20 Nov Your first Christmas without your ex
I had a client last week who is facing her first Christmas without her partner this year. She was so worried about how she will deal with it and the new arrangements for the children. For the last 8 years she has spent Christmas surrounded by family and this year she will be on her own for Xmas Day afternoon as her children will be with their Dad.
Change can be frightening and fear of the unknown is always a little daunting. The trick is to set the game up to win and to prepare in advance. The truth is that this is the new reality and there is nothing you can do to change the situation – so you have to make the most of it. Just because it is a new challenge for you doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the new routine. It may not be the fairy tale Christmas that you imagined when you had your children but it can still be ok.
Take your control back and decide what you can do to make you happier about the time you are spending without your kids. You could decide to spend it on your own and plan to have some relaxing quiet time with your favourite movies and a glass of wine. Or if you prefer to be around other people then ask around to see if any of your friends are in the same situation and would like to join you. If you don’t have anyone you can spend it with then volunteer for a local charity and help others worse off than you at during this festive period.
Do things differently so you don’t feel the comparison between what you did last year and what’s happening this year. If you usually have Xmas Day at home then go to your local pub and spend it there or visit friends or family.
Focus on what you CAN do that you wouldn’t normally be able to do. If your children are away you may be able to relax more and have a drink, go for a walk in the fresh air, watch the programmes you choose to or even have an afternoon nap!
It takes the same energy to be worried and upset as it does to make plans and find a way to make this work better for you – so it’s up to you to decide how to react. You may even surprise yourself and find a whole new way to do Christmas J