Even though November is the month of Thanksgiving, it's hard to get excited about giving thanks when you're in the middle of your divorce or have just recently divorced. Thanksgiving is a time when everyone is supposed to reflect on things for which they are thankful. However, it can be a difficult time for those who are going through a divorce or are recently divorced.
In these types of circumstances, Thanksgiving can be a heart wrenching time. Where last year you were with the family, this year your time is fraught with poignant memories of previous holidays and the traditions that you shared. Consequently, you may not be feeling very joyful or thankful. So how do you beat the Thanksgiving blues? The following ideas for how to be thankful may be very helpful:
- Get some perspective. It's difficult to make changes in your life, and the longer that you've been married, the more difficult the first holidays may be. It may be particularly difficult if your children are visiting with your former spouse and you are left alone. But do not lose sight of the fact that even during this painful time, it is really only temporary in nature and will become better with time.
- Surround yourself with supportive friends and family members. Friends and family are a must during the holidays. Even if you are going through a divorce, and your children are with your ex‑spouse or soon to be ex‑spouse, you can then make arrangements to spend the holiday meal with a friend or with family members. Celebrate with them.
- Keep yourself busy. Even if you don't care to have a meal, remember many businesses and the movie theaters are open on Thanksgiving Day. Make sure that you are around other people. Go see a comedy to make yourself laugh.
- Make new traditions. In doing so, consider helping others in need. Consider volunteering at the local soup kitchen, visiting a nursing home, or helping out at an animal shelter. Giving of yourself during the time of Thanksgiving and helping others in need is a way of giving thanks.
- Sit down and write out a list, or verbally recall, all the things for which you should be thankful. You have your health. Many people would gladly trade everything that they own to be without illness. You have a roof over your head and food on the table. Many people in the world cannot even say that. Be thankful for even the smallest things. If you switch on the lights and they come on, be thankful. If you make a cup of coffee and your coffeemaker works, be thankful. Being purposeful in the exercise of finding thanks in the simple things of your life may give you better perspective.
- Enjoy the time that you have with your children. If the children are spending Thanksgiving with you, then start new traditions with them. If the children are with your former spouse, then make sure that you reach out to them and communicate with them via Skype, FaceTime, or by phone. If you have the inclination, you can do other things such as writing letters to your children to be opened when they're adults; make short video clips to send them later during their Thanksgiving vacation, or start planning activities when they will be spending time with you. Be thankful that you have put your bad marriage behind you. If you think about it, even if the divorce wasn't your choice, you're probably better off now than you were in your destructive, disintegrating relationship.
The rest of your life you have the ability to go out and create the existence you really want. So don't waste another day feeling sorry for yourself, be thankful for your divorce. Your actions, the way you treat others, your drive and determination, and your love will all contribute to a happier, more fulfilling life, and a life during which you'll continue to give thanks and be thankful.
Board Certified Marital and Family Law Attorney Charles D. Jamieson understands that divorce is an extremely sensitive and important issue. Thanks to extensive experience and a focus on open communication, Attorney Jamieson adeptly addresses the complex issues surrounding divorce while delivering excellent personal service. To discuss your divorce or other family law matter, please contact The Law Firm of Charles D. Jamieson, P.A. online or call 561-478-0312.