday Stress With These Tips
There will always be long lines at the mall. But there are ways that you can avoid a stressful holiday season, especially if you've been through something emotionally draining, like a divorce.
- Get sleep: it's important for your body to recharge so that you are physically and mentally alert
- Plan for stress: allowing yourself extra time on the roads can help you keep your cool when someone in front of you snags the last parking spot
- Spend time with friends: even though you love your family, it's good to be around people that you can relax around
If you have been recently divorced, the holiday season can be filled with petty fights about custody arrangements and extended family time. You can't change the past, but at least there are ways to make the next few weeks somewhat less stressful.
Source: The Patch online, "It's that Stressful Time of Year: How Do You Cope?" Janie Rosman, 10 December 2010